Thursday, July 30, 2009


Contributing Writer - Jonathan Fuentes, Intern

Week 5 and the interns are still strong!

This week has been very educational and exiting. Our professional development day was held at the U.S Botanic Garden where we participated in two tours and an urban forestry discussion. It was a great opportunity to learn about a diverse collection of trees and plants all located in one place. We saw everything from beautiful but poisonous orchids to tall cocoa trees.

One thing that especially interested me during the tour was the science of grafting, where you can take a part of one tree and fuse it to another. It was like the producers of ER became arborists.

The following day seemed like a miracle - it rained, reducing the number of trees that needed to be watered. What we did not plan for was getting rained on.

All the interns have established a great working relationship and are working hard to develop strong leadership skills. Only three weeks left of the internship.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


A few months back Casey Trees was invited to participate in an episode of Renovation Nation for Discovery Channel's Planet Green.

In the midst of the lights and cameras - as you can see above - a star was born. While the majority of our phenomenal field crew participated in the filming, Jim Woodworth, Director of Tree Planting, served as Casey Trees' spokesperson walking the host of Renovation Nation, Steve Thomas, through the tree selection and planting process. So far Jim has not let all the fame go to his head. He is still the same down to earth urban forester you all have come to love over the years.

The air date for our episode has finally been announced. Drum roll please. Friday, August 7, 2009 at 9:00 p.m.

You can find Renovation Nation on each of the below channels.
  • Comcast - 113
  • RCN - 110
  • DirecTV - 286
  • Dish Network - 194
Remember to set your Tivo!

Friday, July 24, 2009


Utility bills costing you too much?

Planting trees strategically in your yard can result in some serious home cooling and heating savings. What would you do with extra cash - take a vacation, go shopping, get a mani/pedi, buy me a nice gift?

The August issue of Better Homes and Gardens not only sings the praises of planting trees but highlights Casey Trees and Davey Trees' Tree Benefit Calculator which allows anyone to estimate the economic and ecological benefits of planting trees in their own yard.

With the help of the Tree Benefit Calculator you can know the value of your trees and finally have that perfect ice breaker to use at parties. I imagine it could go something like..."Hey there. My trees add $200 to my property value and help to conserve 31 kilowatts of energy. What is your name?"

The good news is if the ice breaker falls flat you will still know how much your trees are helping to pay the bills.

Check out the Tree Benefit Calculator and other useful online tools such as Casey Trees Map and the Carbon Offset Calculator at

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Contributing Writer - Evan Douglas, Intern

Casey Trees’ Urban Forestry Summer Internship has been a blast. In the past four weeks I have been to so many places in District I never knew existed such as the U.S. Botanic Garden and the National Park Service elm nursery.

Without question, the most fun professional development events we have had so far was the tree climbing event at the U.S. National Arboretum with The Davey Tree Expert Company last Tuesday. After safety and climbing instructions, each of us had the opportunity to climb a 60’ Chinese cork oak. Tree climbing is a lot more difficult than it looks! Following the climb a few Davey Trees arborists talked to us about arboriculture and career opportunities in urban forestry. I would really like to learn more about both.

Our tree care work has been going smoothly despite the warm and muggy weather. It is always great to have residents come up to us while we are watering and mulching the trees to learn more about Casey Trees or basic tree care. It makes us feel like we are helping make DC a better place to live.

Only four weeks of the internship remain. I wonder what we will learn next!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


Casey Trees' Department of Education is looking for a new Education Coordinator to join its team. Think you can fill Christina's shoes? Check out the job posting here. Application close date is Saturday, August 15.

Monday, July 20, 2009


It's hard to be a city tree.

You get weed whacked, knocked by card doors, have power lines all up in your business - it's nonstop. However, cities including DC are making changes for the better.

On Wednesday, August 12 (1 - 4 p.m.), Casey Trees is hosting a special lecture profiling how towns and cities are protecting urban trees. They keynote speaker - Arborist Paul Ries - is all the way from Oregon but the DC metro area is well represented by Mike Knapp (Fairfax County), Chris Cooks (Care of Trees) and our very own Sue Erhardt (Casey Trees).

The class is only $10.00 per person and is a win-win for individuals looking for ISA credits - Urban Tree Protection qualifies. Whether you are an arborist, developer, landscape architect, or just someone who values trees, this class is for you.

Spots are still available but going quick. Advance registration is required. To register, click here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Contributing Writer - Taiysha Hobbs, Intern
The third week in this summer internship has been great and exciting. We are all getting to know each other more and it makes the job experience more fun. As time goes on throughout this internship, I learn more and more about the benefits of trees. It is a rewarding feeling to know that I am trying to improve the lives of trees and the environment.

I would have to say that the highlight of week 3 was on Tuesday when we visited Barry Stahl. During our visit we planted trees, potted baby trees, visited the greenhouse nursery, and learned about the different types of trees. The best part of the visit personally was planting the trees. I planted three trees total: an elm, a silver maple, and a red maple. Despite the hard work of planting a tree, seeing the product is a very invigorating feeling.

On Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday I did tree maintenance around the city. We mainly worked in the Mt. Pleasant and Columbia Heights areas. However on Wednesday Gregory Prunell, an arborist from Ocean City, Maryland, came to visit and observe how we maintained trees around the city. He was really fun and cool. I love how he was so passionate about trees and his occupation. Hopefully, I will be that passionate about whatever career path I choose to pursue.

To cap off the week, I had another awesome outing with the bikes in the city on Friday. Even though the bike that carries the water trailer was in the shop, we still managed to water a few trees on Friday.

I am really enjoying my time with Casey Trees. It has been an exciting three weeks and I can’t wait to see what the next five weeks will unfold.

Thursday, July 9, 2009


We all agree that urban forests are great - increased shade, cleaner air, lower utility bills, more attractive public spaces...the list goes on. As such we generate a lot of interest from individuals and businesses interested in helping Casey Trees restore the District's tree canopy.

We always encourage interested folks to become active urban forestry advocates by volunteering at a tree planting, summer watering, or inventory event, lending their talents to help advance our special projects i.e. videography or photography, planting a tree on private property, organizing a Community Tree Planting, or spreading the word about Casey Trees and the value of trees in urban environments. There is something for everyone, no matter their age or skill level.

Individuals, organizations and businesses have also begun to express an interest in sponsoring Casey Trees' planting and education initiatives. In response, we have developed seven unique sponsorship opportunities to accommodate different giving abilities and interests. Donations of any amount may also be made through Network for Good or part of the Combined Federal Campaign of the National Capital Area. We also welcome in-kind support and other sponsorship proposals.

We invite you to read more about each sponsorship opportunity by clicking the image above or by selecting them by name below:

Download all Casey Trees Sponsorship Opportunities.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009


Contributing Writer - Jaine Hernandez, Intern

As part of my internship with Casey trees I have learned a great deal about how to properly protect and care for a tree. Just like people, trees can get sick, require protection - mulch and stakes can help a lot- and they need water to stay alive (20-25 gallons a week in fact).

Before I became an intern I did not fully appreciate the importance and value of trees. Now I understand how trees help clean the air, mitigate storm water runoff, produce oxygen, and even alleviate stress. The latter I am very familiar with and thankful for. Whenever I work with trees, I feel much more relaxed.

This past week - week two of the internship - we focused on mulching newly planted trees primarily in the mornings to “beat the heat”. I love this part because we get to travel all around the City on the bikes provided for the Water By-Cycle program - nothing is every repetitive.

My favorite part of the week was the tree walk in Rock Creek Park. With the help of Jim Woodworth, Director of Tree Planting, we identified several different tree species including the two most common species in the park, the American beech and oak. We even saw creeks and deer. Looking at the trees made me think a lot about how trees in the forest are different from city trees. The trees out in the forest are more competitive for water and light than the city trees, yet city trees have more risks with cars pollution and miscarriage by people. Being a Casey Trees intern has helped me to genuinely appreciate nature.

I also just have to say that I love my fellow interns. We have lots of fun helping to care for trees.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Contributing Writer - Alex Reade, Urban Forestry Intern

Casey Trees' Summer Internship got off to a great star last week. We managed to accomplish a lot in a short amount of time.

Day 1 served as an introduction to the internship. After we played a few icebreakers to get to know our fellow interns and staff members better, we heard from various crew chiefs and directors of Casey Trees. We got a chance to further learn about what Casey Trees does and the mission of Casey Trees, which is to restore, enhance and protect the tree canopy of Washington DC. After this, we went on a short tree walk through downtown and learned about the different types of trees that can be found in that area. After the first day we all were very much looking forward to the rest of the summer.

Day 2 started off with an introduction to the various tools and safety equipment that we would be using during the summer and then a lesson on how to properly care for a tree, which includes weeding, mulching, and watering. For the rest of the day, we took care of the trees in the Tenleytown area. A group tree maintenance competition between the interns added some excitement to the task.

Day 3 was bike training day. We started the day by having a certified bike riding educator come speak to us about riding bikes in the city and bike safety in general. This information was important because we will be riding bikes while maintaining trees downtown this summer, which is something new that Casey Trees has added to the internship. After this we learned how to maintain the bikes that we will be using. We learned how to check the brakes and the gears, and how to change a flat tire. I am sure that all of those things will come in handy while we are riding bikes downtown this summer.

Day 4 included prepping the truck for the next day's stewardship event and a walking tour of the Brookland neighborhood. We visited a few of the historic houses in the area and then the Franciscan Monastery. Following lunch we heard from Dr. Tony Mucciardi, who developed the Tree Radar Unit (TRU), a device that can scan the inside of a tree in order to determine the health of the tree without having to do an invasive procedure.

Day 5 featured the first stewardship event of the summer - Rock Creek Church Cemetery at St. Paul ‘s Rock Creek. Approximately 15 volunteers helped us care for the newly planted trees. Luckily the heat hadn’t really hit at that point in the morning so we were all able to work pretty comfortably. Remarkably we completed the work in only a couple of hours so we ended the day with a tree walk on the cemetery grounds. It was just full of magnificent trees.

Overall, it was a very productive first week and I think we’re all very excited for the next seven weeks.