Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I admit it. I watch a lot of HGTV.

In doing so I see a lot of do-it-yourself projects. Needless to say some turn out more successful than others. The less than fantastic projects usually flop because they project organizers do not do their homework or miss some important steps along the way. It happens. While comical for me, not funny for the homeowner.

Casey Trees embraces the D-I-Y spirit. Planting trees while relatively simple can be a little intimidating. What do I plant? Where do I plant it? When do I plant it? There are an endless amount of questions that can pop up and discourage someone from planting a tree. The good news is that Casey Trees has the answers and the class to help you make you a tree planting expert. I guarantee your neighbors will marvel at your skill.

Casey Trees' Treescape Design Workshops teach DC residents about basic tree care and help them design a custom treescape plan for their yard - front, back, side, it is up to you. Participants are encouraged to bring in photos of their yard, measurements, location of existing power lines and trees to determine what type and where trees make sense based on their expressed needs.

No need to get fancy. Bring your sketches on the back of a napkin or in crayon.

The best news is that not only will you walk away with a treescape plan for your yard and the knowledge of how to properly care for your trees once they are in the ground but you get to pick a shade tree to be delivered to your house in the next planting season for FREE. Seeing that trees can cost several hundred dollars, you are saving some serious coin just by spending two hours with us. Plus you don't have to worry about getting the tree from the nursery to the store. I am pretty sure Metro frowns on ginkgo trees being brought on the trains.

Only three Treescape Design Workshops are scheduled for this fall - 9/9, 9/15 and 11/3 - and they fill up fast. So hurry up and register today.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Contributing Writer - Sue Erhardt, Director of Education

As Casey Trees Director of Education I invite you to make a difference in DC by becoming a volunteer Citizen Forester. Citizen Foresters are individuals passionate about improving the environment. They work with Casey Trees to plant trees, educate the public about proper tree care, and water trees during Washington’s hot summers.

Citizen Foresters are both transplant and long term Washingtonians. Some live in condos and apartments, they might not have any trees, and others live in homes with yards. Some Citizen Foresters are college students who seek to apply their studies to the surrounding community. Other Citizen Foresters are retired people with free time. No matter their age, race, or economic background they all have something in common. They are working to achieve sustainable development, increase the tree canopy, care for trees, and give back to a city that they love. Time commitment is minimal. You determine how little or much time you want to commit serving as a Citizen Forester. Volunteer opportunities exist year round.

Becoming a Citizen Forester is easy. Simply enroll in Casey Trees' Trees 101 class. You will learn about basic tree ecology, identification, and care and strategies for restoring the District's tree canopy. No previous experience is necessary. The next tree Trees 101 orientation class is Wednesday, September 30, 2009. Sign up today. If you have been looking for a way to make DC a more livable and green City, becoming a Citizen Forester is perfect for you. Come alone, bring a friend, just make sure you come on September 30, 2009.

For more information on becoming a Citizen Forester, click here or contact me at serhardt@caseytrees.org.


Oh no...the interns are gone. Check out the photos from their graduation tree care event at Newark Community Garden in NW on our Facebook Fan Page.

Total trees watered, miles biked, smiles given, babies kissed and so forth will be calculated in the coming weeks. All we know right now is that we already miss them. Thanks Class of 2009.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Contributing Writer - Nina Shallal, Intern

We are in the final weeks of the internship and all the interns are beginning to acknowledge this somber fact by exchanging phone number and promises to stay in touch. Otherwise we are continuing to work in the field, maintaining Casey Trees-planted trees and helping with the Urban Forest Effects and Values (UFORE) Inventory.

On Tuesday we visited the U.S. National Arboretum to learn about the Urban Forestry examination and what it is like to work at the Arboretum. We also went on a tour of the Youth Garden which was filled with beautiful flowers and fruits, many of which we had never seen before. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and was able to give us amazing detail about each plant and fruit being grown. We were even lucky enough to taste some of the organically grown strawberries.

After our tour we created an accessible path around the Youth Garden using custom wood chips. We were thankful that the wood chips were several pounds lighter than the mulch we have been working with everyday. However, after an hour we began to feel the burn. Once the walkway was complete - four hours later - we explored the Asian tree collection which was unbelievable. When the day finally came to an end, we were all exhausted.

For the rest of the week it was business as usual with the exception of Thursday when Casey Trees hosted a press conference for the launch of the Water By-Cycle.

We are extremely proud of the work we have done thus far and look forward to the homestretch.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Contributing Writer - Karja Hansen, Bike Crew Captain

The Casey Trees Water By-Cycle crew has made tremendous strides these past two weeks Jonathan, one of our summer interns who started out never having ridden a bicycle, experienced his first full day of caring for trees by bicycle, riding over 9 miles and watering over 30 trees on Capitol Hill and in Eastern Market. He was awesome and biked like a champ.

The following day our crew worked downtown along Massachusetts Avenue caring for trees that have not been adopted by any person or business in the neighborhood. If you call our office we will happily tell you where trees still need to be adopted and how to properly water them. We spent a lot of time watering these newly planted trees and were rewarded with bright green leaf buds the following week.

This past Thursday, Casey Trees officially launched the Water By-Cycle at Samuel Gompers Park after weeks of successful trial runs. We we’re interview by Patrick Madden from WAMU, (see above) and Mike Galvin christened the trailer and its brand new signs with a bottle of Sports Drink – poured, not broken. Casey Trees does not litter!

While the summer is coming to an end, the Water By-Cycle is still making its rounds. Be sure to say hello or ask a question about tree care or how you can get involved with Casey Trees.

Thursday, August 6, 2009


Contributing Writers - Heydi Lovo & Lina Montropoli

This week, we did a lot. We continued with the urban tree maintenance watering and mulching on an average 35 trees per day. Thankfully, frequent rain helped the the trees get the 25 gallons of water they need each week to survive.

On Tuesday, we had the opportunity to volunteer at Common Good City Farm located at 3rd and V Streets, NW. As an urban farm its focus is very different than other farms and community gardens. It provides food for about 30 local low-income families who have volunteered and contributed to the upkeep of the farm. Common Good City Farm has been in existence at its current location for about 6 months. We helped by mulching a small field to help boost future food production and constructed a frame to hold compost bins.

On Friday, Sue Erhardt, Director of Education, joined us in the field. We spent the day at Lafayette School and Recreation Center in Northwest. We serviced about 50 trees; watering, weeding, mulching, and pruning along the way.

In addition to the watering trucks, the Water By-Cycle crew made it to Casey Trees-planted trees located all around the city including Capitol Hill and downtown.

We have all had a lot of fun while learning and developing our urban tree care knowledge over the past six weeks. We look forward to the last two weeks of the internship!