Contributing Writer - Dylan Oliver, Summer Crew Team Member
Hi my name is Dylan and I’m part of Casey Trees' Water By-Cycle crew.
All summer long we have been watering trees by accessing fire hydrants. It's hard work but I have really enjoyed it. Along with our everyday tasks of watering, mulching and weeding trees, we have participated in four career development days. These hands on exercises have taught me many interesting things about trees and careers related to arboriculture.
Our first professional development day was at the U.S. National Park Service's American elm nursery on Dangerfield Island. Just one person - Barry Stahl - raises the American elms that get planted across the District. It was a fun day and it was cool to see elm trees at different stages in their maturation process.
For two weeks after, we watered trees. Since I am on the Water By-Cycle crew I got to work on my biking skills which is always fun. I also began to feel like I was getting into better shape.
Our next career development day focused on learning how to incorporate trees into the built environment using innovate tree space design. It was pretty interesting to see how smart but practical design can help trees grow better in urban environments.
After three weeks of intense biking/watering in extreme heat, we participated in my favorite professional development day, tree climbing with staff from The Davey Tree Expert Company.
For this event we went to the U.S. National Arboretum. Tree climbing is the fun part of an important job. Davey staff regularly climbs trees to prune and inspect tall trees.
Our last professional development day was a scavenger hunt at the National Zoo. Using GIS and other instruments, we located specific trees around the zoo and recorded data about each tree's health and size. This was pretty interesting and I learned the names of a lot of different trees.