Thursday, September 30, 2010

CTP 411: Where Do the Trees Come From?

Contributing Writer - David DiPietro, Urban Forestry Manager

This fall we will plant over 850 trees consisting of 60 different species across the District at 20 Community Tree Plantings and 218 residential properties enrolled in the RiverSmart Homes program. It is up to the Urban Forestry Manager - me - to locate and coordinate the purchase, delivery and storage of the trees. It is very important to be familiar with and purchase trees from nurseries in the surrounding areas for a couple of reasons.

One, the trees will do best if replanted in similar soil. For example, a tree grown in Georgia will have a much different soil composition than one grown in the mid Atlantic, thus resulting in added stressors for the tree.

Secondly, nursery stock varies greatly, from poor to exceptional and everything in between, and so do their growing practices. High quality trees grown with care have much better chances for success.

No one nursery will have every tree species we require. It can be necessary to pull from as many as five or more nurseries to procure all the trees. Once the nurseries are identified we can coordinate our deliveries. A tractor trailer full of trees will pull up to our yard in Brookland for unloading. We utilize a small material loader and ball carts to unload and place the trees in our yard. Staging the trees is an issue because our yard can only hold about 225 trees.

On September 28th we had our first of four large deliveries, which average approximately 200 trees per delivery. At the yard we stage the trees in organized rows per species. Each tree is tagged with the species, delivery date and which nursery it came from. These trees will be loaded up and delivered to their new home - possibly yours!

Apply for a CTP. Volunteer at a CTP event. Download the fall CTP schedule. Sponsor a CTP event.

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