Media Contact: John Lisle at 202-671-2004
The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) began its annual tree planting season today. From December to April, DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) will plant more than 3,000 street trees citywide in all eight wards. Planting locations are based on requests made by residents to the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center before July 15, 2008. In return, DDOT asks residents to partner with UFA to ensure the new trees survive and thrive by providing care such as watering, mulching and a watchful eye for any problems that may develop.
“In the first two years these new trees need attention to get established,” said John Thomas, DDOT’s Chief Forester. “We ask residents to share that responsibility and in the end we will all benefit from a beautiful tree canopy across the city.”
DDOT piloted a Tree Keeper Program with Casey Trees last year and more than 1000 watering bags were given out to residents who requested a new tree. The District is expanding the program this year and hopes to provide a watering bag for every new tree. Residents who receive a tree and bag will also be asked to sign a Tree Keeper Agreement pledging to water and care for the tree in its first two years. UFA will provide a watering bag, trunk protector and a bag of mulch (in the second year) to assist the residents.
A complete list of the locations where the new trees will be planted in each ward will be posted online this week at ddot.dc.gov.
DDOT will also plant 250 elm trees in a partnership with Casey Trees. About half will be planting in the Downtown area to create a new tree canopy in the next 3-5 years. Another 125 trees will be planted along the East Capitol Street median. UFA will also team up with the organization Trees for Georgetown to plant 50 new trees in that historic neighborhood.
The mission of the Urban Forestry Administration is to establish a full population of street trees within the District and to ensure that those street trees are maintained in a healthy and safe condition. UFA has 16 certified arborists on staff who care for approximately 140,000 trees throughout the city.