by July 12, 2010 at 10:10 pm 1,301 0

dc trees DDoT Urban Forestry Borderstan

1500 block of Corcoran Street NW: Newly planted, small trees need help, water, during hot, dry summer weather. (Luis Gomez Photos)

Have you noticed those brown plastic bags around small tress in DC? They’re water bags and the are used on small, newly planted trees until they can put down roots deep enough to supply the tree with water. The city does its best to keep the water bags full, but this summer the trees need help.

In response to the recent heat waves and dry conditions (even after Monday’s rains), the District Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) is launching an effort to get residents to water street trees so they survive this hot summer.

UFA says that it takes less than 10 minutes a week to fill the free slow-drip watering device provided by the city to any individual who adopts street trees through UFA’s Canopy Keepers program. Many small, newly planted trees (such as the one pictured above) already have the watering devices installed–but they only work if they are filled with water.

“Summer heat and normal urban pressures create intense stress for street trees,” said John Thomas, Chief Forester for the District of Columbia. “While UFA crews are watering all 3,500 new trees we planted this year, we are calling on District residents and businesses to help water street trees close to their homes and offices.”

A healthy tree canopy helps absorb carbon dioxide and it helps keep the city cool–not the mention that trees look nice.

For more information, contact the UFA at (202) 671-5133 or visit DDoT’s website and   and click on the Trees link to become a Canopy Keeper, receive a free watering device and help street trees survive the summer. UFA has 19 certified arborists on staff who are responsible for issuing permits, enforcing regulations and caring for approximately 140,000 trees throughout the city.


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