Media Contact: Erik Linden @ DDOT, 202-671-2004
(Washington, DC) The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) announced today that DDOT officially started its annual tree planting season this month.
DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) will plant more than 4,900 street trees citywide in all eight wards. Planting begins in Ward 1 and will wrap up in Ward 8 in April—the reverse order of last year’s planting season. Planting locations are based on requests made by residents to the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center before July 15, 2007.
DDOT will also replace approximately 1,400 trees that died as a result of the summer drought. Many of the replacement trees will be relocated to better planting locations within the immediate area. DDOT’s arborists determined that this summer’s drought was the worst that trees in the city had suffered in 25 years. The majority of the trees that perished in last year’s planting season are covered under contractor warranty.
DDOT is also planting 260 elm trees in a partnership with DC-based Casey Trees and 60 trees in a partnership with the DC-based Earth Conservation Corps and Trees for Georgetown.
DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration currently has 11 arborists on staff—more than any time in the city’s history. The arborists oversee planting, inspection, pruning, tree care, resident outreach and other tree-related functions in all eight wards.
Emeka Moneme, DDOT Director, said: “While the summer was difficult for city street trees, recent rains are helping. Our tree program is thriving and every day we’re stepping up efforts to protect and improve the beautiful tree canopy above the nation’s capital. I’m also thrilled about our healthy partnership with Casey Trees and other environmentally-based non-profits and citizen groups.”
DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration will be placing informational cards on residents’ doors in blocks where trees are planted. Residents will receive watering instructions as well as DDOT’s brochure of services and schedules. During warm weather, DDOT asks residents to help water the trees that they have requested for planting during the first two years of the life of the tree. It is best to water each tree with about 10 gallons of water every five days from May through September.
Species of trees to be planted include Willow Oak, Katsura, Dawn Redwood, Kwanzaa Cherry, Sugar Maple, Cucumber Magnolia, and Accolade Elm.
John Thomas, DDOT’s Chief Forester, said: “We’ve been making great strides recently in building a partnership with residents who request that a street tree be planted on their block. Our goal is to encourage residents to be stewards of these trees and help shepherd them through their challenging early years.”
The mission of the UFA 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. Street trees are trees located between the curb and sidewalk on all District-owned lands. Currently, UFA oversees approximately 140,000 city street trees in all eight wards.
DDOT continues to cultivate relationships with local public/private partner organizations such as Casey Trees, Earth Conservation Corps and others currently involved in tree-related work within the District’s neighborhoods. By involving and encouraging community participation in tree planting and care activities, DDOT works to educate residents regarding the importance and functional beauty of the city’s “green infrastructure.”