Saturday, October 30, 2010

Our Fragile Urban Canopy: A Plea from Casey Trees to Presumptive Mayor Gray - Washington, DC

Our Fragile Urban Canopy: A Plea from Casey Trees to Presumptive Mayor Gray

Tree Fund
The 2011 budget took $530,000 from the Tree Fund and diverted it to the General Fund for non-tree planting purposes effectively reducing the amount of trees planted in the District. The Urban Forest Preservation Act, which created the Tree Fund, forbids diverting Tree Fund moneys to the General Fund.
  • Will your administration commit to restoring these funds in the current FY budget?

  • What safeguards will you place on future Tree Fund balances to ensure this no longer occurs?
  • Fig tree to be removed for alleged numerous instances of public infrastructure disruption - Enmore, New South Wales, Australia

    Enmore Fig tree to be removed « SAVING OUR TREES-Dulwich Hill-Camperdown-Enmore-Lewisham-Marrickville-Newtown-Petersham-St Peters-Stanmore-Sydenham-Tempe

    here is a new street tree up for removal. It is another Hills Fig (Ficus microcarpa var. hillii), this time at 10 Cambridge Street Enmore, but on the Cavendish Street frontage.
    Marrickville Council gives the following as reasons for removal:
    • Repeated regular root interference with drainage lines of private residence that cannot be rectified without significant structural demolition. The installation of root barrier at the property boundary is not a viable management option due to the proximity to the critical root zone of the tree. Pruning of roots this close to the tree would almost certainly compromise its structural integrity & present an unacceptable risk of tree failure.

    American Forests, Boy Scouts, and Scotties Tissues team up on Asian longhorned beetle recovery planting - Worcester, MA

    Kids Care Too: Tree Planting In Worcester, MA | Care2 Share:
    Kids care about the environment too! That was the message of this latest tree planting in Worcester, MA, where American Forests teamed up with Scotties Facial Tissues' Trees Rock campaign and the Worcester Tree Initiative. The planting brought together youth groups from across the community, including local Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops.

    The kids planted 65 trees at a local community college campus, and learned about the importance of trees to an urban community. The city of Worcester has learned firsthand how vital trees can be, as the Asian longhorned beetle recently decimated their own urban forest cover. This planting is part of an overall effort to re-tree the city and restore their urban tree canopy.

    Friday, October 29, 2010

    City tree canopy to spread - Hagerstown, MD

    Maryland: Hagerstown City Council briefs
    The City of Hagerstown will continue increasing its tree canopy in 2011 thanks to a grant from the Chesapeake Bay Trust.

    Hagerstown was awarded a second $35,000 Urban Greening Grant from the trust to plant trees in the city. It received $35,000 from the trust in 2009, which by the end of the year will have allowed the city to plant 250 new trees this year.

    City to enlist aid of 'tree advocates' - Charlottesville, VA

    City to enlist aid of 'tree advocates' | Daily Progress:
    Charlottesville could soon organize a group of “tree advocates” tasked with keeping a watchful eye on the city’s foliage, officials say.

    “That’s really what they do in other communities,” Jim Tolbert, Charlottesville’s director of Neighborhood Development Services, said of having a tree commission in Charlottesville.

    City councilors have shown support for establishing such a group, with Mayor Dave Norris saying to city staff last week that the council was giving a “big thumbs up” to the idea. Tasks for the potential commission could include serving in an advisory capacity to the Planning Commission, the City Council and city departments, recommending ordinances related to tree care and establishing guidelines for tree preservation in the city.

    Monday, October 25, 2010

    Seattle's proposed tree rules prompt opposition - Seattle, WA

    Seattle's proposed tree rules prompt opposition:
    Towering Douglas Firs and lush urban parks helped earned Seattle the nickname Emerald City, so it's not surprising that felling a tree can prompt heated responses.

    A judge was fined $500,000 for cutting down more than 120 cherry and maple trees in a city park for better views, and residents fought for years to save a mature grove of 100 Douglas firs from being cleared for development.

    Tree lovers are now fighting proposed city rules that would remove current protections for large, exceptional trees, and do not include a requirement that property owners get a permit to remove a tree.

    Safeway Apologizes for Gingko Massacre

    Courtesy of
    Safeway Apologizes for Gingko Massacre
    A couple of days ago, someone tweeted a picture of a denuded ginkgo tree in front of the Corcoran Street Safeway. Local ANC Commissioner Bob Meehanquickly sounded the alarm on local listserves, accusing Safeway of hacking the tree’s limbs in order to allow passersby to better see Safeway’s sign. “This tree anchors this block’s ginko canopy on the North side that is about to turn a gorgeous yellow, for which this block is famous and beloved,” Meehan huffed. “We on the 1700 block of Corcoran are outraged by this callous destruction of the street’s beauty and the city’s tree canopy.

    Gaps and All, One Maple Makes It Autumn - Dannebrog, NE

    Gaps and All, One Maple Makes It Autumn | Daily Yonder | Keep It Rural:
    In Dannebrog, Nebraska, a town close to my farm, there is a maple tree just down the street east of the bank and the hardware store. Each fall that tree explodes into the most exquisitely formed, flamboyantly iridescent blast of color that has ever been seen around Nebraska. Admittedly, there may be ten thousand trees on Lake Otsego or in Brown County, Indiana, each of which is more beautiful than the Dannebrog tree, but in Nebraska where there are so few trees and where there are so few varieties of trees, this tree is awesome in its splendor. I cannot adequately describe the beauty of that tree…

    You can Grow Home again - Baltimore, MD

    Garden Variety: You can Grow Home again - Mid-Atlantic gardening: Tips and pictures on flowers, vegetables, public gardens, composting and farmers’ markets -
    Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Baltimore County Executive Jim Smith teamed up to plant trees along Chesley Avenue in Overlea Thursday as part of the Growing Home Campaign to plant more trees.

    The city and the county, as well as watershed and community organizations, are cooperating in an effort to expand the region's tree canopy and, therefore, improve water quality in urban areas.

    Since Growing Home began in 2006 more than 7,000 grees have been planted. And there are $10 money-off coupons available to homeowners who purchased trees worth $25 or more at particpating retailers.

    Who says it's not easy being green - Pasadena, CA

    Pasadena gets statewide "green" recognition - Pasadena Star-News:
    For the first time, the city has received statewide recognition by the California Chapter of the American Planning Association for its Green City Indicators Report.
    The report tracks how Pasadena is achieving its 21 environmental stewardship goals across seven urban themes: energy, waste reduction, urban design, urban nature, transportation, environmental health and water.

    Meet the (Ips) beetles - Carrboro, NC

    What’s killing our pines? � The Carrboro Citizen:
    Dead pines throughout our community are easy to spot. Isolated single specimens or groups of two or three pines lend a copper-brown color to the green tree canopy.
    The deaths of isolated small groups of trees are most likely the result of Ips engraver beetles. There are three species, the small Ips, the medium Ips and the one we most likely have, the large Ips.

    Friday, October 22, 2010

    Swords into Plowshares, or Carpet Bombing into Tree Planting

    Old Military Planes Could Drop 900,000 Tree-Bombs a Day : TreeHugger:
    Planes once used to drop landmines retrofitted to drop tree-mines
    See, it turns out that there are all these military planes just idling in hangars across the world -- they were designed to drop landmines en masse in enemy territory, but now they're just collecting rust. There are some 2,500 of these planes in 70 different countries, and it turns out they make for ideal tree-bombers.

    Thursday, October 21, 2010

    Free trees for residents seen as key in 30% tree canopy strategy - Seattle, WA

    Free trees for Ballard residents � My Ballard:
    Ballard residents can get free trees through the city’s Trees for Neighborhoods program to help the city expand its tree canopy.

    The city wants to expand the tree cover in Seattle from 23 percent to 30 percent. Because more than 85 percent of the land is privately owned, they’re asking residents to help reach their goal by planting trees in their yard.

    For tree lovers, the last few weeks have been painful as mounds of sawdust have piled up - Lancaster, PA

    Lancaster city forced to cut trees - News:
    Lancaster, perennially named a Tree City USA, has looked more like stump city in recent weeks.
    The city has cut down 26 mature trees in high-profile downtown locations.
    More old trees along streets have been toppled by chain saws over the past year after a tree-by-tree inspection to find dying or diseased trees.
    The trees most recently taken down were damaged by a mixture of street paving and sidewalk improvements, along with disease, drought and storms.
    All the trees, however, will be replaced with a variety of new trees, city officials say.

    Wednesday, October 20, 2010

    To-do list: Plant a tree - Fort Wayne, IN

    To-do list: Plant a tree | The Journal Gazette | Fort Wayne, IN:
    Organizers of the Great Tree Canopy Comeback are looking for volunteers to plant trees Nov. 6.

    More than 200 trees will be planted in about an hour by community volunteers in Fort Wayne, New Haven and Allen County.

    The planting begins at 10 a.m., regardless of the weather.

    Holes will already be dug, but volunteers should bring their own shovels for planting. Oh, and don’t forget gloves.

    Volunteers are also encouraged to bring a bag lunch and hang out after the planting is done.

    AZ State Forester announces 16 Community Challenge grant awards

    Acting Arizona State Forester, Scott Hunt is pleased to announce the award
    of 16 federally funded grants. These grants are funded through the U.S.
    Forest Service and will benefit the community forestry program
    in Arizona. Organizations and city governments in 10 Arizona communities
    will match the funds for tree planting, care and maintenance, and educational
    All projects selected to receive grants are to help people understand the value
    of urban and community forests and help build cooperation in the care of
    Arizona’s urban natural resources.
    Recipients of the 2010 grants were selected from applications received from
    communities and organizations in a competitive process based on standards
    developed by the Arizona State Forestry Division - Urban & Community
    Forestry .

    Tuesday, October 19, 2010

    Tree canopy effort gets EPA environmental justice grant - Lawrence, MA

    10/18/2010: Ten New England Community-Based Nonprofits Receive EPA Grants to Help Reduce Environmental Risks:
    The GreenStreets tree planting program works to increase vital tree cover in a sustainable manner in low-income urban environments. The program is designed to increase Lawrence’s urban tree canopy by placing a particular emphasis on institutionalizing setback tree planting efforts in affordable housing and first-time homebuyer programs and developing urban tree stewards to ensure proper maintenance and care.

    Canopy clearing deemed a threat to spotted owls - Eugene, OR

    Courthouse News Service:
    A federal plan to clear 85 percent of the canopy from 149 acres of old-growth forest would hurt northern spotted owls and the red tree voles they eat, environmentalists claim in Federal Court. Cascadia Wildlands and Oregon Wild say the U.S. Forest Service needs to do a new environmental assessment for the Trapper Timber Sale in Willamette National Forest.

    Monday, October 18, 2010

    The Park People's Mile High Tree Champions debuts - Denver, CO

    The Park People's Mile High Tree Champions debuts > Nonprofit > Stories > Denver >
    Seven Denver-based companies are the first to support The Park People's new Mile High Tree Champions Program, an innovative project that encourages companies to help increase Denver's green canopy through one or more customized employee tree planting days.

    Mile High Tree Champions is a turn-key volunteer program for businesses looking for an environmentally focused event. Companies can schedule a customized half-day event for smaller groups up to 25 and larger groups up to 50.

    Trees under threat - deer, voles and bugs - oh my! - Frederick, MD

    Trees face threats from above, below - The Frederick News-Post Online
    It's not easy to be a tree these days.
    Deer, voles, mice and now Asian pests threaten the tree canopies we've been trying so hard to replenish in the past 20 years.
    A group of foresters meeting Thursday at the Bishop Claggett Center in Buckeystown discussed the problem, which is expected to get worse. The Maryland-Delaware chapter of the Society of American Foresters had its fall meeting at the center to discuss the latest challenges facing forestry.

    Live music, chili cook-off, and Arbor Day celebration sounds like a winner - Austin, TX

    City of Austin, Texas will be celebrating Arbor Day on October 23rd:
    The Parks and Recreation Department will be celebrating Arbor Day on October 23rd, at Longhorn Shores across from Krieg Fields Softball Complex on Pleasant Valley Road.

    The Parks and Recreation Urban Forestry Program, The Town Lake Trail Foundation, Austin Energy and 100 volunteers will be planting 180 trees. This Arbor Day tree planting will enhance Austin’s urban tree canopy and will enhance the quality of life for future generations. The celebration will include a “best of chili” competition and live music. The program is scheduled to start at 9:00 a.m. and festivities will run through 1:30 p.m.

    Vote for me and I'll get you a tree? Part 2 - Guelph, Ontario, Canada

    Guelph Urban Forest Friends — Questions for Candidates � Ward 2 Guelph:
    Guelph Urban Forest Friends is a local group that advocates for better protection of urban trees and canopy. We make delegations to City Council, hold events to raise awareness about the importance of urban trees, and distribute information about the many benefits of trees, and the threats to trees, through our web site.

    We have serious concerns about the continued loss of mature trees in our City and hear frequently from upset residents about tree removals. We are submitting these questions to candidates for City Council and respectfully request your response by October 18th. The responses we receive will be posted on our web site and e-mailed to our list of 500 supporters.

    Vote for me and I'll get you a tree? Toronto, Canada

    Cullen: Mayoral candidates speak out on green issues -
    Whether we like it or not, the truth is that we elected a “green” mayor in David Miller and we gave him a mandate to move the City of Toronto in the direction of a more environmentally responsible model. The results included a new green roof bylaw, a beefed up tree planting and maintenance budget and a growing number of community gardens and allotment gardens among other things of a green nature.

    I solicited the top four candidates for mayor and received three responses. Rob Ford did not reply. Here is a summary of the results.

    Growing tree canopy cover in Southie - Boston, MA

    How We Are Going To Reforest South Boston | The Hutan Project:
    UTC stands for Urban Tree Canopy. As you can see, relative to other neighborhoods, Southie’s tree cover is pretty small. The silver lining here is that South Boston also has the highest potential for increasing its canopy of any neighborhood. Before we get too excited, let’s check what UEI says about the possible additional tree cover:

    Wednesday, October 13, 2010

    Historic Commission upset at utility "hack" job in historic district - New Braunfels, TX

    share New Braunfels Historic Landmark Commission members showed their displeasure with tree trimmers during their monthly meeting Tuesday and called for a formal protest against New Braunfels Utilities.
    Meeting at the Municipal Building on Castell Avenue, the members were upset with NBU for allowing a crew of tree trimmers to hack away at the tree canopy along Academy Avenue in the city’s historic district.

    Polar Bears International commits $30,000 to urban tree canopy efforts - Sparta, WI

    Polar Bears International commits $30,000 to efforts in Wis. - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports:
    Polar Bears International, a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving arctic sea ice, has announced $30,000 in donations to support tree planting in the city of Sparta and the Juneau county forest.

    These two projects come as part of a 2008 pact between Polar Bears International and the state Department of Natural Resources that launched a 10-year effort to encourage Wisconsin residents to plant and care for trees on their land and in their communities.

    Monday, October 11, 2010

    Mapping project aims to increase Virginia’s urban tree canopy

    Mapping project aims to increase Virginia’s urban tree canopy | Virginia Tech Home | Virginia Tech:
    The term “urban forest” may sound like an oxymoron to some, but to Virginia Tech Forestry Professor Randolph Wynne and Associate Professor John McGee it represents an indispensable community resource. Wynne and McGee are leading an urban tree canopy mapping project for the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation, a part of the College of Natural Resources and Environment.

    Friday, October 8, 2010

    WBJ: Report says undergrounding lines may not be worth it - but is that really what it said? - Washington, DC

    Report: Undergrounding lines may not be worth it - Washington Business Journal:
    Burying every overhead utility line in the District would cost almost as much as building rail to Dulles, but the work itself would disrupt commerce and the benefits — mostly aesthetic — are not worth the hassle, a recent study found.

    Power outages in Pepco’s D.C. and Maryland service areas were big news over the summer, as many businesses went days without electricity after big storms blew through. The call for “undergrounding” has grown, but a report from Baton Rouge, La.-based Shaw Consultants International Inc., the subject of a Sept. 30 public hearing before a D.C. Council committee, found that burying power lines is a complicated, expensive proposition, and a jurisdiction’s strategy must depend heavily on its priority: reliability or aesthetics.

    Grants fund a study of county tree canopy - Manatee County, FL

    Grants fund a study of county tree canopy |
    With money from the Florida Urban and Community Forestry Grant Program and Keep Manatee Beautiful, a tree canopy study of Manatee County was conducted over the summer.

    These funds were made available to organizations and municipalities to develop or enhance their urban and community forestry programs. With the $10,000 forestry grant and $10,000 from Keep Manatee Beautiful, Manatee County and local municipalities were able to get a precise percentage of and benefits provided by trees in the county.

    Thursday, October 7, 2010

    Clare Rennie receives 2010 Watershed Award from GRCA - Guelph, Canada

    Daily Exchange:
    Clare Rennie, the quiet leader behind the Guelph Rotary Forest, grew up on a farm with lots of bush where his appreciation of trees began.

    “I’ve had an interest in the environment all my life,” Rennie says.

    The Guelph Rotary Forest will see 60,000 trees planted by thousands of community volunteers by 2020, creating a 40-hectare forest on the outskirts of the city. The Rotary Club of Guelph is also committed to help bring the urban tree canopy up to 40 per cent from the current 27.5 per cent by 2020, which is also the 100th anniversary of its founding. For his work on this project, Rennie has received a 2010 Grand River Watershed Award given to organizations and individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to conservation.

    City crews to plant trees in 2 locations - Watertown, NY

    Watertown Daily Times | City crews to plant trees in 2 locations:
    As Watertown's tree canopy starts showing its fall colors, city planner Michael A. Lumbis is looking to keep the tree-planting program this year, even with a smaller budget.

    Tree Watertown, the city's tree-advisory board, sought grants this summer and will continue working with the Noon Rotary Club to keep up plantings during the fall and spring.

    'We're going to take a two-prong approach at it this year,' Mr. Lumbis said.

    On Nov. 6, the group will plant 10 trees around the Lucy A. Colello Playground at Sherman Elementary School, with help from members of Noon Rotary Club.

    Saturday, October 2, 2010

    Real Estate Firm Gives Take on New Portland Area Tree Rules - Clackamas County, OR.

    Clackamas Real Estate Insider: Clackamas County Limits Clear-Cutting of Urban Forests | Everything. Portland. Real Estate. Blog.
    New construction is great – of course we think so, we’re in the real estate business – but it’s not great when development goes forward at the expense of natural wildlife and Oregon’s unique environmental character. We live here because we love the land, the beauty of the trees and mountains, and we want the Oregonians of the future to be able to enjoy our natural world as much as we are able to. We’ve got the insider scoop on new construction and Clackamas County homes that value the nature around them – contact us at the McDonald Group Realtors for more information about eco-friendly constructions, green homes for sale in Portland, and sustainable new development throughout the Portland metro area.

    Forest Releaf of Missouri celebrates donation of 100,000th tree since 1993

    Forest Releaf celebrates donation of 100,000th tree | St. Louis Globe-Democrat:
    Forest ReLeaf of Missouri was joined by hundreds of friends and supporters at a ceremony awarding its 100,000th tree to the Grace Hill Settlement House. Since 1993, the St. Louis-based Forest ReLeaf has worked with corporations, businesses, nonprofit organizations, government partners and thousands of volunteers to promote the planting and caring for our state’s trees and forests, particularly those in urban areas.

    Friday, October 1, 2010

    Casey Trees Provides Planting Plan and Trees for D.C.’s First Affordable Housing Community with Geothermal Energy - Washington, DC

    D.C.’s First Affordable Housing Community with Geothermal Energy:
    Green Apartments and Green Opportunities Center in Washington Highlands Neighborhood Serve as National Model for Sustainable Development

    U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Assistant Secretary for Multi-Family Housing, Carol Galante, joined local residents, Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise) and Community Preservation and Development Corporation (CPDC) to celebrate the green rehabilitation and grand opening of Wheeler Terrace Apartments in Southeast Washington, D.C.

    Casey Trees created a landscaping plan and planted trees with local residents.

    Utility clear cut leaves even conservatives fuming - Roanoke, VA

    Trees coming down for power upgrade -

    Paul Giordano was incensed.

    The Raleigh Court resident had just visited a rental home he owns in the Grandin Court neighborhood, in which he and his wife had lived for many years.

    He couldn't believe his eyes. Spring Road had changed dramatically in less than a week.

    Gone were bunches of big trees and the shade they provided. Some were 60- to 100-foot-tall spruces or pines within pebble-tossing distance of Giordano's property.

    Those trees gave an extra measure of green to streets where the houses are close together.
    In their wake lay 15- and 20-foot sections of 2-foot-wide tree trunks, shorn of limbs, in his neighbors' yards.

    Book says exotic invasives not the bad guys they are made out to be

    books, etc.: Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast: A Field Guide / Peter Del Tredici -- Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2010

    For at least a century, American botanists have raised the alarm over the invasion of non-native plant species. The immigration to North America of people from all over the world has brought with it food crops, ornamental plants, and stow-away seeds that have found a congenial new habitat in the Americas. The primary concern is that these non-native species are sometimes "invasive," meaning they exist without natural predators and therefore spread out of control. Their success crowds out many native species, thus reducing the diversity of the native ecosystem and damaging the health of the environment.

    Despite the apparent threats, Peter Del Tredici, Senior Research Scientist at the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University, is not so alarmed about non-native invasives. Starting from the premise that our native ecosystem has been irreparably transformed by urban development, native species are now as alien to the new urban ecosystem as non-natives. For Del Tredici, the important question in the urban setting is not whether the plant thrived in a by-gone local ecosystem, but whether the plant provides "ecosystem services" that would not otherwise be provided to the city.

    local ecologist: Curating the Urban Cemetery as Bird Habitat

    local ecologist: Curating the Urban Cemetery as Bird Habitat:
    When we think about the urban forest, its street trees and parks that often first pop into mind as prime constituents. But there are other institutional land uses that contribute a great deal of square footage to the urban tree canopy. According to the 1994 study 'Chicago's Urban Forest Ecosystem: Results of the Chicago Urban Forest Climate Project', 49% of Chicago's 4.1 million trees at the time were on institutional land dominated by vegetation. This category includes parks, forest preserves, golf courses, and cemeteries. This study also found that the tree composition throughout Chicago was dominated by the pioneer species green ash (12.9%) and cottonwood (15.8%). While any type of tree canopy might contribute to the infrastructure tree benefits of stormwater retention, air pollution removal, energy reduction, etc. it's habitat value that really suffers from a as a lack of diversity of tree types and sizes. So, if one is going to improve urban forest structural composition, what better place to start than these institutional lands dominated by vegetation? And cemeteries, I think, are one of the most overlooked sources of potential urban habitat.

    RITree Kicks-off Pilot Tree-Planting Program Funded by Stimulus - Warren, RI

    RITree Kicks-off Pilot Tree-Planting Program In Warren - - Providence Business News: Organization to use $20,000 from ARRA grant to plant 100 trees

    The Rhode Island Tree Council (RITree) recently announced that it is embarking on a pilot program in Warren that will not only greatly increase the town’s tree canopy, but also reduce its maintenance and energy costs. Using $20,000 from its Forestry Sustainability Project (FSP) grant, RITree will plant up to 100 trees on private land in Warren free of charge to property owners.

    Op-ed writer lauds council for getting it right on protecting city trees - Charlotte, NC

    The sensible choice: Protecting city trees -
    Since 1985 Charlotte has lost half its tree canopy. That stark fact got short shrift Monday as the Charlotte City Council debated whether to adopt a revised, stronger tree ordinance. In the end, after more than an hour's discussion, the council did the sensible thing, adopting the ordinance 8-3. But that stunning tree loss was the underlying reason the city needed to tighten its tree protections.

    The measure makes many welcome changes. Whether it goes far enough to prevent continuing canopy loss will be a question for the future. For instance, it applies only to commercial and multifamily development, amending an ordinance first adopted in 1978. Residential subdivisions didn't come under tree ordinance protections until 2002. Monday's changes generally don't apply to them.