It’s time again for everybody to help water the District’s most vulnerable asset, young street trees, as they endure another summer. The District Department of Transportation (DDOT) has planted over 7,000 street trees this year that need your help getting established in an intense urban environment.
Through the Canopy Keepers tree adoption program, DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) is asking residents and businesses to adopt trees that were planted in public space within the past three years near home or work. For every young tree adopted through the Canopy Keepers program, DDOT will deliver a free watering bag – a fully-enclosed green Gatorbag© – that wraps around the base of the tree. There is a slit under the tag through which you simply fill the bag once a week with 20 to 25 gallons of water.
“Trees are working 24 hours a day providing services no other infrastructure can,” says UFA Chief Forester John Thomas. “Their shade and aesthetic beauty define much of our city’s character while scrubbing pollution from the air and filtering it before it enters our water. Trees have even been shown to increase retail sales, improve academic performance, and reduce incidents of crime. The city and its residents need to work together to make sure these young trees can thrive to maximize such services to our city.”
For each tree adopted, the individual or organization will receive a free 20-gallon watering bag to use through the season and a card to hang on each tree with the adoptee’s name or organization’s name. Water is filled through a small slit on the side of the bag and slowly drips into the soil where it can penetrate to the roots below. In addition to adoptees’ regular watering, DDOT crews are watering the 7,000 trees planted this year about twice a month when it is dry.
Ways to Adopt Street Trees
DDOT Urban Forestry Administration
Attn: Ian Leahy
55 M Street SE, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20003