Tree in Trouble? Call 311



About three weeks ago, GM started to notice that the leaves at the top of the great tall sugar maple outside his home started to change. Late July is way too early for that. GM thoughts immediately went to the worst case scenario: maple decline.

It’s not overstating it to say that GM took this news only slightly less hard than if he learned a family member was sick. The tree provides beautiful dappled shade all summer long and cools the whole front of GM’s house.

Resolving to at least try to do something, GM reached out to Betsy Emes of Trees for Georgetown. Emes told him the best thing is to call 311 (or better yet, do it online) and request a tree pruning. She also instructed GM to specifically mention Trees For Georgetown.

It was only two business days later that GM got a voice message from a specialist at the Urban Forestry Administration. He was on the block and looking at the tree. He believed it was looking healthy and didn’t need any pruning at all. Apparently the early color change wasn’t too alarming for him.

What’s better, the specialist noticed that the Norway maple across the street (a species sometimes called “eurotrash”) really needed a heavy pruning. He put in a request for that and then closed out GM’s 311 request.

Will the sugar maple survive? Who knows. But the good news is that if you see a tree ailing on your street (particularly one with visibly dead branches) take a few minutes and put in a pruning request through 311. As GM experienced, they respond right away! You might save the tree, or at least help prevent a potentially dangerous accident if the dead branch were to fall.

Oh and by the way: despite the rain last night, notice that GM has switched the badge up on the right. You should probably water any young trees you care for this week.


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