Tag Archives: Trees for Georgetown

The Morning Metropolitan

Photo by M.V. Jantzen.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:

  • Prolific area photographer, M.V. Jantzen, ran into some overzealous police officer (seen above) at the Merriment in Georgetown.
  • Notice the new trees? Trees for Georgetown had their annual planting last week.
  • New City Sports store open today.


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Standards Set for Tree Boxes Throughout Georgetown

Courtesy of GGW.

There was one more topic from Monday’s ANC meeting that GM forgot to mention in the round up the other day: tree boxes. Besty Emes of Trees for Georgetown appeared along with representatives from Casey Trees and the District Urban Forestry Administration to discuss setting design standards for tree boxes throughout Georgetown.

When tree boxes are designed well, they can be a significant factor in the survival of a tree. What is a well designed tree box? It looks like the photo above. It’s 18″ high, it allows water to flow in and out of the box, and it’s at least a foot from the edge of the curb.

The height part of that can be somewhat controversial. Monday night Tom Birch voiced skepticism with the size of the boxes. In his words, they’re “offputting.” ┬áThe boxes defenders argued that while there is not a scientific certainty that 18″ is the perfect height, experience demonstrates that when the box is roughly that high, far fewer things make their way into the box. The most important things that stay out are dogs, whose “byproducts”, so to speak, are very damaging to trees (including “number one”, which many might not realize hurts trees-in fact it’s probably more harmful than “number two”). Continue reading


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Tree Week: Notable Georgetown Trees

To wrap up Tree Week here at the Georgetown Metropolitan, GM thought he’d highlight some special trees we have around the village.

The P St. Redwoods:

As detailed in a recent CAG newsletter, there are a group of four Chinese dawn redwoods in the backyard of P St. resident Sofia Owen, who planted the trees in the 1960s. Right now the trees are 110 feet tall and are 30 1/2 inches in diameter. In a few thousand years they could be up to 400 feet tall. Would that violate the height act? You’ll just have to live a few dozen centuries to find out… Continue reading

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Tree Week: The Don’ts

Yesterday GM went over all the things you ought to be doing to help out our street trees. Today he’ll take up the slightly less pleasant task of going over all the things people do that they really ought not to.

#1 – Don’t Plant Anything in Tree Boxes Except Trees

Only one living thing should be planted in a tree box, and that’s a tree. This is a controversial point, since people love to plant everything from ivy to annuals to full blown bushes in their tree boxes. But these other plants take water and nutrients away from the tree, particularly young trees who are the most vulnerable.

And the problem can’t necessarily be obviated by simply watering more. In fact, that’s another problem with planting plants like annuals in a tree box. Annuals require a lot of water to survive, a lot more than a tree needs. When you water the annuals enough to keep them alive, you’re probably over-watering the tree.

Once you have a fully mature tree, it is probably less harmful to plant a few plants in the tree box. But really, a tree box is the most healthy when all that you see is thick healthy roots.

#2 – Don’t Use an Illegal Fence

District law has very specific requirements for tree box fences. They must be 18″ tall to prevent tripping. They must allow water to pass under them in order to increase the amount of rainwater being absorbed by the ground not the storm drain. Finally, they must be three sided and set back at least a foot from the edge of the curb.

While boxes like the one at the top of this post are pretty, they’re not permissible. The stones are too low and rainwater will just run around the box. Here are a couple other bad fences or borders on the exact same block: Continue reading


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Tree Week: The Good Work of Trees For Georgetown

Welcome back to day two of Tree Week here at the Georgetown Metropolitan. Today GM would like to spend a little time letting you know of all the good work that Trees For Georgetown does to improve and sustain Georgetown’s vital tree canopy.

As discussed yesterday, Trees For Georgetown was founded in 1989 by a group of four three neighbors concerned about the state of street trees in Georgetown. They were Flo Stone, Outerbridge Horsey and Anne Witherspoon. Eventually Trees For Georgetown merged with the Citizens Association of Georgetown and is now a subcommittee of CAG. But, it should be pointed out that Trees For Georgetown is totally self-financed and no CAG membership dues go towards supporting Trees for Georgetown’s projects.

And what are those projects you ask? Well every year, Trees for Georgetown plants nearly fifty street trees around Georgetown. In the past the organization has tried different methods to accomplish this. For instance, they used to simply pay a commercial nursery to plant the trees. Unfortunately these commercial nurseries were expensive and didn’t really do a good job anyway. Continue reading


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The Morning Metropolitan

Georgetown Waterfront by Vpikering.

Good morning Georgetown, here’s the latest:


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Georgetown’s Elms

Q St. - Georgetown's "Elm Street"

As the fruits of Ginkgogate┬ástill lay festering on our sidewalks, it may be a tad difficult to look up at our trees with much warmth these days. However, many don’t realize that at least one Georgetown street is like an arbor Brigadoon. That’s because despite the wide scale ravages of Dutch Elms Disease, Georgetown still has a decent collection of American Elms. In particular, a walk down Q St. is like a walk back through time.

Find out why after the jump:

Continue reading


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