Trees Virginia champions an improved community environment by stimulating public awareness of the value of community forests and trees, facilitating urban forestry education, and promoting programs to support urban forestry activities. 

This Annual Report from Trees Virginia covers from January 2016 to June 2017

Academic Scholarships

During this reporting period, Trees Virginia awarded $8,000 in Undergraduate and Graduate scholarships.   

Community College scholarship recipient

• Chrystal Hillary, Northern Virginia Community College, A. A. S. Horticulture (2017)

Undergraduate scholarship recipients

• Holly Waterman, Virginia Tech, B. L. A. Landscape Architecture (2017)

• Michael Webb, Virginia Tech B.S. Forestry, Urban Forestry Option (2016)

• Jillian Miller, Virginia Tech, Landscape Architecture (2016)

Graduate scholarship recipients

• Cody Kiefer, Virginia Tech, Ph. D. Urban Forestry (2017)

• Fran de la Mota, Virginia Tech, Ph. D. Urban Horticulture (2016) 

Trees Virginia Workshops

Trees Virginia held three workshops to provide education on urban forestry and tree care to hundreds of professionals, volunteers, and other community members.

• The Risky Business of Trees (March 2016, Roanoke, 137 attendees) 

• Reveling in the Magnificence of Trees (September 2016, Waynesboro, 250 attendees)

• Canopy Counts (March 2017, Roanoke, 110 attendees) 

Urban Forestry Roundtables

Trees Virginia held seven roundtables to promote understanding of specific urban forestry topics. 

Northern Virginia Urban Forestry Roundtables

• Building Better Urban Soils: Soil Amendments (February 2016, 75 attendees)

• Sustainable SITES Initiative: A New Tool for Urban Forestry? (May 2016, ~45 attendees)
• Forest Health Challenges: Locality Planning and Response (August 2016)

• Homeowners’ Associations: Strategies to Increase Tree Canopy (December 2016)

• Undergrounding Utilities When Preserving Trees – Above is Possible (February 2017, 49 attendees) 

Hampton Roads Urban Forestry Roundtables

• Creating Tree Trails to Promote Urban Forestry (October 2016, 20 attendees)

• How Much is Enough?  Achieving Urban Forestry Canopy Goals (June 2017, 33 attendees) 

Big Tree Interns

Trees Virginia supported the work of two interns for the Virginia Big Tree Program. 

The 2016 Virginia Big Tree Program Intern was Alexandria Cassell, a double major student in the Environmental Resources and Environmental Informatics programs at Virginia Tech.  Alexandria assisted the Big Tree Program coordinator in managing the Big Tree Register and recertifying trees throughout the state.  Alexandria worked with volunteers to recertify 136 trees on the current big tree list (all big trees need to be recertified every 10 years) and also managed the process of certifying 45 new tree nominations. 

David Formella (2017 Big Tree Intern) is a Natural Resources Conservation major in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech.  He is also a Marine option midshipman at VT, on track to commission into the United States Marine Corps as an officer in 2019.  As part of his Big Tree internship, he measured newly nominated trees and led efforts to re-measure the 195 big trees due for recertification. 
Tree Stewards

• Trees Virginia supports Tree Stewards, volunteers providing education and tree care in their communities.  There are more than 475 Tree Steward volunteers in a dozen different groups across Virginia, and they have completed more than 13,000 hours of service to benefit urban forests.

• The Front Royal/Warren County, Fredericksburg, Peninsula, Richmond, Arlington & Alexandria, Charlottesville Area, Central Rappahannock Area, Roanoke and Jamestown Tree Stewards groups were awarded $4,900 in Mini-Grants to support volunteers in providing education and tree care in their communities around the Commonwealth.  Tree Stewards volunteers used the funds to purchase tools for tree care, safety equipment, trees for planting projects, and interpretive display signs for educational projects.  

Trees Virginia also:

• Provided scholarships to professionals to attend the Society of Municipal Arborist’s Municipal Forestry Institute, covering the full cost of their registrations.  Recipients included:

  • Nick Drunasky (of Fairfax County)
  • Alexander J. (A. J.) Elton (of Richmond)
  • Rachel Griesmar-Zakhar (of Fairfax)
  • Continued fundraising for the Bonnie Appleton Memorial Fund
  • Provided funds to communities to plant Arbor Day Trees, reimbursing up to $100 for the cost of a tree.  The 2016 Arbor Day Communities were the Town of Luray, City of Fairfax, Town of Vinton, Town of Ashland, Town of Buchanan, City of Waynesboro.  The 2017 Arbor Day Communities included the Town of Appomattox, Town of Abingdon, Town of Marion, City of Waynesboro, Friends of Reston, Town of Vinton, Town of Luray, and City of Lexington

In 2011, the City of Richmond and Capital Trees formed a public/private partnership and transformed a city gateway paved in  concrete  into an inviting green passageway that cools the urban core,  cleans the urban air, and reduces pollutants from the stormwater flowing into  the James River.

Capital Trees was born when four Richmond area garden clubs assembled a team in 2009 to study the environmental benefits of urban landscapes and identify areas in which the clubs could enhance Richmond’s urban environment. Noting the site’s barren landscape and steep slope toward the river, Capital Trees and city officials selected the 14th Street corridor as a pilot project for collaboration in 2010. The area is a center of local and state government, tourism and entertainment and serves as a primary route for pedestrians and vehicles.

14th Street During ProjectPhase I enhancements, from Main Street to Bank Street, were completed in the fall of 2011. Contractors hauled away tons of concrete from the median and the east and west passageways.  Dead and dying street trees were removed from inadequately sized tree wells. On the east side of the block, contractors installed bio-retention planters bound by root barrier walls to capture  stormwater runoff that previously flowed down the street and into the city’s combined sewer outfalls.  The tree planters now serve as detention and treatment facilities, removing phosphorous, nitrogen and sediment prior to release.   The west and median tree wells were expanded and Swamp White Oaks (Quercus bicolor) and Ginkgos  (Ginkgo biloba ‘Princeton Sentry’) now line both sides of the street and the median,  forming a beautiful double allee. The bio-retention planters, filled with a mix of 85% sand, 10% soil and 5% leaf compost, are under-planted with native Blue Flag Iris (Iris versiclolor) and Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum). 

14th Street BeforeIn the recently completed second phase, from Bank Street north to Broad Street, London Plane Trees (Platanus x acerifolia) were planted in expanded tree wells with  structured soils along the west side. A continuous planting of Ginkgoes has replaced the monolithic concrete median, visually tying the two blocks together. Low-impact development  storm water facilities, similar to the Phase I planters, run along the eastern curb line. 

Pedestrian lighting, improved sidewalks and educational signage completed the transformation of upper 14th Street. In addition to the tremendous aesthetic impact the plantings have had, the storm water facilities are providing much needed reduction in phosphorous loads (25-35%) and peak flow runoff (50%) to Richmond’s combined sewer outfalls. 

The success of the 14th Street project fostered a successful partnership between the city and Capital Trees, and has led to additional collaborations, including the renovation of Great Shiplock Park and the recently completed Low Line Gardens along the James River And Kanawha Canal and the Virginia Capital Trail in Shockoe Bottom. Capital Trees is now an independent 501(c)3 organization, with continuing support from the garden clubs, but also representation by leaders in Richmond’s civic, environmental, corporate, and creative communities. Capital Trees continues to work with city officials, local environmental groups, and corporate and private donors to envision, fund and implement projects that enhance the aesthetic and environmental health of Richmond.

Did You Know:

  • Most tree roots are in the top 12 inches of soil.

  • A mature tree removes almost 70 times more pollution than a newly planted tree.

  • Trees are the largest living organisms on earth: some coastal redwoods are more than 360 feet tall.

  • In one day, one large tree can lift up to 100 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air.

  • Trees properly placed around buildings can reduce air conditioning needs by 30 percent and save 20-50 percent in heating energy.

  • Most trees do not have a tap root.

  • A birdhouse hung on a young tree branch, does not move up the tree as the tree grows.

  • Every state has an official State Tree. Virginia adopted the flowering dogwood Cornaceae Cornus florida as the State Tree on February 24, 1956.  The dogwood is well distributed throughout the...

  • One large tree can provide a supply of oxygen for two people.

  • Trees are some of the oldest living organisms on earth: some bristle-cone pines are thought to be more than 5000 years old.

  • Well-maintained trees and shrubs can increase property value by up to 14%.

Contact Trees Virginia

(434) 295 6401

900 Natural Resources Drive, Ste 800
Charlottesville, VA 22903

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Upcoming Events

Board of Directors Meeting
11-29-2017 10:00 am
Category:  Free

Our Partners

American Grove     Virginia Department of Forestry     Mid-Atlantic Chapter International Society of Arboriculture