Street Tree Report (Summer 2022)

Closeup of a Yellowwood tree, blooming for the first time this year, on Elkhart St.

The county arborist has inspected our street tree requests. We will receive 31 new street trees sometime between late fall of this year and spring of 2023. Thirteen of those will be shade trees. You’ll see pink splashes painted on curbs around the neighborhood where the trees will go.

Most species requested were natives. This means we will increase the number of host plants for certain native moths and butterflies, and provide a more welcoming environment for our native birds, who eat the caterpillars of those moths and butterflies, as well as the nuts, nutlets, catkins, seeds, berries, and drupes that the trees provide. The native species will be planted by Casey Trees in conjunction with the county using a grant from the Montgomery County Department of Environmental Protection’s Water Quality Protection Fund, administered through the Chesapeake Bay Trust. The non-natives will be funded and planted in the usual manner by the Montgomery County Department of Transportation tree division.

Most people get their first choice of species. First choices for shade trees this year included blackgums, American elm, a couple of kinds of oaks, American linden (basswood), Lacebark elm, and an American sycamore. First choices for minor trees included crabapples, sweetbay magnolias, redbuds, chokecherries, hophornbeams, a serviceberry, and one or two ornamental (Japanese) cherries.

The county will give us one ornamental native shade tree in the pocket park at Lanier Dr and 3rd Ave, five feet behind the Lanier Dr guardrail. As this is not a priority location, they will use a tree freed up by cancellations, but have tentatively scheduled a blackgum. If that isn’t available, they will pick a native with either flowers or attractive fall foliage. This plan was approved by the neighborhood Community Design committee.

Casey Trees has not yet removed the stakes and straps on the trees they planted in spring 2021 for reasons related to the pilot nature of the project that year. However they will remove them when they take the stakes and straps for trees they planted this past spring.

Finally, some of our Yellowwood street trees bloomed for this first time this year. This is a relatively rare tree and I had never seen it in its full glory. The photo above is a closeup of one on Elkhart St.

— Phyllida Paterson, Tree Committee

New Neighborhood Street Trees

A new street tree on Lanier Dr

Casey Trees was in the neighborhood last month, planting our latest batch of street trees in cooperation with the county, courtesy of a Chesapeake Bay Foundation grant.

You’ll see new trees on 2nd, 3rd, Elkhart, Luzerne, Lanier, Louis, Glen Ross, Glenridge, Hanover, Rookwood, and Stratton. Some less-common species we are getting this year include a black willow on Hanover St and a bald cypress on Glen Ross near the 5-way intersection.

The Tree Committee is starting to collect names for the next round of plantings to go in this fall or next spring. If you want a new street tree or trees and think you have the space, contact the Tree Committee.

Special thanks to Casey Trees and county arborist Jack Pond. Jack inspects, chooses species, and coordinates with Casey Trees. Casey Trees applied for the grant and does the planting.

Seminary Road Intersection Report

by Merrie Blocker, Traffic and Safety Committee

The intersection road changes came to conclusion in record time due to reduced traffic during the last 10 months. A few items remain:

  1. Montgomery County put in wrongly named street signs. On a walk through the intersection, neighborhood representatives and the county agreed on the correct signage, which should be installed in the next few months. Thanks to Gus Bauman for his help on getting the county to focus on this mistake.

  2. The Linden Civic Association and the NWCA worked together to obtain a sidewalk behind Sniders on the south side of Seminary Place. That sidewalk should also be installed in the next few months.

  3. NWCA is following up on county plans for maintaining the new plants and trees placed around the intersection. Phyllida Paterson of our Tree Committee will be working on this.

Street-Tree Report

by Phyllida Paterson, Tree Committee

Montgomery County arborists are partnering with local nonprofit Casey Trees to offer us expedited planting of free street trees in spring 2021. New street trees are planted in the right-of-way at least 25 feet from existing street trees and 10 feet from driveways. If Pepco distribution lines stretch overhead, trees must be “minor,” or small; otherwise they must be “major,” or shade trees.

Homeowners eligible for new trees may choose a first and second choice of species from a fairly broad list, which includes native species and a range of heights within the tree categories.

Since last year, COVID-related budget constraints have limited the tree-planting budget. Usually the county hires contractors to plant our trees. However in 2020, county arborists began partnering with nonprofit Casey Trees, which planted 15 saplings in our neighborhood (four others are pending) at low cost to the government. This arrangement continues in spring 2021. Casey Trees has provided excellent service to NWCA residents who received their trees, and consistently works hard to increase tree canopy throughout the DC area. Please keep Casey Trees in mind if you are donating to environmental causes this year.

If you think you are eligible for one or more new street trees and want to participate in our group request, contact the Tree Committee as soon as possible. Quantities may be limited. If you have a dead or dying street tree, please call 311 to request removal, which will open space for a replacement in the future.