Arlington has more than 750,000 trees of at least 122 species that provide $6.89 million in environmental benefits to the County annually in the form of pollution removal, carbon storage, energy savings, and avoided stormwater runoff. The Arlington County Board will designate 24 of these trees as Notable Trees at its April 25 Recessed Meeting. The meeting begins at 3 p.m.
“Trees are a hot topic around the nation and here in Arlington,” Arlington County Board Chair Christian Dorsey said. “Arlington’s trees reduce about 10.7 million cubic feet of storm and floodwater runoff a year – enough to fill 122 Olympic-sized pools. Our goal is to build support for trees through recognizing them, planting them and helping people care for them. The Notable Trees program is one way we recognize these important natural resources, and the people who are their stewards.”
Arlington’s Notable Trees
Since 1987, people have been nominating local trees for the Notable Tree designation based on criteria that include size, age, species or historical or community significance.
More than 350 trees have been recognized. Tree Steward John Wingard has been coordinating this program since 2009, identifying and nominating many of the trees that have been recognized.
The Notable Tree program is just one of several programs Arlington has developed to support trees, a key natural resource that has been in gradual decline. Arlington’s tree canopy has declined from 43 percent in 2008 to 41 percent in 2016. Tree Canopy is the term used to reflect the layer of leaves, branches and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above and is a common measure of forest success. Arlington seeks to encourage and promote pride and conservation with its tree programs.
Although the “Notable Tree” designation does not give Arlington County any authority over trees on private property, they may be included in future civic association and neighborhood walking tours. Arlington’s goal is to plant as many trees as appropriate on public land and to encourage the community to plant trees on private land.
Arbor Day Tree Planting
Join us for an Arbor Day celebration on May 3 at Campbell Elementary School. The Virginia Department of Forestry will officially award Arlington its 23rd consecutive Tree City USA designation at the event. The designation is based on four core standards of tree stewardship. The multigenerational celebration will also feature student activities, a tree planting ceremony and an official Arbor Day Proclamation.
“Each time we plant trees, and take good care of them, we are giving a gift to future generations, a gift that will provide beauty and make our environment and our lives healthier,” Dorsey said.
And consider becoming a Tree Steward. All it takes is a love of trees and a desire to get involved.