Sunday, August 27, 2006

Tree Relief

Our P Street neighbor, Boris, has been reminding us and others that the prolonged dry spell has seriously stressed the trees that line our streets. He points out that they need to be watered just like our own shrubs and flowers, and if residents don’t do it, no one will.

Ideally, trees need a long, slow soak to allow the water to penetrate deeply into the soil. However, an arborist we consulted recently told us that most trees get the majority of moisture and nutrients from the top 5-6 inches of soils, so even a more superficial watering can help them through a drought. It also helps to remove weeds and grass from around the tree and put down couple of inches of mulch—but keep the mulch away from the tree trunk itself. Here is another source of information about caring for trees.

Boris has constructed a number of brick tree boxes in the 400 block of P and O streets, and has contacted Liz Tylander of DC Greenworks about organizing groups of residents to build new treeboxes and generally care for the street trees. She gave a presentation at the August MVSNA meeting (full account here) about the work of her organization.


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