Tree Care

Partnering with the City

We work with many city agencies, especially the Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) in the Department of Transportation (DDOT). We thank UFA for planting street trees of types to regrow the historic landscape; our goal is for all city and other trees here to grow big and shady.

Useful links about city trees and policy are below. First our news:

City Council must restore slashed tree-planting funds

Though Mayor Murel Bowser has set the goal of expanding the District’s tree canopy, mysterious budget folks in her office proposed a revised budget that would cut funds to the Urban Forestry Administration (UFA) over six years.  Casey Trees and many witnesses testified on April 8, when the City Council’s Committee on Transportation & Environment met to review the Mayor’s budget for the Department of Transportation, UFA’s parent agency.

RMA President Deborah Shapley testified the funds cuts were “plain wrong.” First, because UFA needs to plant many more trees especially in Wards 5, 7, and 8. Second, cutting UFA staff knowledge will hurt the city’s response to new environmental threats to trees. See Shapley City Council testimony 4-8-2016.

Public Space Committee vote preserves views by Norway Embassy

Thousands of people who every day drive, bike or bus through the intersection of Mass Ave and 34th Street, will continue to benefit from the huge historic trees by the Norway Embassy. The DDOT Public Space Committee at its December 17 hearing denied the Embassy’s application for an “overheight” 6 foot. fence The Committee heard testimony from the Urban Forestry Administration and RMA had expressed concerns that the fence would hurt the historic trees. An Office of Planning Report on fence heights along Mass Ave from Dupont Circle to Wisconsin Ave was also cited. See RMA President Deborah Shapley’s testimont and our Tree Care Blog post for detail.

RMA: New zoning regs must protect trees

Too often, innocent trees that happen to stand near a construction project – having minded their own business for, 20, 30 or 50 years — get whacked!  They can be destroyed in just hours by crews taking away “obstacles.” Or trees get wounded, condemned to slow death by mis-shapen leaf crowns and chopped-off roots.

Zoning rules govern building and construction permits throughout Washington. A massive rewrite of DC’s zoning rules from 1958 is under way. On September 15 RMA filed this in the Zoning Commission proceeding. We argue:

With foresight and plans showing which trees will be kept in proposed projects – plans locked into city construction permits and reviewed by city arborists – many trees could be saved.

Download our Eight Recommended Tree Protections in DC Zoning Regulations for RMA’s (brief) bulleted list. It has some policy context, including DC’s canopy loss.

Three Advisory Neighborhood Commissions voted and filed resolutions favoring these tree protections in the new Zoning Regulations: ANC 3C (Mass Ave Heights); ANC 2D (Sheridan Kalorama); and ANC 3B (Glover Park).

We hope other groups will push for zoning rules that preserve DC’s tree canopy to replace rules that allow unnecessary loss.

Useful links