City Promotes Urban Forest

City Promotes Urban Forest

Hunting for a way to cut next year's air conditioning costs after this past summer's record hot temperatures? How about adding trees?

Alexandria's Urban Forestry Steering Committee will hold a tree sale Saturday, Oct. 22, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Fort Ward Park, 4301 West Braddock Road. And they are being offered at prices well below market prices.

Denison Landscaping and Nursery, the nursery that supplies the city's trees, will provide those same varieties for the sale in five gallon containers that are easy to handle and plant. There will also be tree stewards available to consult on tree choices and care.

Varieties will be available in the categories of shade trees, ornamentals and evergreens. With the purchase 10 or more trees to be planted on one site, assistance may be requested for an additional fee.

"We want Alexandria to be clean, green and quiet. To that end we are trying to get more trees on private property," said John Komoroske, chair, Urban Forestry Steering Committee.

"The city is getting no monetary benefit from this effort. It is getting a more beautiful, cleaner and greener city," he said.

Residents can reserve trees before the sale; call the Alexandria Department of Recreation, Parks and Cultural Activities at 703-838-5040, Ext. 451, or e-mail by Oct. 19. Reserved trees that are not picked up by 10 a.m. the day of the sale will be released for sale.

Established by the city manager at the request of City Council in 2004, the Urban Forestry Steering Committee is developing a plan for the management of Alexandria's urban forest, according to Komoroske. The committee has contracted with Davey Resource Group to assist in preparing that plan.

Even before the plan is written, the committee agreed that it will encourage the planting of more trees on private property via the tree sale. UFSC will also be consulting with Alexandria's myriad civic associations to get their input on where public trees should be placed in their neighborhoods.