Luckily, EcoAction Arlington is offering free shade trees to Arlington residents twice a year to help stem the tide of decreasing tree canopy.
EcoAction Arlington is giving residents free trees and planting them for free for a reason. Tree canopy in Arlington has declined over the past decades. Ballston and Rosslyn have gotten measurably hotter as a result. The community will feel even greater effects as climate patterns shift. The program was authorized by Arlington County Board in 2007 and is administered by EcoAction Arlington in partnership with the Urban Forestry Commission. The program is 75 percent funded by Arlington County, and supported by donations. More than 2,000 trees have been planted in Arlington since the Tree Canopy Fund was initiated.
EcoAction Arlington gives away between 300 and 500 young trees a year to residents, businesses, and organizations who could show they had a good place to put them on private property. The value of that one tree, planted, is roughly $800. The value of that tree 20 years later when it offers shade, water filtering, and beauty is … immeasurable.
This spring, EcoAction Arlington planted 170 trees: the number depends on demand. EcoAction Arlington paid Davey Trees to plant the trees correctly, since many tree issues stem from incorrect planting. Grants are also available for maintenance of champion trees.
Trees are being cut down left and right in Arlington - some for large McMansions, some for swimming pools. Many trees aren’t being replaced; some because people are scared of large trees falling on their houses, some because some people prefer flowering decorative trees. Crepe myrtle is cheaper and has flowers but is not native. An oak, maple, hickory or black gum has more wildlife value, water filtering value, and grows tall enough to offer shade. Trees, properly placed and cared for, don’t cause damage, they enhance the value of property and community. Environmentalists laud shade trees for their ability to transform carbon, improve the air quality, lower the temperature on city streets and parking lots, and offer mental health benefits. You can’t climb a crepe myrtle, or put a swing on its branches; you can’t put our picnic table under a dogwood and get filtered sunlight.
To apply for a tree to be planted in the Fall 2022, or to donate or volunteer, see: https://www.ecoactionarlington.org/community-programs/trees/