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Weekly Tree Watering Alerts Aim to Keep District’s Trees Alive | Environment

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Weekly Tree Watering Alerts Aim to Keep District’s Trees Alive


From Jared Powell: Abnormally dry weather conditions are putting the District’s trees at risk. In response, Casey Trees will begin issuing its weekly watering alerts today to encourage residents and businesses to ensure trees that have been in the ground less than three years receive 25 gallons of water — equivalent to roughly 1.5 inches of rain — a week to establish their roots and survive severe summer conditions. 


Each Monday, Casey Trees will post watering recommendations on its website’s homepage and Facebook and Twitter accounts. Precipitation and streamflow data determine the conditions — Dry, Normal or Wet — and the associated watering recommendation — Water, Additional Watering Optional or No Additional Watering Needed, respectively. 


The weekly alerts are part of Casey Trees’ annual 25 to Stay Alive campaign, which aims to educate residents of the importance of watering trees, demonstrate proper water techniques and provide supplies to make watering easier and generate less wasteful runoff. 


Residents can also determine when to water their trees by tracking weekly rainfall totals. If less than 1.5 inches of rain falls over the course of a week, individuals should water their trees the recommended 25 gallons of water. Casey Trees provides complimentary rain gauges to individuals who sign the 25 to Stay Alive Tree Watering Pledge and live within 25 miles of the District.


Residents and businesses can also “adopt” newly planted street trees through the Urban Forestry Administration’s (UFA) — the entity charged with planting and maintaining street trees in the District — Canopy Keeper program. Canopy Keepers pledge to water, mulch and weed trees for two years after planting and receive a free slow-drip watering device to help them water. 


To help make watering trees more efficient and prevent water runoff, Casey Trees recommends individuals install slow-release watering devises, such as Ooze Tubes, that hold 25 gallons of water and apply mulch around the base of trees. Ooze Tubes© are available through Casey Trees for a donation of $11 per device and must be picked up from its Brookland office location during normal business hours. Mulch application and tree watering and care tips can be found at www.caseytrees.org/treecare.