Volunteers plant 300 trees to restore Arlington’s tree canopy

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Arlington County is working to restore its tree canopy. Sometimes it has to call on its volunteers to do the dirty work. 

The Tree Stewards of Arlington and Alexandria are happy to do the job. The group of dedicated volunteers plants trees on public land, educates the community on growing trees, and advocates for green space.

This fall alone, the Tree Stewards has planted about 300 trees. The group planned on planting 900, but the ice and snow in early November steered it a little off track. Arlington County contractors picked up the rest of the job.

Benjamin Banneker Park’s natural habitat was damaged by summer flooding. Now, its empty fields are dotted with new trees. “The idea is to mimic the way a forest would develop, so we’re planting lots of trees as if acorns and seeds and everything else had just fallen and come up naturally,” said Tree Steward Kate Donohue. “And we know that some are going to make it and some aren’t.”

Donohue says Arlington’s tree canopy is at about 40 percent. She calls that “pretty decent.”

The Tree Stewards will continue to prune the trees as they grow.

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