Wearing masks and keeping a safe distance from one another, the Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards’ potting crew went back to work on Saturday, May 23. They potted, labeled, and inventoried some 150 young trees, including swamp chestnut oaks (Quercus michauxii), eastern redbuds (Cercis canadensis), river birches (Betula nigra), and bristly locusts (Robinia hispida), among others. With these new additions, the CATS nursery on the grounds at the Virginia Department of Forestry now holds some 800 trees. In addition, the volunteers made sure the trees are protected under shade cloth and that they will receive adequate water, thanks to a new hose system and water gauge. When conditions allow, we look forward to making these trees available to the community at the next CATS tree sale.
Keeping a safe distance from one another, a dedicated band of Tree Stewards planted 200 ferns and 100 native pachysandra in Charlottesville’s Greenleaf Park on April 14. The recent spring rains have provided ideal conditions for giving the ferns a strong start.
The project was the latest round of an ongoing effort to restore a riparian area in the Meadow Creek watershed and to make it more attractive to park visitors. Over many months, volunteer crews led by Tree Stewards have removed invasive plants, improved a trail, and rolled in concrete pedestals to provide not only seating but useful information. Each pedestal is being painted with a stenciled label and illustration identifying a fern species; thus far, four have been completed.
Camille Wilson spearheads this project and thanks Toine Wyckoff, Ellen Tully, Robert Orton, Kendra Hall, Pat Punch, Kathy Nepote and Allen Ingling for taking part in the recent planting.
Many Arbor Day 2020 events were cancelled across the Commonwealth due to COVID-19. But Lara Johnson and Molly O’Liddy (the urban and community forestry team at the Virginia Department of Forestry) didn’t want to miss out on celebrating with our community! Join Lara and Molly for a short tour of the native tree arboretum at VDOF’s headquarters office in Charlottesville, VA. For the past six years, VDOF has worked with volunteers from the Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards to plant this arboretum which now includes 35 different native tree species. Some of these trees are highlighted in the video, such as sassafras, silverbell, river birch, and the American chestnut. Lara mentions the trail that encircles the VDOF headquarters where visitors can find many identified trees and habitats; this trail links to the Rivanna Trail around Charlottesville. Molly explains how trees are important for our mental and physical health and gives suggestions on activities that can be undertaken to celebrate trees and Arbor Day.
For more information about the Virginia Department of Forestry, visit: www.dof.virginia.gov. The VDOF headquarters are located at 900 Natural Resources Drive, Charlottesville.