If winter has you stuck indoors, here’s an incentive to get outside: The Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department has invited the community to take part in a Photo Safari to seek out the Landmark Trees highlighted on our Notable Trees website. Participants have until February 25 to find and photograph at least seven of the Landmark Trees and to submit their discoveries using the iNaturalist app. All who succeed in completing this expedition will be entered into a raffle to receive the safari’s grand prize, a hammock from Eagles Nest Outfitters. The winner will be announced March 1. In a January 30 editorial, The Daily Progress described the venture as a “cool idea” and added its own mini-challenge: “See if you can find the tree that is the 10th largest of its species in the entire state of Virginia.” Happy hunting!
Charlottesville’s Northeast Park is a small greenspace with a big problem: lots of invasive vines. Mature trees are so entangled with English ivy, honeysuckle and oriental bittersweet that in many cases their ability to photosynthesize has been compromised. On January 18, as part of the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, an intrepid CATS crew put a dint in this problem by clipping vines at the base of trees to free up their canopies. In time, the vines draping the trees will decay and fall away, but they will also grow back. CATS volunteers plan to return to the site, where there is much more work to do. The team included Kathy Nepote, Kay Flanagan, Holly Camp, JoAnn Dalley, Allen Ingling, Camille Wilson and Toine Wyckoff.
On a crisp, sunny day in mid-January, a team of CATS volunteers provided much-needed pruning and TLC to young trees and a handsome row of crape myrtles at Claudius Crozet Park. The pruners removed dead branches, lower limbs that obstructed vehicles and pedestrians, rubbing branches that were damaging tree bark and the vascular system it protects, and weakly attached sprouts and suckers. Led by Kathy Nepote, the work crew included Allen Ingling, Tim Maywalt, Toine Wyckoff, Pat Punch, Barbara White, Martha Orton, Robert Orton and Bill Sublette.