by Marlene Berlin
Spring has finally come, and DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration is planting new street trees. But there was a bit of a hitch on 30th Street.
Back from my walk this past Monday, I saw Denison Nursery putting in redbuds to replace the maple street trees that were chopped down in the fall. The decision to remove the trees, made in consultation with Pepco arborist Jim Nathan, Urban Forestry arborist Vera Ertem and my neighbors, was not an easy one. But the reality of drastic pruning of our maples, which were the wrong trees to be planted under electrical wires, forced that decision. And our bare street was now being dressed with trees that would live in better harmony with the wires above. I went into the house looking forward to seeing our street neatly lined with our baby trees sprouting purple buds.
Not able to keep my curiosity in check for long, I stuck my head out the door about an hour later. To my dismay, I saw the crew removing the trees. I asked the representative of Denison Nursery, a contractor for Urban Forestry, what was going on. She told me that the root balls were bad – dried out. They did not know when they would be back out to replace them, maybe two or three weeks. My hopes for having a tree-lined street in time for Passover were squashed.
Then this past Friday, I pulled up to my house with groceries for our Seder on Saturday (we are flexible about when we have Seder). Urban Forestry’s contractors were back replanting new and healthy redbuds. Vera was out supervising and told me that it had been Earl Eutsler, supervisory forester with DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration, who had caught the bad root balls and made the contractor pull them. This is a big thank you to Earl from the 30th Street neighbors.
Are new trees coming to your street? Adopt one and get a free watering bag.