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City Views

City Views presents commentary from staff on the latest projects, initiatives, and successes.

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Mar 16

Trees Soak Up Rainwater

Posted on March 16, 2016 at 11:12 AM by OCOM Specialist

By City Arborist Kate Reich and Seth Heminway (Chair of the NTP Steering Committee and VPIS volunteer)

ProperMulching1Even when they aren't keeping us cool, our shade trees are working hard not only to absorb rainfall through their roots, but their roots are also loosening our compacted clay-rich soil to enable rainfall to soak into the ground. In the City of Falls Church’s highly developed neighborhoods where stormwater run-off is damaging our streams, we need to make sure we save space for trees and take care of our newly planted and mature trees.

An easy way to help your trees stay healthy is by mulching them, which protects their roots from drying out and guards them from injury from lawn care equipment. We recommend a 4” deep ring of ground wood chips or leaf mulch out to the drip line (never pile it against the trunk). As the mulch decomposes it enriches the soil while soaking up yet more moisture like a sponge. As you maintain the trees and shrubs in your yard be sure to leave plenty of low branches to provide cover for birds and other wildlife.

What can you do to help? If you have room on your property or in the City right-of-way within 15 feet of the curb, request your free street tree by completing the request form and submitting it to City Arborist Kate Reich and Seth Heminway. Volunteer to help plant and care for trees.