For Immediate Release
Monday, March 17, 2008
Contact: Jamie Bartalon 703-228-7747 (voice) (TTY)
VIDEO EXTRA (3 mins): Click on the video below to hear County naturalist Greg Zell talk about the specimen tree program, highlighting one of his favorite Arilngton trees. Resident Carol Cochran also talks about the designated specimen tree on her family's property.
ARLINGTON, VA – The Arlington County Board recognized 10 trees in Arlington as “specimen trees” at its March 15 regular meeting. This designation, provided through the County’s Tree Preservation Ordinance, helps protect trees on public and private properties from removal or injury.
These 10 trees are part of the County’s goals for a robust and growing tree canopy that not only helps Arlington's aesthetics, but also the health of the environment. Nine trees were on public property and one is on private property. Most of them were documented as part of the Natural Heritage Resource Inventory Project and are currently designated as “Champion Trees” through Arlington County’s new Champion Tree Program.
“Protecting trees like these shows Arlington’s commitment to the environment and to nurturing a healthy urban forest that makes our community a more livable place,” says County Board Chairman J. Walter Tejada.
The tree located on private property was nominated by the property owners. “Protecting our tree means a lot to me,” said Carol Cochran, an Arlington resident who had her tree designated. “And it means a lot to the environment too.”
Mrs. Cochran stands next to her massive White Oak, the only privately owned tree recently designated as a specimen tree. It has a 16-foot circumference, is 75 feet tall, and has a crown spread of 92+ feet.
VIDEO (3 mins): Hear County naturalist talk about the specimen tree program, highlighting one of his favorite trees. Resident Carol Cochran also talks about the designated specimen tree on their property.
Arlington has a number of programs to recognize and nurture trees, including the Champion Tree program that recognizes the largest trees of a species within the County. Currently there are over 85 Champion Trees in Arlington, of which 36 are the first, second or third largest in the state. Arlington’s Notable Tree program also recognizes trees the community deems significant. About 170 trees have been identified as notable for their size and condition.
More resources related to trees:
Since the 1970s, Arlington County has lost a significant amount of its tree canopy, with formerly densely forested areas experiencing the most loss. An estimated 3,000-plus acres in Arlington have been converted from “heavy” tree cover (over 50 percent canopy) to “low” tree cover (less than 20 percent canopy) during the past three decades. This loss of tree canopy has occurred primarily on private properties.
Arlington has an aggressive tree-planting program on public property. However, far more planting opportunities and the greatest potential to increase tree canopy coverage exist on private properties. Planting trees in private yards offers more room for roots to grow and a better chance for trees to thrive.
Arlington, Va., is a world-class residential, business and tourist location that was originally part of the "10 miles square" parcel of land surveyed in 1791 to be the Nation's Capital. It is the geographically smallest self-governing county in the United States, occupying slightly less than 26 square miles. Arlington maintains a rich variety of stable neighborhoods, quality schools and enlightened land use, and received the Environmental Protection Agency's highest award for "Smart Growth" in 2002. Home to some of the most influential organizations in the world - including the Pentagon - Arlington stands out as one of America's preeminent places to live, visit and do business.