Arlington County Recognizes Notable Trees, Celebrates Arbor Day

Published on April 21, 2017

  • County Board to honor trees and their caregivers April 25 

  • 10 trees designated as Notable

  • Arbor Day celebration April 27

Arlington has about 755,400 trees of at least 122 species that provide $6.89 million in environmental benefits to the County annually in pollution removal, carbon storage, energy savings and avoided stormwater runoff. The Arlington County Board will honor 10 of these trees as Notable Trees at the April 25 County Board Meeting.

"Trees are extraordinarily important to Arlington," said County Board Jay Fisette. "In addition to their environmental benefits, they enhance the character of our community. I applaud the efforts of our citizen-led Urban Forestry Commission and our talented staff in working with residents to nominate and honor both stand-out trees and their caregivers."

All of this year's Notable Trees are on private property. Although the "Notable Tree" designation does not give Arlington County any authority over trees on private property, they may be included in future civic association and neighborhood walking tours.

[caption id="attachment_11852" align="alignright" width="215"] A Notable Scarlet Oak[/caption]

The Notable Trees program is just one of a number of programs Arlington has developed to support trees in the face of a declining tree canopy. In 2008, the County's tree canopy offered 43 percent coverage. That percentage declined to 40 percent in 2011.The term "tree canopy" describes the layer of leaves, branches and stems of trees that cover the ground when viewed from above.  It is measured in comparison to total land cover and is a common measure of forest success.

"Despite Arlington's progressive and sustainable development policies, our tree canopy is under pressure and deserves more attention," Fisette said. "Trees reduce about 10,730,168 cubic feet of storm and floodwater runoff in our County a year, equal to 122 Olympic-sized pools. By recognizing stand-out trees, planting new ones on public property, and helping people care for existing trees, we spread the word throughout our community that Arlington values our trees and is committed to preserving our tree canopy."

To see photos of all the winners, visit the County website. The Board will honor the Notable Trees and their caregivers at it April Recessed County Board Meeting, at the 3 p.m. session session on Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

The public is welcome to attend the County Board Meeting on the Third Floor of the County Government Building at 2100 Clarendon Blvd. Or, you can watch a livestream of the meeting on the County website, or on the County's cable channel, ATV, broadcast live on Comcast 25 & 74 and on Verizon 39 & 40. The board will honor the Notable Tree winners at its 3 p.m. session.

30 Years of Notable Trees

Since 1987, the County has designated more than 310 trees as Notable Trees. County residents nominate local trees based on a variety of criteria, including size, age, species or historical or community significance. Tree Steward John Wingard has been coordinating this program since 2009.  Wingard identified seven of this year's honorees, community members identified six. Trees in front of houses, that can be seen by passersby receive a plaque. 

2017 Notable Tree Plaque Winners2017 Notable Tree Certificate Winners
Southern Red Oak

Southern Red Oak

Pin Oak

European Linden

Cedar of Lebanon

317 N. Thomas St.

416 S. Wayne St.

409 N. Thomas St.

313 S. Cleveland St.

5701 18th Rd., N.

1101 N. Evergreen St.
Southern Red Oak

Scarlet Oak

Pignut Hickory

American Elm
3557 N. Abingdon St.

6223 Lee Highway

2608 N. Harrison St.

5524 4th St. S.

Arbor Day tree planting

The County will celebrate Arbor Day on April 27, at Nottingham Elementary School.  At the event, the Virginia Department of Forestry will award Arlington its 21st consecutive Tree City USA designation, which is based on four core standards of tree stewardship. The celebration will feature student activities, a tree planting ceremony and an official Arbor Day Proclamation.

To learn more about Arlington County's tree programs, or to nominate a Notable Tree, go to the Arlington County website and click on "Trees & Ecology."  And consider becoming a Tree Steward. You don't need to be a scientist or arborist or forestry professional (though some are). All it takes is a love of trees and a desire to get involved.