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December 1, 2021 – An interesting article recently appeared in the Washington Post about environmental factors that contribute to oak tree decline in our area. The full article appears here.

Sadly, this is happening in Washington Grove as well. The Forestry & Beautification Committee has been aware of this issue which is exacerbated by the large number of mature oak trees we have. Trees are living beings which are affected by the conditions they live in. They definitely respond to the impacts of living closely with humans. When their root zone is disturbed by cars (driving or parking), digging, or covering with hardscape they do not thrive. When environmental impacts, like the standing water and soil compaction described in the article, accumulate, they do not thrive. And when global warming causes warming cycles in wintertime, the freeze-thaw cycle damages the circulatory system of the trees and they do not thrive.

The Forestry & Beautification Committee is doing everything we can to ameliorate this problem. We try to keep the older trees as long as possible while planting more trees as quickly as we can, and by diversifying the types of trees planted so we have a greater variety which is collectively more resistant to disease.

You can help! Be aware of your impact on the trees around you and treat them gently. Plant a large canopy tree in your own yard to join the ones F&B plants. Montgomery County even has a FREE TREE PLANTING PROGRAM, Tree Montgomery, which will plant and help maintain a shade tree in your yard. The new tree will be a nice substantial one and they have tools to help you choose the right tree for your space.  Many Grovers have already taken advantage of this great program and you can too! Together we can keep Washington Grove a “Town Within a Forest”.

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