Street Tree Inventory Launched
RMA volunteers measured ~300 street trees on Embassy Row. Now we will study them to see if our care improves their growth.
Our launch is part of ACTrees' National NeighborWoods month.
See our poster Benefits of Maturing Trees. for why tree size maters.
Our 2013 Treekeeper Season
In 20 meet-ups, our Treekeepers cleared, mulched and watered at-risk city trees. We made tags for some trees to tell the public why it is important. We persuaded more owners to care for city trees. See Our Green Community Grows and Our 2013 Tree Care Season - Looking Back.
- New city tree watered by us
- Treekeepers help 4 new trees in Gandhi Park
- Nick waters thirsty new tree
- Model tree box after weeding, mulching, and watering
- Clearing an overgrown tree box
- Caitlin gets invasive ivy
- Robert removes ailanthus jungle around tree
- Our tag on a new city tree by Metro
- Treekeepers clear boxes in 2200 block of R.
- Joe has cleaned up the Letelier Memorial
Record Turnout for RMA at Costa Rica Residence
Nearly 100 supporters of RMA gathered at the Residence of H.E. Muni Figueres, Ambassador of Costa Rica, on April 23, 2013. RMA President Deborah Shapley described our tree planting, care and historic landscape projects. A.M. Oduber of the Embassy described successful reforestation in Costa Rica.
Thanks to the record turnout and event sponsors - Northern Trust Company and Alex Venditti/TTR Sotheby's International Real Estate - the net exceeded expectations. Thank you!
See Washington Life coverage
Sheridan Circle Renewal Project
Slideshow story: We got 3 zelkova trees planted in 2007 in this bare city land. Since, we got neighbors to water them; our crews leaf-mulched them. We protected them from construction machinery. But the land got overgrown. But the land got overgrown. We were able to clean it up and plant roses thanks to community support.
Reception at Wendell Mansions Honors 245 New Trees So Far
Some 70 guests came to honor Restore Mass Ave at Mark J. Scott's home,the famous Wendell Mansions (2339 Mass Ave). Guests heard RMA President Deborah Shapley report that so far RMA has arranged 245 new trees for Embassy Row: 130 trees to lawns and yards and 115 city street trees. Sponsor Alex & Paul Group of TTR Sotheby's International Realty helped to make it a big success.
2012 Treekeeper Program Wrap-up
Sidewalk street trees on Embassy Row got special care this summer thanks to Restore Mass Ave Treekeepers. Many weekends they beavered away - soaking, weeding, mulching around the trees to extend their health and lifespans. Ably led by Sarah Randolph and Lina Cortas, Treekeepers donated 153 hours and helped 50 at-risk trees. See Lina's Treekeeper's Diary post on our blog.
Protecting Trees from Street Dig
Street-digging machines can hurt tree roots in minutes. Monster trucks can wreck the branches of curbside trees. DC Water (formerly WASA) has begun a "big dig" to replace Combined Sewer System (CSS) pipes below Mass Ave, 23 and Q Streets, we're trying to prevent damage to the precious trees. We posted this notice of DC rules for construction so the public can be watchful. Others can use our pdf when "monsters" visit other streets.
British Embassy Reception honors RMA
The British Embassy hosted a cocktail reception honoring Restore Mass Ave on April 20. Deputy Chief of Mission Philip Barton greeted about 100 guests. He said RMA's expansion of tree canopy complimented his Embassy's vigorous program to lower its carbon footprint by lowering vehicle emissions and a more efficient furnace.
Many of the guests were new to our cause, such as residents near the Embassy's part of Mass Ave, which is now included in our operations. Trees bring people together!
At Indonesia Embassy we pass 100 trees planted!
Above: Embassy staff plant a new saucer magnolia tree.
Left: Counselor Camadi and Embassy staff, by their new Chinese quince tree
Far left: Quince tree fruit.
The Embassy of Indonesia hosted our seventh tree planting with Casey Trees March 18, 2011. The twelve trees added brings past 100 -- to 105, exactly -- the number of trees we have arranged for lawns and yards since 2007.
We offered the Embassy new trees due its fine care of the grounds around its historic building at 2020 Mass Ave. Also last summer, Embassy staff watered the 12 city sidewalk trees near its property. A model!
Six of new trees re-create the historic landscape of second row trees: two at the Embassy; two by the Cosmos Club at 2121 Mass; and two by 23 Street to be cared for by the Church of the Pilgrims.
This planting is 7in line with the Indonesian government"s program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by reforestation," Counselor Benjamin Carnadi told the crowd. Ambassador Dino Patti Djlal also greeted the planters.
Benyamin Carnadi Counselor (Economic Affairs) spoke: "The embassy appreciates Restore Mass Avenue's program to re-green the area and thanks RMA for involving Indonesian Embassy in the effort. The embassy will always support the re-greening program as it is in line with Indonesian government policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by various means, including preserving Indonesian tropical forest. The planting event at the embassy symbolically shows our government's effort to reduce deforestation by planting new trees."
Particular thanks to the embassy staff who have maintained the property around the building so well and watered the twelve public "street trees" along the sidewalks of Mass Ave and 21st Street.
On hand during the planting were: Ambassador Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, Jim Woodworth of Casey Trees, Deborah Shapley of RMA, and Chair of the Cosmos Club Garden Committee Iris Miller.
Tree Planting Brings Us Near 100
Above: Churchyard trees await planting.
Above: Jas Darland sings "Let It Be."
On Oct 22 we bought to 96 the number of trees we've added to Embassy Row lawns and yards. Our sixth planting with Casey Trees added 18 trees. Thank you, Casey Trees!
Look for eight new elms along the 2200 block of Mass Ave. Look for plane, dogwood and sweetgum trees by the Church of the Pilgrims. The Embassy of Ireland hosted us, with
Jas Darland singing a beautiful rendition of John Lennon's "Let It Be" in Gaelic.
L.K. Bariki, Ambassador of Togo, whose Embassy received an elm, said, "In Africa, we need trees to help fight climate change. We need you to help us." See coverage from the Washington Diplomat at Press and our October 22 slideshow below!
New Maple Honors Albanian Service
On April 28 we planted a new "Red Sunset" red maple in honor of Albania. The site was arranged by Friends of Mitchell Park in a lovely seating area in the park,
which is near the Embassy. Dr. Liri Berisha, wife of the Prime Minister, dedicated the tree during her official visit to Washington. She is president of the
Mother Teresa Cultural Foundation and the Albanian Children Foundation. Students from City Collegiate Public Charter School interviewed her for the school paper after helping plant the tree.
See local press coverage of this event on our Press page.
Above: Students take part in the planting to honor Albania.
Cypriot Ambassador hosts RMA's first fundraiser
Ambassador of Cypress H.E. Andreas Kakouris and Kareen Kakouris were generous and warm hosts for our first-ever fundraiser April 22 at their elegant residence at 2501 Mass Ave.
The 75 people attending enjoyed Cypriot wine and sumptuous food, home-cooked by Board members! Deborah Shapley spoke about RMA's unexpected success in just three years and how donations will
advance its future work. RMA treekeepers served wine and passed trays. A special note was Treekeeper Andy Luse's piano performance.
Coverage of the event by Gail Scott of Washington Diplomat may be found on our Press page.
"Celebration of Trees & Children" Plants 16 New Trees Nov 20th
On a glorious fall morning 16 new trees were planted by about 60 volunteers, thanks to our partner Casey Trees who gave them to five embassies. Hosting this "celebration of trees and children" was the Embassy of Côte d'Ivoire. It followed African custom by having the leader -- the Ambassador -- start the work, as the photo shows. The Embassy of Korea got 6 new trees; the other photo shows Korean staffers "jazzed" about their great planting job! Cameroon, Slovenia, and Venezuela also got trees. 9 of the 16 restore the historic "second row" by sidewalks.
City Collegiate Public Charter School students came to help and were welcomed warmly by the Ambassador of Cameroon and others.
Afterwards, Ambassador Koffi Y. Charles of Côte d'Ivoire hosted everyone at a delicious lunch. In his remarks, he told us that the tropical forest area in his country has shrunk from 20 million hectares in 1950 to just 3 million today.
11 Street Trees Helped in Root Rescue Project
Above: RMA Treekeepers use the air-spade on a street tree near Dupont Circle.
We loosened the soil around the roots of 11 Mass Ave street trees with an air-spade on Sunday, October 25th. RMA volunteers were led by a professional, Andrew Walsh of Leprechaun Landscaping. Plywood boards, which we held to keep the dirt from flying all over--including on us--were donated by Embassy Circle Guest House. After girdling roots were cut, the soil was amended and repacked. We'll see how this sample of 11 "rescued" trees fare in the future.
Embassy Open Houses May 2 and 9, 2009
Above:At the British Embassy, mother and child learn about Mass Ave’s historic landscape.
An estimated 6,000 visitors to the Embassy of Great Britain (3100 Mass Ave) saw our outreach table during "open houses" at embassies of EU member countries on May 9. RMA was invited to advance the British theme: how we can address climate change. See the coverage at Examiner.com.
The Embassy of Korea helped us host an outreach table near Korus House (2370 Mass Ave) during "open houses" held by non-EU member countries on May 2. The third annual event by Passport DC drew 90,000 visits to these embassies -- vastly more than the first years. We're learning that embassies are very popular!
Planting Day March 21, 2009
The 16 trees bring to 63 the number RMA has added to yards. This Planting Day was our fourth when Casey Trees donated trees to clients we nominated based on their fine care of landscape. Two dozen RMA Treekeepers were among 75 volunteers planting.
You can see our new grove at the entrance to Lover's Lane at Mass Ave and Whitehaven St. The open lawn bordered with majestic-type trees reproduces the shaded open "parks" of Mass Ave in its heyday. We're grateful to the Embassy of Italy for installing this Lawn and caring for the new grove on public land.
Three other new trees rebuild the historic Second Row at the embassies of Romania and Burkina Faso. Another Historic Landscape element is the new Fosters' Holly by Romania's embassy on Sheridan Circle.
We planted Overcup oak (Quercus lyrata), Chinese lacebark elm (Ulmus parvifolia allée), tulip poplar (lirodendron tulipifera), ginkgo (ginkgo biloba) and red maple (acer rubrum). The understory trees by Lover's Lane are Serviceberries (Amelanchier).
The Ambassador of Italy praised RMA's progress at a reception he gave afterwards for volunteers and neighbors. DC Council Member Michael Brown spoke of RMA"s help re-greening the capital. Mark Buscaino, Executive Director of Casey Trees, praised the Casey-RMA partnership. Deborah Shapley, RMA President, explained how this planting advances our Historic Landscape program.
A good time was had by all!
Above: Speakers at Italian Embassy reception
Fall Planting November 22
Above: We did it! These volunteers planted a new red oak where it will shade the sidewalk and busy bus stop. They shaped the mulch to guide the water to the roots
Brrr! In frrr-eezing cold about 50 volunteers planted 12 red oaks (Quercus rubra) in a very busy area at 20th Street and Mass Ave, steps from the Metro exit at Q Street.
Seven oaks are in the lawns between the parking lot and sidewalk. They’ll be cared for by PNC Bank, whose President Michael Harreld was on hand to welcome the trees.
Five of the oaks are on the west side, along the sidewalk in lawns by the Hungarian Reformed Federation of America.
Restore Mass Ave arranged the donation and siting of these trees to rebuild the second row of major trees shading the sidewalks that formed the original landscape. We are deeply grateful to Casey Trees for these tree donations and leadership of the event.
We welcome the HRFA as the newest Participant in our historic landscape program. By replacing bushy low trees near the sidewalk of Mass Ave with a fine oak tree – see photo - a longer open view was restored. The new line of oaks will define the corner and frame views of HRFA’s Kossuth House across the lawn. More on how long views across open lawns defined the historic landscape is here.
This planting brings to 47 the number of new trees we’ve arranged for property owners along Embassy Row; 28 of them re-create the second row of majestic trees.
What’s next? The city will plant several new street trees in the 2000 block of Mass. We urge property owners up and down this block to take care of them!
HE Pekka Lintu, Ambassador of Finland, personally
planted a new ‘second row’ linden tree and hosted
a reception for Restore Mass Ave, on June
5 at the Embassy (3301 Mass Ave). The new tree
is part of Finland’s program to “green” its Embassy as a
model for others.
Read the great coverage on this event in our October 2010 feature in Washington Life!
Above: Ambassador of Zambia, H.E. Inonge
Bikusita-Lewanika, thanks the planters for the trees and spoke about deforestation in Zambia.
Restore Mass Ave arranges for Embassy Row property owners to receive new trees. We request the trees from Casey Trees, which will donate them to those who will care for them.
At our second Planting Day on April 19, 2008, 22 new trees were planted in the 2400 block of Mass Ave, by >130 volunteers.
The Embassy of Zambia (2419 Mass) received 15 trees for its yards. In the photo to the right, volunteers plant four elms of the disease-resistant variety, Ulmus americana ‘Princeton,’ in the lawn in front of the Embassy.
We plant them in a line along the sidewalk to rebuild the second row that made a shady allée parallel to street trees by the curbs (right). The sidewalk here is a terrible ‘heat island,’ but these elms will make it cool and shady.
We planted four trees at the rear of the Embassy of Slovenia (2410 California Street): three more elms and a white oak, Quercus alba.
Two European hornbeams, Carpinus betulus ‘Fastigata,’ were planted at the Embassy of Paraguay (2400 Mass). A black gum, Nyssa sylvatica, was added to the federal park known as “Emmet Park” (Mass Ave at S and 24th Streets).
Earth Day Breakfast
Members of the area’s business community attended an Earth Day breakfast April 22 to learn how they can help city trees. The event was co-hosted by PNC Bank and Restore Mass Ave. The featured speaker was John P. Thomas, Chief Supervisory Forester of Washington.
In his remarks Mr. Thomas said rails around sidewalk trees are ‘the best investment’ a business or resident can make to “extend street trees life.” He also said his agency “100% supports” the work of Restore Mass Ave.
PNC has installed 11 iron rails for all the curb2ide street trees at its busy Dupont Circle branch; it now cares for these city trees.
Islamic Center's New Tree
Restore Mass Ave arranged the planting of a “fringe tree” in the lawn of The Islamic Center (2551 Mass Ave). The planting ceremony was part of an Interfaith Eco Tour April 27 that highlighted “greening” projects in DC.
Embassy Open Houses Showcase RMA
On May 3 and 17 dozens of Embassies held Open Houses for the public to visit their countries – by walking through Embassy doors. Passport DC, as it was called, included information tables and exhibits about Restore Mass Ave at the Embassy of Slovenia on May 3 and at the Embassy of Paraguay on May 17. Thousands of visitors learned how we try to stop tree loss and restore the urban forest canopy.
Above: outside the Embassy of Paraguay May 17. At far right is one of the two hornbeam trees we had planted here on April 19.
Planting Day May 2, 2007
Did you know the word “Guatemala” means tree? We didn’t until the Embassy of Guatemala extended formal thanks for two new trees we planted to shade the sidewalk on our First Planting Day May 2, 2007.
Eleven new trees, most of large types such as willow oak and linden, were added to the neighborhood. Eight fill in the second row line which will shade the sidewalk and recreate the historic landscape.
The trees were donated by Casey Trees and marked the beginning of a partnership for which many on Embassy Row are grateful.