Archive for the ‘Tree Planting’ Category

As of December 8th, a new riparian buffer now exists at Owl Orchard Community Garden on the banks of Reedy Creek and 44th St. and Reedy.  (See our November 22 post Riparian Tree Planting to Take Place at Reedy Creek’s Newest Special Place on December 8, 2012.)

About 80 trees and shrubs consisting of 16 different species were planted.

Volunteers Plant Trees at Owl Orchard

Volunteers Plant Trees at Owl Orchard

Many groups participated in this effort.  These included:  The Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Friends of Owl Orchard, Richmond Tree Stewards, Richmond Community High students, and volunteers from Davey Tree.

In the words of one Reedy Creek Coalition member, “It was quite the collaboration.”

Note that the newly planted trees will be protected by tree tubes during their first years of life.  These tubes will break away naturally as the trunks become larger.

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Owl Orchard Community Garden at 44th and Reedy

What is the value of a Riparian Tree Planting?

“Riparian” means “located on the bank of a natural watercourse,” in this case our own Reedy Creek.  Riparian tree plantings (also called “Riparian Buffers”) offer many benefits for humans and wildlife.  These include:

  • They trap sediment.  Runoff from lawns and roads is trapped in the buffer rather than being allowed to enter the stream.  Sediment is the greatest cause of decreased water quality in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • They trap nutrients and pollutants.  These include fertilizers, pesticides, and animal wastes from lawns and roads.
  • They provide better habitat for fish and aquatic invertebrates by reducing fine sediments, lowering water temperature, increasing dissolved oxygen, and supplying organic materials such as leaves and woody debris to serve as food for the invertebrates.
  • They provide shelter and food for other wildlife including birds, mammals, and reptiles and amphibians.

Ideally, a good riparian buffer should range from  25 to 100 feet in width on each side of the stream.  Our newly planted buffer will be about 75 feet wide.  It will be to the right of the utility pole in the picture below.  Space to the left will be available for community gardening (see bottom of hill to the left in the photo) as well as fruit trees, some of which have already been planted.

Owl Orchard Community Garden

We already have enough volunteers for this tree planting project but another tree planting project at the Richmond Wastewater Treatment Plant on Friday, December 7th, could use your help!  If you might be able to help with that, please contact Hands On Greater Richmond.

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Help restore Forest Hill Park’s old Azalea Gardens with Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, Reedy Creek Coalition, and Friends of Forest Hill Park. Volunteers will be planting and mulching bare root seedling trees. Don’t worry, instruction for proper planting will be provided.  Volunteers will help spread mulch as well.   The long term goal is to increase the tree canopy and reduce soil erosion.  We will remove English ivy if there is time left after completing the tree planting/mulching tasks.

We will meet at the Stone House at 1 p.m. and walk over to the Azalea Garden. 

Late comers will need to come directly to the Old Azalea Garden which is across the street from Brookside Road on Forest Hill Ave.  If you park near the Stone House, just walk east (toward town) on Forest Hill Ave. The Old Azalea Garden is at the eastern edge of the park just off of Forest Hill Ave.

Volunteers are encouraged to wear clothing appropriate for outside work – long sleeves, long pants, and close-toed shoes are recommended.

If you have your own garden gloves or favorite tools, please feel free to bring them with you.

To volunteer or if you have questions, please reply below.

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Our last post, “Why Can Sediment Be Bad for a Stream?”, explained what happens when storm water run-off carries dirt or sand into our creeks.  Now we ask that you take a look at your yard.  Is dirt collecting on the sidewalk next to your property?  Is there dirt in the street by your house?  Do you have bare soil or eroded areas on your property?   If so, some of your yard is probably in the Chesapeake Bay and, thinking locally, in the lake at Forest Hill Park.   Though your contribution may be small, the collective contribution from watershed properties is huge.  This can be clearly demonstrated by looking at pictures of Forest Hill Park before and after lake restoration.

Before restoration

After restoration to original boundaries

The sediment that filled the lake came from properties in the Reedy Creek watershed and accumulated rapidly as development progressed upstream. And now, just a couple of years after dredging and restoration, sediment can be seen in the lake again.  Also, what doesn’t stop in our lake, continues on downstream to the James River and the Chesapeake Bay, polluting water and destroying habitat.

Want to decrease your contribution to pollution?  Planting a tree will help. Trees reduce stormwater run-off and erosion and, therefore, improve water quality.  They accomplish this by storing water and creating conditions that will allow water to infiltrate into the soil.  Trees have other  benefits as well – improving water quality, keeping us cooler in summer and providing habitat for wildlife to name a few.  Late winter or very early spring is a good time to plant as this give the tree some time to settle in before the summer heat arrives.  We suggest that you choose native species.  Also, be sure to select the right tree for conditions in your yard and consider the size of the tree at maturity when choosing the location.

Information on tree and site selection, tree planting and care can be found at  http://www.treesaregood.com/treecare/tree_planting.aspx

A good resource for choosing native species is http://www.nativeplantcenter.net/     

Please contact us for a free watershed protection audit.  We can help you find ways to reduce your watershed footprint and tell you about our Financial Incentive Program.

The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago.  

The second best time is now.

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Volunteers needed to help with tree planting along Dunston Avenue

Volunteers Planting Trees


Where: Grassy area between Dunston Avene and Reedy Creek from Roanoke Avenue east to Bland Street.

Why: Planting trees along streams is one of the best ways to improve water quality.  A buffer of trees along Reedy Creek will help prevent pollution from entering the creek, stabilize the stream banks from erosion, and create wildlife habitat.

Who: Team effort of the Reedy Creek Coalition, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and the City of Richmond.  Native trees will be provided through the Alliance’s community conservation and restoration programs.

When: Sunday, March 6, 2011 from 2:00 – 4:30 PM.

To Volunteer: Please contact the Reedy Creek Coalition at reedycreekcoalition@gmail.com.  Some tools will be provided, but please bring a shovel if you can.

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