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Water Young Street Trees During Drought

Guest DDOT

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During long, hot summers DDOT encourages residents who have young trees along their sidewalks to water trees regularly.


DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration recently implemented a brochure program to distribute information to residents where young trees are planted. Residents who live near a young street tree receive a door flier asking them to help water the newly-plated tree.


“Our majestic tree canopy is one of the greatest things about living in the nation’s capital,” said Moneme. “As we expand our canopy it’s important for residents to partner with us during hot, dry weather and help water young trees. You shovel your sidewalk in the winter—so please also water your young street tree in the hot summer.”


DDOT oversees 144,000 city street trees through its Urban Forestry Administration. UFA has 12 arborists on staff at present—more than any time in the city’s history. The arborists oversee planting, pruning, inspection of the trees and oversee injection of Elms to protect from disease. They also help oversee tree protection during road construction projects.


DDOT’s Chief Forester John P. Thomas reminded residents who have a young tree near their sidewalk to help out by watering it with 5-10 gallons of water every 7-10 days when it’s not raining. Resume watering when new leaves appear in the spring. And residents can skip the watering when it rains.


“Street trees usually take two years to establish themselves, which means they need care during their youth,” said Thomas. “This summer, we are reaching out to engage residents about how they can be our partners. Trees that perish during the summer are covered under a replacement program but we never like to see a street tree die.”

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