2018 Year in Review.
Your local tree stewards had a busy 2018. Here are some highlights and photos.
We had twenty-one new graduates from our 2018 Training Class, bringing the number of Tree Stewards in the Charlottesville Area to 150. These dedicated volunteers took on outdoor projects, educational efforts, and public outreach. The Projects Committee undertook thirty work projects this year, up from eighteen in 2017. They planted 131 trees and shrubs at various locations, and 144 ferns in a forest restoration project. They also pulled thousands of feet of invasive vines away from tree trunks on public lands and school grounds. The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards Grove in McIntire Park was further developed this year with two additional plantings of close to 100 trees and shrubs on the site of the former golf course. CATS volunteers were assisted on several workdays by groups of enthusiastic students from the University of Virginia. We also completed another signature project by replacing nine trees on the Monticello Gateway. This project, initiated by the Charlottesville Tree Commission, undertook to plant native trees along the median of Route 20 on the way to Monticello; a few of the trees planted in 2016 had died and several had been damaged by a vehicle. In 2018 we replaced these trees and look forward to seeing the Gateway trees grow to full size in the coming years.
CATS continues its efforts to educate the public on the environmental benefits of trees by holding an annual training class, and offering various free classes as well as tree identification walks. The walk program started in Fall 2017 and was greatly expanded in 2018 when we offered fourteen walks at various locations, including downtown Charlottesville, James Monroe’s Highland, Riverside Park, McIntire Park, and Ivy Creek. Over three hundred people registered for these popular walks. CATS also held table exhibits at various events, including the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello.
Since 2013 CATS has held Tree Sales in spring and fall to offer young native trees and shrubs to the public at reasonable prices. The 2018 sales were held at Ix Park in the spring and at Tufton Farm in the fall. The next sale will be at Stonefield mall on May 4, 2019 in conjunction with the Piedmont Master Gardeners’ spring sale.
CATS Fall Tree Sale.
Tree Stewards held their second sale of the year on October 13 at Tufton Farm in conjunction with the Open House of Thomas Jefferson Center for Historic Plants. We offered a large variety of native trees and shrubs for $5.00 or $10.00. Our volunteers helped customers select the best tree for the varying conditions in their gardens, answered many questions, and gave advice. All in all, nearly three hundred trees and shrubs were moved from the CATS nursery to local properties. The next sale will be on May 4, 2019 at the Shops at Stonefield together with the Spring Sale of the Piedmont Master Gardeners.
Working to Restore the American Chestnut.
Three Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards participated in a recent effort to treat chestnut seedlings with chestnut blight fungus. This is done to help develop a strain of the chestnut that will be resistant to the blight that wiped out this magnificent tree starting in the early years of the twentieth century. The chestnut was prized for its wood and its generous crops of nuts and was considered by many to be “the most valuable tree in the country.”
The American Chestnut Foundation and the Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards worked together on this inoculation program under the supervision of the Virginia Department of Forestry at the New Kent Forestry Center in Providence Forge, Virginia on Friday, July 20, 2018. The intent of the program is to re-establish the American Chestnut tree in its native range in the woodlands of eastern North America.
Sixteen hundred chestnut seedlings were treated by sixteen volunteers, including the three Tree Stewards. The stems of the chestnut seedlings were inoculated with chestnut blight fungus and will be inspected over the upcoming months to help identify the most resistant families of seedlings in the breeding program.
The photo shows Tom Wild, who is a member of the American Chestnut Foundation and a certified Tree Steward.
Potting up young trees for CATS’s Fall 2018 sale.
One dozen CATS volunteers braved a rainy day to pot 235 whip trees at our nursery on the grounds of the Grand View Nursery, on Tuesday, May 22, from 9-12:00. The young trees will be part of the Fall Tree Sale scheduled for Sat. Oct. 13 at Tufton Farm.
CATS Spring Tree Sale.
After a week of threatened rain, the sun came out on a beautiful day at the CATS Spring Tree Sale at IX Art Park on Sat. May 5 from 10 – 2:00.
Our volunteers helped prospective customers select the best tree for the right place in their environment, answering lots of questions and giving advice. Happily, 313 trees and shrubs found their way into the canopy of Charlottesville after this great event.