March 2022 Update

Short article to share

Your sharing our articles is the main way we reach new people. Please see this month’s article on our rescuing trees initiative at the bottom of this page and post in newsletters and social media.

Seedling sale sold out in hours!

Despite greatly increasing the number of tree/shrub seedling packages available, the Northern Virginia Soil and Water Conservation District annual sale sold out immediately. No worries, though – there are other sources of inexpensive or even free tree seedlings. You can find them here: https://www.plantnovatrees.org/free-or-low-cost.

Spring plant sales are coming

In the spring and fall, our native plant sellers come to you at events around the region. (You can of course also visit them at their garden centers in between.) In addition, participating conventional garden centers have red stickers on their native plants to make finding them easy.

All this is a reminder that planting time is almost here, although you also can plant almost any time of year. Fall is ideal, but spring is fine as well, as long as you wait until the soil is no longer saturated to avoid damaging the soil structure.

Online events

  • March 8, 5:30-6:30 – Tree Rescuers training: How to get your neighbors and volunteers to support your efforts. Email plantnovanatives@gmail.com for the link.

  • March 10, 7:00 – 8:00PM Growing Bird Food: New Research on Wildlife Usage of Native Hydrangea

  • March 19, 9am- 3pm Loudoun Master Gardeners symposium: Gardening in Rhythm with Nature

  • March 24 6:30 – 8:30 pm Trees for all

  • March 26, 9:00 – 3:00 pm Lahr Symposium – Native Plants: Forces for Conservation and Community

Sign up to staff a table at a spring event to hand out materials to the public about using native plants in their landscaping and about the native tree campaign. No experience necessary.

Help in the garden centers

Those red stickers on native plants in conventional garden centers are placed there by over 50 dedicated volunteers. Can you help? It’s fun! Email plantnovanatives@gmail.com.

Report your native tree and shrub plantings

Please help Virginia meet its tree-planting obligations by reporting your tree and shrub plantings here.

Next Steering Committee meeting – via videoconferencing – All are welcome. Thursday, April 7, 10:00am-12:00pm. Check our Event Calendar for future meetings.

This month’s newsletter article to share – Please use this link for social media.

Millions of Trees at Risk in Northern Virginia? Introducing Tree Rescuers!

Northern Virginia’s oldest and best-loved trees are in danger, and the threat is in plain sight – and yet there are few who can see it.

But help is on the way! Tree Rescuers – a new community education and outreach program – is shining a light on non-native invasive vines, which pose a mortal threat to millions of mature trees in Northern Virginia.

More than 130 people from neighborhoods across Northern Virginia have already volunteered with Tree Rescuers, a new campaign sponsored by Plant NOVA Trees and aimed at preserving our area’s mature trees.

“We were amazed at how many people were ready to do something like this for the trees but didn’t know how to get started,” said Margaret Fisher, one of the coordinators of Plant NOVA Trees. “This is a great time to start, since the leaves are down and the vines can be seen more easily.”

As many as three million trees in Northern Virginia may be at risk, said Fisher.

Many people are unaware that invasive vines like English Ivy can eventually make a tree hazardous (and expensive to remove). Tree Rescuers volunteers learn how to identify problematic vines, then walk their neighborhoods spotting trees that need help.

The Tree Rescuers don’t remove any vines themselves, but they warn landowners by dropping off a brochure explaining the problem and ways to fix it.

Data gathered by Tree Rescuers will also help improve knowledge of the actual number of trees at risk, since the collected data is being aggregated and mapped. A map of neighborhoods surveyed can be viewed here.

Tree Rescuers is part of Plant NOVA Trees, a five-year campaign by local governments and nonprofit organizations to increase tree cover in Northern Virginia. Native trees are a key part of the solution to many community problems, from extreme weather and air and water quality to the health of birds, wildlife, and the Chesapeake Bay.

For more details about Tree Rescuers, or to volunteer, click here.