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Preparing trees to go from green pastures to the concrete jungle


The rolling hills of the Casey Tree Farm in Clarke County, Virginia, seem a million miles and a distant age from the real estate bustle of the District ... on its northward journey to Harpers Ferry, West Virginia. Woodfield, the general manager, brings ...


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Adrian Higgins, The Washington Post Published 12:29 pm, Tuesday, December 19, 2017 They are destined to increase the urban tree canopy for Washington, D.CPhoto: Washington Post Photo By Adrian Higgins/ The Washington Post" class="landscape" /> Photo: Washington Post Photo By Adrian Higgins." class="landscape" /> Here, the bag and the soil are removed to demonstrate the healthy root structurePhoto: Casey Trees/ The Washington Post" class="landscape" /> window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({ mode: 'thumbnails-c', container: 'taboola-interstitial-gallery-thumbnails-4', placement: 'Interstitial Gallery Thumbnails 4', target_type: 'mix' }); _taboola.push({flush: true}); They are destined to increase the urban tree canopy for Washington, D.C."> Here, the bag and the soil are removed to demonstrate the healthy root structure."> Photo: Washington Post Photo By Adrian Higgins. Image 1of/4 CaptionClose Image 1 of 4 At the Casey Tree Farm in Berryville, Va., thousands of trees are grown to planting sizeThey are destined to increase the urban tree canopy for Washington, D.C. At the Casey Tree Farm in Berryville, Va., thousands of trees are grown to planting sizeThey are destined to increase the urban tree canopy for Washington, D.C. Photo: Washington Post Photo By Adrian Higgins. Image 2 of 4 General manager Todd Woodfield and his crew raise the trees organically but with careful attention to soil nutrients. General manager Todd Woodfield and his crew raise the trees organically but with careful attention to soil nutrients. Photo: Washington Post Photo By Adrian Higgins. Image 3 of 4 The trees grow in a container called a root-control bag that encourages a healthy root systemHere, the bag and the soil are removed to demonstrate the healthy root structure. The trees grow in a container called a root-control bag that encourages a healthy root systemHere, the bag and the soil are removed to demonstrate the healthy root structure. Photo: Casey Trees. Image 4 of 4 /**/ Preparing trees to go from green pastures to the concrete jungle 1 / 4 Back to Gallery /**/ The rolling hills of the Casey Tree Farm in Clarke County, Virginia, seem a million miles and a distant age from the real estate bustle of the District of Columbia and its constant reinvention, but these pastures offer the city future relief in a climate-changing century. Here, Todd Woodfield and his crew are running a tree factory, raising some 12,000 trees from sapling to sturdy transplantMore than 3,000 are ready for planting each year, when they make the 65-mile journey east for a new life in city parks, schools, neighborhoods and other places where Casey Trees is trying to maintain and increase the urban forest. The nonprofit organization was established by philanthropist Betty Brown Casey in 2002, following reports of a precipitous decline in the city's tree canopy. Since then, issues of greenhouse gases, global warming and flooding have made the quest for a leafy city all the more pressing. The city has its own vigorous tree-planting program and will install almost 9,000 trees between October and April, most of them street trees, said Earl Eutsler, associate director of the Urban Forestry Division. Both the city and Casey Trees have set a goal of a tree canopy covering 40 percent of the District by 2032It's now about 38 percent and at one time in living memory was 50 percent. The urban tree faces unique perils: Constricted roots, poor soil, drought, flood and the effects of constructionIt is this future that gives the tree farm an added piquancy. The pastures are marked by rows of white glass fiber rods, each about eight feet high, perfectly vertical and spaced six feet apartEach row is 10 feet from the nextThe rods mark the contours of the hills, but also the placement of hundreds, thousands, of young treesThey are strangely hard to

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