11/04/2019 Release from Charlottesville:

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - For the second year in a row, the Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards are partnering with the Charlottesville Tree Commission members to plant more trees on private property in Belmont.

Thanks to a generous grant from the Ballyshannon Fund, these groups are offering up to 25 3-5 year-old native trees to homeowners, demonstrating how to plant the trees and advising the homeowners through the winter on how to care for the trees. Last year’s plantings were funded by private donors supportive of the city’s green infrastructure goals.

Why are these groups doing this?

The statistics are in: the number of trees in Charlottesville is on the decline which means that the tree canopy has gone from 50 percent in 2004 to 45 percent in 2014 and will most certainly see a decrease once the next aerial survey is completed in 2020. Since a primary objective is to increase the tree canopy, one of the ways to do that is to plant on private property.

What value do trees bring to a street?

Tree shade reduces daily heating and cooling of asphalt as well as lowers the cost of cooling the house; the leaves and branches of street trees capture up to 30 percent of rainfall, resulting in reduced stormwater runoff; and leaves absorb harmful pollutants like carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxide. The advantages go on and on – absorbing noise in the neighborhood and hiding utility poles and parked cars, not to mention building habitat for birds and insects.

Start looking around the city to see where more trees can be planted. The Charlottesville Area Tree Stewards and the Tree Commission are working on a way to fund more plantings and to help neighborhoods with few trees to benefit from the environmental and economic advantages trees play on a day-to-day level.

Join these volunteers for the November 9 planting, Belmont Park, starting at 9 a.m