Friday, November 30, 2012

Councilman Charles Samuels invites residents to join the Richmond Tree Stewards and register now for classes that begin in January 2013


Richmond City Council – Richmond City Hall - 900 E. Broad Street, Suite 200 - Richmond, VA 23219 -



Friday, 30 November 2012

Councilman Charles Samuels invites residents to join the Richmond Tree Stewards and register now for classes that begin in January 2013

All Richmond residents invited and encouraged to join

WHAT (Richmond, Virginia U.S.A.) -- The Honorable Charles R. Samuels, Councilman, Richmond City Council, North Central 2nd Voter District invites all Richmond Residents to join the Richmond Tree Stewards and register now for classes that begin in January 2013. Class size is limited to 30 participants so those interested are encouraged to register now.

Richmond Tree Stewards is a volunteer organization that works to promote, replenish, sustain, protect and increase the health and prevalence of our Richmond Urban Forest stock of community-owned trees by assisting the Richmond Department of Public Works Division of Urban Forestry in assuring the success of this most precious and valuable asset.

Richmond Tree Stewards Classes are considered to be among some of best of their kind provided in Virginia. Classes include training delivered by experienced professionals, a class manual, a tree identification guide and a pruning booklet. The registration fee is $75 for Richmond Residents who commit to completing 20 volunteer hours in 2013. The fee is $150 for those who do not wish to volunteer. Those interested should register at,

In delivery of its mission, Richmond Tree Stewards promotes public information and awareness, provides community education/training, assists with planning and planting trees, and helps provide maintenance and care for Richmond Urban Trees along Richmond streets and in Richmond Parks. To become a Richmond Certified Tree Steward one must have attended Richmond Tree Stewards Classes, pass a pruning exam and complete community service hours.

CONTACT For more information, please contact Louise Seals, President of Richmond Tree Stewards, at 804.389.8798 (tel) or, (email); and/or visit their website, at

Background ________________________________________________________________________

Examples of 2012 Richmond Tree Stewards successes

• Completion of a comprehensive tree inventory of Battery Park and presentation to the Friends of Battery Park for future planning.

• "Stop Sign Pruning Program" in the Fan District, to help ensure stop signs are visible to drivers.

• Watering approximately 200 newly planted trees in Byrd Park, Forest Hill Park and Gillies Creek Park, from May through September 2012.

• Developmental pruning of young street trees; a technique necessary for some urban trees to develop a stronger and safer branching structure.

• Planting project in Chimborozo Park that put approximately 200 trees in the ground. This project was lead by two tree stewards, supported by the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay and accomplished with the assistance of other volunteer groups.

• Richmond Tree Stewards delivery of approximately 2,250 volunteer hours as of mid October 2012.

Richmond Urban Forest

Our Richmond Urban Forest stock of community-owned trees serve and save Richmond residents in some of the following important ways:

• Community street trees can save millions of dollars in road/street repair and maintenance by providing shade that protects the oil-based sealer from drying out as fast. This can defer the need for slurry seal from every 10 years to every 20-25 years for older streets with extensive tree canopy cover.

• Community street trees reduce noise pollution by 50 percent by acting as a buffer and absorbing urban noise, according to a U.S.A. Department of Energy study.

• Community street trees reduce flooding and stormwater runoff by reducing intercepting and storing volumes of rainwater on leaves, branches and surfaces, thereby mitigating the onset of peak flows.

• Community street trees reduce soil erosion and downstream stream/river/water pollution by diminishing the impact of raindrops on barren surfaces.

• Community street trees increase a city's aesthetic beauty, which has an effect on its economic and tourism desirability and financial health.

• Studies have shown that families who live near trees have significantly better relations with and stronger ties to their neighbors and have the potential to reduce government social service budgets, decrease police calls for domestic violence, and decrease the incidence of child abuse.

• Richmond Street Trees are valued at more than $211 million.

Also, generally speaking:

• Trees on properties can increase real estate values by 5-15 percent compared to properties without trees.

• Trees increase air quality and reduce harmful greenhouse gas by mitigating levels of carbon dioxide.

• Trees can save families from 20-25 percent of their annual household energy use when well-positioned trees are used around a conventional house compared to a house in a wide-open/non-treed area, according to the United States Forestry Service.

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Steven R. Skinner, APR

Council Public Information Manager

Office of the Chief of Staff


Richmond City Hall

900 E. Broad Street, Suite 305

Richmond, Virginia 23219

804.646.6052 (office)

804.335.4054 (mobile)

804.937.1386 (home/mobile)

804.646.5468 (fax) (email)


MISSION The mission of Richmond City Council

is to represent citizens in creating and amending

local laws, providing government policy and

oversight, and approving the city budget.

VISION Richmond City Council is committed to

creating a vibrant community that is a great place

to live, work, learn, play, visit and raise a family.