October was a great month for planting trees, and there was plenty of moisture to help new trees re-establish roots in their new permanent location. As a matter of fact, we experienced record-breaking rainfall on both sides of the state; and I thought it was only Olympia, otherwise known as H2Oly, that was awash in precipitation.

Now, as we move into November, I’m reminded of the delight of changing seasons. As days get darker, we tend to spend more time indoors finally attending to those ‘inside’ things, including catching up on reading and planning.

This is a good time of the year to look back over program accomplishments and finalize this year’s annual Tree City USA report (due December 1). It’s also a good time to look forward and plan next year’s tree-related activities. Check out the non-profit Pennsylvania Urban and Community Forests’ annual work plan fact sheet to help identify, prioritize and schedule urban forestry tasks throughout the year.

growth logoOnce you’re done, consider applying for a Tree City growth award. Many communities have made achieving a growth award an annual goal and plan activities toward that accomplishment. You can get some great ideas just by looking over the eligible activities in each of four different program areas.

If you are filling out the Tree City application for the first time, congratulations! You will soon join the ‘family’ of Washington communities who see the value in managing community trees for the many benefits they provide.

Since our grant application season is now open, you might consider looking over this year’s requests for proposals and applying for a community forestry assistance grant or a tree planting and maintenance grant. Grant proposals are due on December 9.

As you read and plan, remember that if you have any questions or need assistance with applications, we are here to help.

Happy reading and happy November.

By Linden J. Lampman, program manager, DNR Urban and Community Forestry Program