Great for Trees or Mosquitos? by Eric Nuzum


One of these showed up around a tree in front of my house yesterday, with no context or explanation. I’ve noticed quite a few of these popping up throughout the neighborhood around the young trees and I’m curious if others have noticed them or had any experience with them. The side identifies them as “BioPlex Tree Rings.”

At first I thought these were something that you would plant in the ground around the tree to keep the roots at the right depth or use as a planter of some kind. Then I went to their Web site and it seems these are some kind of water collection/slow-drip system from keeping the baby trees properly moisturized.

My biggest concern is that these are going to end up making the mosquito situation even worse than it already is this time of year. Having large buckets of water sitting around is kinda asking for trouble.

Is this worth it?

Ed. Note: And speaking of trees there will be a community watering – from an email:

“There will be community tree watering this Saturday (8/8) @ 7am for the trees that have been planted by DDOT/UFA in the Medians at the Georgia Ave/Petworth Metro Station. We will be meeting at the the Petworth Station Metro Statue at 7am for a safety meeting. Please come out and join us as your schedules permit. Hope to see you there…..

Again, THANK YOU to Donatelli Development, who is providing access to water from the Park Place building by Donatelli Development.”

13 Comment

  • I peed in one of these once after a night at Wonderland. weeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  • i dont think they are there long enough for mosquitos

  • Don’t worry about the mosquitos breeding in these…they are much happier using all the rain-filled manholes with the new slotted lids.

  • they seem silly, don’t they displace the same amount of rainwater that they let go? ANd you are totally right about them being a mosquito breeding ground- obviously the company that designed them is not from DC.

  • by the way that is a very shiny bumper!

  • @pinto – they don’t “displace” any water. they just capture and disperse it at an optimal rate. during a cloudburst, much of the rain is wasted (with respect to the tree) because it runs off on the surface or sinks below the root structure before the tree can use it. this device slows it down a bit so the tree has time to handle more of it.

  • It sounds like mosquitoes shouldn’t be an issue, if these things work correctly. Mosquitoes will rock your world, turn it inside out, bite you up and make you shout.

  • worse comes to worse you can drop of one those mosquito rings in there to deter to asian tigers.

  • Mystery solved–kinda. I called the city on Friday afternoon to ask what was going on and why someone strapped one of these things around my tree. I ended up speaking with someone in the office of Urban Forestry (who knew DC had such an office) and they told me that these thigns are designed to completely empty of water within 3 hours of filling. Once our dry spell is over, someone will come around and pick this up. Huh, who knew things like this existed.

  • I’ve never seen these before. I’ve only seen ‘gator bags’ which are those green or brown vinyl bags that wrap around a new tree for the same purpose – except that they are filled by hose and are closed so they don’t create a mosquito problem. It seems like the amount of rainwater that these would collect wouldn’t be all that significant, but i guess in a dry spell anything is better than nothing.

    BTW, new trees need to be watered DAILY, especially in heat like this. So if you have one of these, go ahead and fill it up if we haven’t gotten any rain. And pull away the mulch underneath it so that it waters the soil, not just the mulch on top.

  • these things magically appeared on the new trees on 2nd street NW in ledroit park, then disappeared the next day.

  • these things magically appeared on the new trees on 2nd street NW in ledroit park, then disappeared the next day.

  • Sorry to dredge this thread back up, but these rings are become massive mosquito breeding grounds on 19th St. in Mt Pleasant. If you want them removed from in front of your house call the Casey Tree office (202-349-1905) and/or the Urban Forestry Administration (202-673-6813)

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