“Friends of Mitchell Park are Not Friends of Street Trees”


“Dear PoPville,

The Friends of Mitchell Park (23rd St and S St, NW) are having a photo contest to celebrate a beautiful city park. Yeah!

However, they advertised their contest by stapling(!!) advertisements to city trees all around Dupont Circle. Not only is it against DC regulations to advertise on public property or permanently affix anything to trees, it’s quite ironic and sad to see a group celebrate one public good by desecrating another.

Note that they taped, not stapled ads on the trees in their park, so they knew that stapling ads to trees is harmful.

Anytime tree bark is pierced, even by staples, it creates an entry point for disease and parasites. Our street trees have a tough enough life without a pro-park group stabbing them with ads.

I’ve removed and trashed all the tree-stapled ads I could find. I hope others will do the same.”

21 Comment

  • the salvation army does the same thing in my area.

  • Wow, seriously? That is so freaking stupid. Bad enough that people feel the need to tie or tape things to trees, but this crosses the line. Any comment from the Mitchell Park people? I’d love to hear their excuse.

  • I’ve been tearing them down all around Shaw, Logan and Dupont all week. Seriously not cool. Anything tied to a tree with twine I’ll leave alone, but every single one that’s taped (tape pulls off bark when removed) or stapled (just seriously uncool) I will be ripping down and trashing.

  • Those little staples aren’t going to hurt the trees.

  • So, you’re a friend of trees, but you don’t recycle paper?

  • I’m beyond words.
    This is completely ridiculous and feels like an episode of Portlandia. Arguably, a staple on a tree trunk is no more harmful than a splinter on hand. The staple doesn’t even penetrate beyond the bark, much less the phloem – which if I recall my 2 grade science class correctly, is where the living tissue is.

    As Anon points out, in this whole kerfuffle, your lack of recycling is probably the act with most negative environmental impact.

    Finally, as a Kalorama resident, I’m appalled by your less-than-neighborly attitude. This person, even if they violated the law, are contributing far more to the community than you Mr./Mrs. Killjoy.

  • Science has proven it many times. Tree staple is like beautiful acupuncture. Releasing bad energy is the only way. Hurrah! Do not show me a grouchy face.

  • phl2dc

    You took the time to take these pictures but couldn’t be bothered to remove the flyers from the plastic protectors and recycle them…

  • The trees in the photo are not likely to be damaged at all by small staples. It’s possible that very young trees or trees with very thin bark (such as beech or cherry) may be harmed… however, most trees in this part of town are maple or oak– not only do they have much thicker bark but they are also better at wound-healing from staples or nails (that is one reason why they are often chosen for urban areas). Tree bark, while obviously not indestructible, is actually quite resilient and can withstand a lot of damage not just from humans but also from other animals, weather, etc.
    It is, however, illegal to staple signs to trees, so that’s another matter entirely.
    Overall it’s probably exponentially worse for the environment to trash the flyers instead of recycle them. Ideally you would take note of the trees that were stapled with flyers and notify DPW of the location of the affected trees, that way DPW can come out to inspect them for any damage.

  • Sure – there could have been follow up with the Mitchell Park people to make sure they know what happened (like most organizations, they probably sent someone to do the job of hanging signs without a proper tutorial) but in the end, can a laminated sign even be recycled?

    Regardless, there’s no doubting the fact that the tree’s in this city’s urban areas are generally not doing well. Almost every tree planted last spring/summer in a sunny spot is dead. This has been DC’s sysyphean problem for decades – planting trees and never taking care of them.

    My first Christmas wish:
    Establish coordination between DCWater and DDot to use the water that would otherwise go down the drains when they routinely flush out the system to keep these new/distressed trees and other plantings alive until they establish.
    My next wish:
    Is that the soil levels of tree boxes in the city be below the curb-line so that water retention/penetration is actually possible in the first place.

    *putting out milk and cookies (or whatever Muriel likes!)*

  • OP definitely went over the top, even posting pictures of trashing the signs! At least find a recycling bin and remove the plastic covers….

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