Improving Urban Forestry and Increasing Biodiversity

Over the past half-century many staple American native trees have been losing the battle introduced by foreign disease, pest, and pathogens, just as health disparities have decimated and continues to destroy many families and underserved communities. As such, CUFA believes that with a new focus on science and technological advances over the past few decades its time to challenge, empower, and educate students about the utter importance of recovering and protecting our country's national treasures such as the American Ash, Chestnut, Dogwood, and Elm to name a few. 

Equally if not more important, each year cancer and heart disease affects many American families and is even more crippling in underprivileged communities, so placing a renewed effort in researching and studying past and present health benefits derived from American native trees such as the Elderberry, (Sambucus canadensis), Paw-Paw, (Asimina triloba), and Washington Hawthorn, (Crataegus phaenopyrum) is and will always be CUFA's mission and priorities.

Our work doesn't stop there because bees need trees too. Yes, bees need trees. Bee populations don't just pollinate perennials and shrubs. Bees also pollinate and and depend on several native trees. Several native trees of the Mid-Atlantic area are excellent sources of food for bees. Native plants are great tools for keeping bird and insect populations thriving, and bees are especially in need of our help as their presence is crucial for maintaining our local ecosystems. If you want to make your yard, street, or community garden bliss for bees, consider planting a native tree. 

European Elm Scale

The European elm scale (Eriococcus spurius, previously Gossyparia spuria) is a scale insect that was introduced to North America. This insect feeds on elm trees by sucking sap from branches. European elm scale is distinct from other scale insects because of the white waxy fringe and more destructive as if also feeds on leaves.

On May 30, 2023, CUFA arborist Charles Boston, discovered European elm scale on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. From the size of the females, it appears the European elm scale has been in Washington, DC a year or two.  To minimize the effects of European elm scale, keep elm trees well-watered and healthy. Also, you want to prune out any dead or dying elm wood only between October 1st and March 31st.

To remove overwintering female scales before they can lay eggs, pressure wash branches after leaf drop in the fall or before bud break in the spring. On smaller trees, you can dry brush the branches instead of pressure washing to remove the scales.