We have a lot of trees here in Pinecrest – it’s part of the appeal to living in Reston. They provide shade in the summer and protection from wind and cold in the winter. A forested area like ours has a more moderate temperature all year. And of course, they provide serenity, beauty and peacefulness.

But that means we have more than your average maintenance to do. Trees can get sick over time, or damaged in storms, or just outgrow their locations. We need to stay on top of these issue lest they get out-of-hand.

Fortunately, we have a plan. We budget for tree work each year. And once a year, we have an arborist comb through the entire common Pinecrest property to review our trees. We ask them to provide us estimates for the work and a priority based on:

P1 – Any tree that poses danger to people

P2 – Any tree that poses risk to property (potential to fall on a house, or roots undermining a foundation)

P3 – Nuisance trees – dropping limbs on yards, leaves on rooves and other issues

Our arborist needs to wait until leaves are on the trees to walk through our community, so we usually do this in May. When complete, we attempt to do as much work as we can given our budget. We typically budget around $15,000/year, but have spent close to $30,000 the past 2 years.

How can you help?

If you see a potential issue with trees, email the board. Describe the tree, its location, and the issue you see. For any report, we will have the arborist look at that as well. The arborist can tell us if the tree is dead or dying, if there is a risk of it falling in high wind, or otherwise should be added to our list of priorities.

But also note: we do not remove trees simply because we don’t want them. One of the foundational design aspects of Reston is respect for the trees. In fact, we cannot remove any tree greater than 6″ in diameter without getting approval from Reston, and most of those require replacement.

Trees waving in the wind is normal, not a sign that they are about to fall down. Giving some with the wind is how trees survive storms. Also, a leaning tree is able to compensate for the lean by growing deeper roots. Our arborist knows how to look at leaning trees to determine if the root structure is sound, or if the ground is beginning to give way. They also can tell a growing, healthy tree from a declining, dying tree.

Sometimes we just need to clear out dead branches, but the tree is OK. Other times, the tree is hallowing out from inside, or the roots are pulling away from the ground – those trees pose a danger.

So enjoy our trees, their shade and their beauty. And report any issue you might be concerned about, and we’ll have our experts take a look.