PRESERVE and PROTECT
We work hard to take care of the trees at the National Mall and Memorial Parks, but we need your help!
Here are three easy things you can do to be active stewards of these special trees:
1. Take photos, not flowers
The blossoms belong to everyone! Picking them off the tree for yourself is not OK. Whenever a twig is broken off of a tree, new blossoms will never grow from that part of the tree again. The tree is also exposed to diseases and pests that can shorten its life. Superintendent's Compendium Section 2.1(a)(5) states: "Gathering or possessing natural products such as fruit, nuts, blossoms, or plants in the park is prohibited."
2. Keep your feet on the ground
Climbing trees and hanging from limbs may seem harmless, but trees are damaged by climbers every year. Superintendent's Compendium Section 2.1(a)(5) states, "Climbing trees...in the park is prohibited."
3. Use sidewalks
Walking around the base of a cherry tree seems harmless, but multiplied by the hundreds of thousands of people who come to see the blossoms, it adds up to a big impact. The soil gets compacted, which affects the trees' ability to absorb water through their roots. In some cases, the roots can be directly damaged by trampling. By staying on paved walkways, you help the trees live longer, healthier lives.
You can also help keep the park beautiful and reduce landfill waste by.recycling.
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact a U.S. park ranger.