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Trees in Reston

Reston is proud of its Tree City USA designation. Trees are our "breathing buddies." Trees beautify Reston and protect our land and ecosystem. Please feel free to call RA at 437-7658 for assistance with your tree selection or click here for a list of recommended trees.

Tree Tags / Stream Survey Markers

An Ongoing Effort ...

What are Those Silver Tree Tags and Pink Flags?

You may have noticed pink flagging and silver tree tags attached to trees throughout Reston’s stream valleys and wondered what they are for.  These markings are part of a stream restoration study that is currently being conducted by Wetland Studies and Solutions, Inc. (WSSI).  In conjunction with the completion of the Reston Watershed Management Plan, Reston Association (RA) recently entered into an agreement with WSSI to establish a stream mitigation bank in Reston to restore over 25-miles of severely eroded streams.  When streams are unavoidably impacted during construction, developers must pay for mitigation of those streams.  Developers can purchase their necessary stream mitigation credits from mitigation banks, such as the one that is being established in Reston.  This allows Reston’s streams to be restored without RA having to pay for it. 

As a result of increased growth and development, Reston’s streams have been detrimentally affected by the increased amount of impervious surfaces and lack of on-site storm water detention in the watershed, resulting in excessive stream erosion and impaired water quality.  The Snakeden Branch watershed, which includes all streams that drain into Lake Audubon, has been selected, based on a number of water quality improvement priorities, to be restored first. 

The pink flagging is used for surveying and wetland delineation, showing boundaries of existing wetlands and floodplains.  These sensitive areas need to be identified to avoid and minimize potential impacts to them.  The round silver tree tags are part of an inventory currently being created to identify the location, size, and type of each tree in the surrounding area.  The flags and tags do not indicate a tree is going to be removed.  This information is being put into a GIS database and will be used to develop environmentally sensitive restoration design plans that will incur the least amount of disturbance during construction.  RA is asking residents not to vandalize or remove any of the flags or tags, which are important to the progression of the study and getting Reston’s streams restored. 

For more information about the status of the Reston Watershed Management Plan, stream restoration, tree tags, or flagging, contact RA’s Watershed Manager at (703) 435-6560.  

Nature Resources