From DDOT’s Urban Forestry Administration:
The District Department of Transportation’s Urban Forestry Administration would like to remind all bicyclists that locking a bike to a tree is an extremely harmful practice, which can stunt growth or even kill a tree. In addition, locking a bike to any tree less than 10” in diameter is illegal. Bicycling is a great way to get around the city, and excellent for our environment, but biking isn’t green if you harm a tree in the process. Look around for the closest bike rack, and secure your bike to it instead. If you can’t find a rack but would like one, please contact the Mayor’s Citywide Call Center by dialing 311. If you are a business located in the District and would like one, please contact goDCgo at 202.299.2186. The District Department of Transportation thanks you for your support in this matter. Love trees? Become a Canopy Keeper by adopting one. Call (202) 671-5133 or visit ddot.dc.gov/trees for more information.
I totally agree with gwadzilla, when you lock your bike to a tree for a short period of time, it really won't cause any damage.
I found one of your stickers on my bike, and I was highly annoyed. I would have preferred the individual who felt so strongly about this issue to stick around for a thought conversation. The sticker had to be discarded. The moped parked in front of me had no sticker on it, so Bikes not okay but Mopeds okay.
David, WABA does not place stickers on anyone's bike. If you have a sticker from DDOT or another organization interested in protecting trees, we had nothing to do with it. If it is a WABA sticker, someone unaffiliated with WABA put it on your bike. We do print and distribute WABA stickers, but we do not place stickers on bikes we don't own.
I find it hard to believe that locking a bicycle to a tree for a short period of time would cause any real damage, much less stunting its growth or killing it. In most cases the effect would be similar to leaning the bicycle against the tree. Which may be no different than having a child climb that tree. Sure... if bicycle is locked to the tree for an extended period of time and the tree grows to exceed the size of the lock... well then I could foresee a chance of serious damage to the tree in reality... this is the worst that could happen if a bicycle were locked to a skinny tree http://links.bikehugger.com/2011/06/dont-chop-down-a-tree-to-steal-a-bike-bro.html?cid=6a00d834533a7a69e2015432eba29e970c There is a definite shortage of BICYCLE PARKING in Washington DC.