Monthly Archives: April 2015

Arbor Day Dedication of Final Two Trees in McElderry Park

Baltimore is a Tree City once again!

A large group gathered for Arbor Day at Prince of Peace Church on Friday April 24 to celebrate the completion of our first Trees for Public Health initiative in Baltimore. Working with volunteers and neighbors, we have planted 450 new street trees of dozens of species, doubling the number of street trees in the the community.


Activist Warren Street at 2011 Arbor Day!

This was the fourth Arbor Day we celebrated in McElderry Park and Warren Street, longtime Green Leader, was there from the beginning.

Chief City Forester Erik Dihle was also there in 2011 and present again in 2015! He thanked one and all for their hard work. Amanda Cunningham, who led the three-year effort, spoke, as did Tree Trust Director of Advancement, Jill Jonnes, about the gratifying and fun experience of greening so many gray blocks.


Peck & Ramberg family members

Under lovely spring skies, we dedicated one ginkgo to the memory of Seska Peck Ramberg, an early supporter of the Tree Trust and often present at our early tree plantings.

Board Chair Debbie Cameron and all other board members present shoveled some ceremonial dirt on to the young trees.

Board chair Debbie Cameron with Dick Gibbs, one of original board members.

As part of a Forestry Board tradition, the celebration included the filling of a time capsule and its burial with one of the ginkgoes. The tiny tots of the Dynamic Deliverance Daycare Center came out to participate and sing a hymn. The 5th-grade winners of the National Arbor Day Foundation poster contest displayed their art work.


Tree Trust staff

Then Tree Trust Executive Director Dan Millender led a tour of nearby blocks, including Ellwood Park, where we have already begun to plant more trees. Many of our guests then enjoyed a festive time at Bistro Rx. We are proud to be "Transforming Baltimore with Trees!"

Join us in upcoming plantings!

YOU COULD BE THE WINNER! Enter the 2015 Baltimore Tree Trust Video Contest NOW!

We invite YOU to help us promote the value of trees! Become part of the solution for a greener urban environment!!!




The contest is open only to legal residents of the United States and Canada who are above the age of 13.


What to Enter:

Submission Requirements:

1.)   Create a 1-2 minute video celebrating the importance and benefits of trees in urban areas.

2.)   All videos must begin with Baltimore Tree Trust Slide #1 and end with Slide #2 shown below:

Slide # 1

Slide #2


Contest Period:

Video submission period begins March 16th 2015 at 12:00 a.m. est and will end June 1st 2015 at 11:59 p.m. est. The Winners will be announced July 1st 2015 by 11:59 p.m. est.


Contest Prizes:

Grand Prize – $1,000

2nd Place – $500

3rd Place – $250


Judging Criteria:

Videos will be judged on content, production quality, creativity, and overall effectiveness.


How to Enter:

Send us your name and address, school/organization (if applicable), phone number and a link to your video to:


By participating in this contest you have agreed to the official rules which are as follows:

Rules for entering:

  • One entry per person
  • All entries must be an original creation of the entrant
  • All content of the video must be suitable for children
  • Baltimore Tree Trust reserves the right to cancel or extend the contest if there is an insufficient number of entries received by June 1st 2015 at 11:59 p.m. est
  • All participants must have obtained all necessary rights, including music rights, consents, authorizations and licenses use in this film
  • Participants irrevocably and in perpetuity give the rights to the Baltimore Tree Trust to reproduce, modify, edit, publish, distribute, license and broadcast the contest entry worldwide by any means.

Download a PDF of the Official Rules






Harris Creek Watershed Leaders ReConnected at “Meet & Green”

hcc-logo-bigThe Harris Creek Watershed neighborhoods came together around greening during Baltimore Green Week at Patterson Park Library Square. Local Green Leaders showcased past projects and future goals, at a lively “Meet & Green” event on the evening of April 23.

The Baltimore Tree Trust began working in the Harris Creek Watershed in 2012, planting up McElderry Park with street trees. As we finished there on Arbor Day, April 24, we are already planting trees in Ellwood Park, the adjacent community. Both are part of the Harris Creek Watershed, a piped underground stream located on the east side of Baltimore. It runs from Clifton Park to Canton through seventeen neighborhoods, and drains roughly 2 square miles of land area into the Baltimore Harbor.

The watershed houses about 44,000 people, and in 2010, residents and partners created an action plan to guide greening actions. Many projects have been completed, but a lot of work remains!

McElderry Park family with tree they helped plant.

The April 23 "Meet & Green" was organized by the Tree Trust, Banner Neighborhoods, and Blue Water Baltimore, all active in the watershed. That evening, green leaders from many Harris Creek Watershed neighborhoods met potential funders and providers of green expertise or services and discussed in some detail projects they would like to undertake-- everything from trees to addressing trash to vacant lots. The local leaders had more opportunity to meet and learn from one another.  The re-energized Harris Creek Watershed group will now start to move forward with new projects, and consider some collective watershed-wide projects.

The Baltimore Tree Trust is committed to planting street trees throughout the Harris Creek Watershed, and will be working with many of the neighborhoods to restore their tree canopies and incoming years. Working with many neighborhood partners and volunteers in McElderry Park, we have doubled the tree canopy  and plan to keep going until all of Harris Creek has beautiful tree-lined streets and a healthy tree canopy.

The growing number of trees will cool this urban heat island, saving energy, mitigate and clean storm water flowing into the Inner Harbor, and raise property values.

Download a printable PDF of the Harris Creek Watershed Map

Don’t “Kiss Your Ash Good-bye” Advises Top Expert in Emerald Ash Borer

Prof. Deborah McCulloughThe emerald ash borer (EAB) is now officially attacking ash trees in Baltimore, one of 25 states afflicted since the exotic pest was discovered in Michigan in 2002. While this eco-crisis has already wiped out tens of millions of ash trees, you do not have to lose your large and beloved ash tree(s), advised top national EAB expert Prof. Deborah McCullough of Michigan State University during a workshop and lecture at Cylburn Arboretum in late March.

In  2010,  the new highly effective chemical treatment of Emamectin benzoate (sold as TREE-age) became a serious "game changer," she said, allowing cities and homeowners to economically save specimen ash trees. "I use it on the three ash trees I have in my front yard. It's good for two to three years, and I have the beauty and benefits from those trees. When you factor in the cost of taking down those trees, the treatments really make sense." TREE-age must be applied by licensed or certified pesticide applicators.

Emerald Ash Borer was found in our city in June 2014 in special beetle traps in Druid Hill Park and near Fort McHenry. Since then, USDA inspection teams have located a few infested trees.  City Forestry and TreeBaltimore have not been planting ashes for some years now, but the ash is the one of the most common trees in Baltimore - 214,000 trees, 8.6 % of trees total population.

In coming years, these shiny green beetles will be a death sentence for many of Baltimore's ash trees, which make up a tenth of our urban forest. Erik Dihle, Chief City Arborist, has indicated that the city will use injections to save as many as 2,000 of the city's 4,000 ash that grow on streets and in parks.

Baltimore is following the actions of some Mid-western cities which are saving their prime ash trees through pesticide injections, finding it to be far more cost effective to save the mature ash trees in all their glory than to pay for their removal. Even if a tree is looking sickly--with as much as a third of its canopy gone – it is still a candidate for treatment and can bounce back once the beetles are killed.

Emerald Ash Borer on a penny.

The emerald ash borer (EAB), a shiny winged insect the size of a penny, is thought to have arrived in the United States in solid wood packing material from its native Asia. First detected in the Detroit, Michigan/Windsor, Ontario area in July 2002 and then in Ohio, infestation by EAB has has already killed millions of ash trees in the central and northeastern United States. Prof. McCullough, a forest entomologist, has been active in studying EAB since she was one of the scientists to find it near Detroit. This is the most devastating tree pest to hit the United States since Dutch elm disease.

In August of 2003, Maryland became the third state to detect  EAB. That month, state inspectors found the emerald ash borer  on some of 121 ash trees at a landscape nursery in Prince George's County. Despite measures to eradicate the pest, in 2008, EAB beetles showed up in Charles County. By 2011,

EAB had been detected in several more counties – Anne Arundel, Howard, Allegany, and Washington. At first, states tried to prevent EAB spreading by cutting down all nearby ash trees where EAB might breed. But now many cities have a mixed approach--cut down infested trees, but save and protect large and beautiful specimens  by pesticide injections.

The good news for homeowners who have beautiful, old ash trees: “There is no reason for a landscape ash tree to die from emerald ash borer anymore,” says Deborah McCullough, a professor of entomology and forestry at Michigan State University. In 2009, Milwaukee started injecting trees with a pesticide called Tree-age.

Applying pesticides every two years costs about $250 a tree, while removal and replacement is $700 to $1,200 a tree, she said. “You can treat a tree for a lot of years before you reach the cost of removing that tree.”

Telltale marks of EAB

“The treatment is so effective and so much cheaper than removal and replacement ," said one Milwaukee Forestry Services manager, "that I can’t get a single elected official to weigh in on the side of removing healthy trees because we don’t have to, and that is never popular with the public.” Milwaukee could not afford to lose the 28,000 prime ash trees owned by the city all at once, he said. “The injections allow us to decide what happens to those trees, not the beetle.”

Hydraulic guns drive the pesticide into the tree through shallow holes drilled in the bark. Each tree is dosed every two years. Positive results are evident: Private ash trees that were not injected are dead, while treated ash trees on city property stand nearby in good health.

It has not been proven yet, but it may be possible to spread treatments farther apart once the main wave of beetles passes, thereby reducing future costs.


More information from the state of Maryland is available at



Baltimore TreeKeepers Spring Class In Berea!

L1000209Please join us for TreeKeepers 101 on Saturday April 18 in Berea to learn about "Baltimore and Trees." The TreeKeepers program promotes healthy trees by educating residents and increasing their role in the care of the City's trees. Through this training, citizens can become tree advocates and share in the planting and care of trees in their neighborhood and throughout the City.

Hosted by the Berea Eastside Neighborhood Association, the class runs from 9 a.m. to noon at the Library in Ft. Worthington Elementary School at 2701 E. Oliver Street, Baltimore 21213.


Do trees eat my pipes?

How do I feed my trees?

How can I care for the trees in my neighborhood?

Are you a tree advocate who wants action?

Join TreeKeepers and get straight answers about urban trees and how to care for them.

Trees create, cool, and clean the air we breathe, filter stormwater, and shade our streets and homes. Studies show that neighborhoods with trees have less crime and are more desirable places to raise a family.

Baltimore TreeKeepers is a program of the Baltimore City Department Recreation and Parks’ TreeBaltimore Program and Baltimore City Forest Conservancy District Board, administered by the Baltimore Tree Trust, with assistance from Blue Water Baltimore, Parks & People Foundation, Baltimore Green Space, Planning Department\Office  of  Sustainability, and U.S. Forest Service.