Our Mission and History

Our Mission:

The Baltimore Tree Trust (BTT) is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization committed to restoring the city's urban forest and making Baltimore a more beautiful and healthful place to live through increased tree plantings, tree stewardship, community engagement, public education, advocacy, and research. BTT works to restore Baltimore's aging tree canopy by collaborating with the city's TreeBaltimore program, nonprofit partners, private landowners, city residents, and businesses.

before & after_monument street


Our History:planting group

The Baltimore Tree Trust was founded in 2009 with one goal in mind, to "Transform Baltimore with Trees". In January 2011 the organization began working in the McElderry Park neighborhood. The final tree was planted on April 24, 2015 totaling 464 new trees that were planted, more than doubling the existing tree canopy in this neighborhood. This Trees for Public Health (TPH) neighborhood-pilot project serves as our model for restoring the city's tree canopy. TPH is a program that removes impervious surface and plants street trees within the public right-of-way in neighborhoods with low tree canopy percentage.

Spring 2013 BTT, partnering with Baltimore City Forestry Conservancy District Board, launched the Baltimore TreeKeepers (TK) program. TreeKeepers educates residents and increases their participation in the care of city trees.

Summer 2014, BTT began working in our second TPH neighborhood, Old Goucher, planting a total of 327 trees by October 2015. In spring 2015, we began planting in our third TPH neighborhood, Ellwood Park. With the help of hundreds of volunteers, community members, and TreeKeepers, we completely planted the Ellwood Park neighborhood by spring 2016, adding 600 new street trees to the community. Since completing Ellwood Park we have successfully planted two additional TPH neighborhoods, Milton Montford and Madison Eastend. In spring 2017 we will begin work in our sixth TPH neighborhood, planting trees in the Middle East neighborhood. As of December 2016, BTT has planted 2,858 new trees throughout the city of Baltimore and has removed 52,496 square feet of impervious surface!

Summer 2015, BTT launched Putting Down Roots (PDR), a tree planting partnership with private property owners and the Archdiocese of Baltimore to increase the overall urban canopy. To date we have planted hundreds of trees on private properties throughout the city.

Our Challenge: Baltimore's Urban Canopy is in Decline

The Baltimore Tree Trust was founded to work collaboratively with others to restore Baltimore’s urban forest, which has been in steady decline for several decades. Our city forest consists of 2.6 million trees, one quarter of which are distressed, dead, or dying according to the U.S. Forest Service. Baltimore City’s tree canopy has declined by a third to just 27% of overall landmass—and our hottest, starkest streets are without trees. In summer of 2014, the Emerald Ash Borer arrived in Baltimore, making the challenge even greater. The city  expects to lose 5,000 ash as street trees and 285,000 in its woods and parks. The city aims to increase the overall tree canopy to 40% of landmass by 2037. To achieve this goal, Baltimore must plant 750,000 trees at a rate of 25,000 new trees each year. At present, Baltimore does not plant even 10,000 new trees a year. Join us as we work to Transform Baltimore with Trees.