mr. maple


The City of Baltimore’s Department of Forestry has a goal of doubling the tree canopy in Baltimore over the next 30 years. One component of the plan is the Department’s free street tree program. Essentially, property owners can request that the City plant a free street tree within its right-of-way, assuming there are no utilities or other issues preventing such planting. I tried to get a free tree planted in front of our house in Canton, but there were utilities in the way and the forester also thought it would be too close to our neighbor’s mature tree (which was really the only tree on the block).

When we moved to Hamilton at the end of last year, our front yard was just aching for a street tree. The Herring Run Watershed Association passed out flyers about the street tree program and I signed us up. I didn’t hear anything for about two months, and then I came home from work on May 20th to find a maple tree planted in our “tree lawn” (the strip between the street and the sidewalk). Unfortunately, this tree was not looking good (see above). I would estimate that 95% of its leaves were brown and crispy. I didn’t have much faith that it would rebound, but we were told to give it six weeks before making a final assessment.

But, nearly two months later, the tree is coming back quite nicely. It still needs to leaf out quite a bit more, but it is clear that it will make it in the long run. Craig and I have been faithfully filling the 20-gallon gator bag nearly every evening, and it’s paying off.

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