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May 26, 2009

City residents get free and cheap trees


Free trees! 

Baltimore is endeavoring to double its tree canopy from 20 percent to 40 percent during the next three decades and is encouraging homeowners to get planting by offering free and discounted trees.

The city effort is called TreeBaltimore, and officials say it aims to add to the urban forest that does a number of things: provides shade, beautifies neighborhoods, cleans air and water, offers and home to birds and other animals, increases property values and removes carbon from the atmosphere that contributes to global warming.

The push is a mayoral initiative that began in 2007. The city settled on the 40 percent goal, but discovered that about 85 percent of the available planting space, i.e. grass, was on private property, according to Anne Draddy, who runs the city program. So, they began hitting up residents to do some planting and caring for trees.

Now, TreeBaltimore is giving away FREE trees to community groups and associations, so hook up with your group if you want one.

The city’s Forestry Division plants about 1,000 street trees every spring and another 1,000 in the fall, Draddy said, so get your name on the list for the next go-round. The city Department of Transportation is also helping dig pits.

For more information, go to TreeBaltimore online, or e-mail Draddy at

Baltimore Sun file photo

Posted by Meredith Cohn at 10:55 AM | | Comments (4)
Categories: DIY


Two weeks ago, "the city" was giving trees away at the Sunday Morning JFX Farmers Market. I got a dogwood. It's a scrawny little thing, barely above my knee, but I'm convinced that with some attention and encouragement, it'll be just lovely.

I'm still wondering what's up with the tree pit for the sidewalk in front of my rowhouse. I applied months ago (maybe a year ago? - don't have the form handy to check the date). They came out and marked where the pit will go, and told me that I have to dig my own pit. This is after they repeatedly told my neighbors that the city will dig the pit. (Frankly unlikely that I'll have someone come out just to cut one tree pit into the sidewalk - not cost effective!) In the meantime, the city has apparently been to Canton and dug lots of tree pits for neighbors within a few blocks of me, but no action on mine. (I say it was apparently the city because it wasn't done by the neighbors I've spoken to about it.) But nor have most of the neighbors gotten trees, even for pits the city cut back in the fall.

I'd e-mail the coordinator for Tree Baltimore and ask if she can get you a tree: This is also just the kind of thing for The Sun's watchdog: and ask. Let us know how it works out. -MC

Anybody know by what mysterious process all of this happens? Nobody seems to know - they just get home one day and find a pit dug out of the blue, months after asking for one.

I would be interested in providing the tree myself, according to city specs for size, kind, etc., if they would send a crew out to cut the pit.

Do you know if they are going to be giving free trees to county residents too? I wrote an article about Tree Baltimore earlier this year before they started handing it out for free. It would be wonder if Baltimore County residents could get the same deal!

I'd e-mail Tree Baltimore's coordinator and ask. And let us know, too: -MC

This would keep those hot summers cooler and give us more nippy winters and satisfy both the living and nonliving-people, animals, and most plants.

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About the bloggers
Tim WheelerTim Wheeler reports on the environment and Chesapeake Bay. A native of West Virginia, he has focused mainly on Maryland's environment since moving here in 1983. Along the way, he's crewed aboard a skipjack in the bay, canoed under city streets up the Jones Fall from the Inner Harbor, and gone deep underground in a western Maryland coal mine. He loves seafood, rambles in the country and good stories. He hopes to share some here.

Contributor Christy Zuccarini has been blogging about the local DIY craft scene for a year for She brings her pespective on all things handmade to B'More Green, where she will highlight projects you can do yourself as well as crafters who are integrating sustainable methods and materials.

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