Officials: Baltimore Is Losing Trees At Alarming Rate

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — It appears most areas are losing trees and Baltimore is no exception. Annually, major cities are reporting nearly four million trees lost.

Tim Williams explains what factors have hit our region the hardest.

Trees are losing ground to pavement in many American cities and Baltimore is among them.

“It does indicate a decrease in the total tree canopy for Baltimore, as well as a number of other U.S. cities,” said Baltimore City forester Erik Dihle.

The recently released U.S. Forest Service study runs through 2005 and identifies a decline in tree cover at a rate of nearly four million trees per year.

“There’s, of course, natural disasters like Hurricane Irene last August, where we lost 1,300 trees. We also lose trees because of a lack of adequate after-care of new tree planting,” Dihle said.

Satellite imagery was used to determine 17 of 20 cities studied lost tree cover, while 16 saw increases in pavement and rooftops.

Recent tropical storms like Irene and Lee are largely to blame. Baltimore lost nearly two percent of its entire tree canopy during the study’s eight-year period, almost twice the average for most cities analyzed. Another factor around the downtown area is the Baltimore Grand Prix.

Baltimore’s new sustainability plan calls for doubling the city tree canopy by 2037. That means 8,800 trees will be planted or given away, beginning in July.

“We’re going to turn around any tree loss as we go forward and I believe that’s happening right now,” Dihle said.

Baltimore is not far behind the three biggest tree losers. They are New Orleans, Houston and Albuquerque.

More from Tim Williams
Comments

One Comment

  1. amontanoart says:

    I remember my dad making a prediction about this on October when it snowed- it is because the seasons were disorganized as well. Raining when it should be snowing and snowing when it should be raining could confuse anything, even trees!

  2. Victor Perez says:

    Here in Atlanta in some counties we have a local ordinance that you may plant a tree after you cut one. Thats a good idea. Call your local arborist to receive advice on what kind of tree would be great.

    http://www.pereztreeremoval.com

  3. Wiseguy says:

    The grand Prix cut down almost 200 tree’s last year with the agreement to replace……….what happened to them?

    1. Mike Keiper says:

      YEAH, THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE RE-PLANTED AFTER THE RACE IF I REMEMBER RIGHT, EXCEPT NOW, AFTER A RUSH TO SIGN A 5 YEAR BINDING CONTRACT THAT THE CITY LOST MONEY ON, ( WAY TO GO Ms. MAYOR )

  4. Bill says:

    A friend is employed at a Baltimore Company which owns many apartment complexes. After several lawsuits from tenants over their childrens tree climbing accidents all trees were cut down. Blame the lawyers.

    1. Mike Brown says:

      yeah, blame the trees, not the kids or parents. lawyers are a big problem in this country. these types of lawsuits should be thrown out because they are so laughable. parents blame everything on somebody else but them or their kids.

  5. Leslie says:

    I always avoid going into the city if I have to. It is depressing to see row after row of rowhomes with maybe a single half-dead tree per block. I feel sad for those who have to live in that kind of environment. Suburban development is bad enough, but at least they replant some trees, like in White Marsh, if only for decorative purposes.

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