By Tracey Leong

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — After a stretch of cherry trees were deliberately damaged in Catonsville, the neighborhood came together to save them and replace the ones that were too killed.

More than half of the trees vandalized on Edmondson Ave. will be replaced as part of a community event that brought together hundreds of volunteers.

With shovels in hand, the volunteers prepared the planting site for new cherry trees.

“We are not only replacing what was there, we’re making it better,” said Jim Himel, Catonsville Tree Canopy director.

“Our community gives so much to us, and especially when it comes to the trees,” said volunteer Susan Szulinski. “We take so much from the earth, so it’s good to give back.”

In July, 32 of the flowering cherry trees were damaged.

Someone sliced the trunks and drilled holes to add poison.

RELATED: Catonsville Residents Wondering Who Purposefully Damaged Neighborhood Cherry Trees

People in the neighborhood tried to nurse them back to health, and were able to save about a third.

“Watering the trees every day, adopting an individual tree, putting their family name on it to say they’re going to take care of it. A tremendous effort,” Himel said.

The vandalized trees were planted about two years ago.

They’re the same variety as the ones in Washington D.C. that attract thousands of tourists when they bloom in the spring.

“I think whoever did vandalize the trees was hoping that it would destroy this project,” said councilman Tom Quirk. “What it did instead, just 180 degrees opposite, more and more people galvanized behind this project, and whoever did this lost.”

The Catonsville Tree Canopy Project took the lead, calling on volunteers and donors to help replace the 20 trees that were killed.

“Not only do we work here, but we live here, so this is a project that’s close to our heart, so that’s why we are all here,” said Szulinski.

A project that brought people of all ages together to enjoy for generations.

And the work to beautify this neighborhood will continue next year, in the spring they plan to add 50 rose bushes next to the trees.

If you have any information on the suspects who damaged the trees, please contact Baltimore County police.

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Comments
  1. “…the neighborhood came together to save them and replace the ones that were too killed.”

    Sheer poetry.

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