Making trees look and feel great in Reservoir Hill

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Putting the finishing touches on the stained wooden tree well bench on Whitelock St. (7/25/13) Last month we published a post showing examples of tree wells from around Baltimore in the hope that we could find inspiration from other neighborhoods' attempts to protect and beautify trees.  Through our research, we learned that there are a few ideas that we might like to copy (stained wood coloring, comfortable seats, durable construction materials) and a few things (sealed boxes holding high soil levels, sharp corners, and closed on all four sides) that probably are not good for either trees or humans.

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Will builds stone tree well pillars out of Whitelock St. stone (7/30/13)

Since then, we've been testing new tree well designs on Whitelock St. that attempt to create durable and attractive tree well guards while reducing supply costs by using re-cycled wood, stone, and brick from local sources. These designs were each produced for an average of $150, which represents significant price savings as compared to other "low-cost" tree wells that can cost $500 or more. Will Grenier, a recent Maryland Institute College of Art graduate, designed and installed all the tree wells with assistance from RHIC volunteers.

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(9/10/13)

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(9/10/13)

We're also interested in creating  tree wells that do more than just surround trees. For example, what if tree wells could also serve as a photo album? Check out the results:

Before:

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(7/23/13)

After:

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(8/9/13)

This represents just the first of what we hope will be several waves of new tree wells. Going forward we'll continue to test new and improved designs, so look out for new developments in a tree well near you!

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Mike installs a tree well fence near John Eager Howard Recreation Center (7/26/13)