Tree Canopy Expansion

Tree Canopy Continues to Grow!

A total of 538 street trees have been planted in Reservoir Hill since 2009, including 65 this year.   This brings us to over 50 percent of the thousand new trees we hope to plant!  You may have seen CIIP intern Matt Brown out in the neighborhood, putting labels on the new trees.  Matt has been adding the locations of our new trees, along with photos, tree type, and conditions, into our tree inventory map.  

Here is a visual representation of all 538 trees planted since 2009.

The 65 trees planted so far this year have focused along Linden, Brookfield, Callow, Newington, Eutaw, and others.  More will be coming in the fall!

If you'd like to explore the map, view pictures of the trees, and sort through types and conditions click here

Tree Identification Bands

You may have seen RHIC volunteers or staff members walking around the community taking pictures and notes about various trees. We’ve also built tree wells around trees on Whitelock Street that protect the tree. Now we have a way to individual mark each tree without harming the tree!

Over the past few months, we have been working with a couple of MICA students to design something that would identify and mark all the newly trees planted with various information about the tree. You will see on a few of the Black Gum trees throughout Reservoir Hill the tree ID bands pictured below:

On the tags are the tree species, year planted, and the ID number of each tree. This will help us keep track of each tree and its condition; the tree ID number will also give us a good idea of how close we are to reaching our goal of planting 1,000 new trees in the community (right now, we are at 476). This will also make it easier to locate individual trees if it needs watering, pruning, etc. We have put up a few bands to test to see how they stand up to storms, animals, and other possible harms. If you would like to help us with putting the bands on the trees (we’ve got nearly 500 to do), email Eli Lopatin at elopatin@reservoirhill.net.


Updating the Reservoir Hill tree map

2009-2014 Reservoir Hill tree map (6/26/14)

2009-2014 Reservoir Hill tree map (6/26/14)

In August 2013 we published the first-ever Reservoir Hill tree map, which represented our best attempt to record the correct location and species for every tree planted (approximately 333 trees) up to that date. Since then, we've continued to improve our methods for collecting data, and we've also tried to update all the trees planted in 2013 (approximately 69 trees) and 2014 (68 so far).

Were you wondering where all those trees are?

Here's a map showing just the 2013 (in yellow) and 2014 tree locations (in blue):

2013 and 2014 trees

2013 and 2014 trees

We're very excited that our current inventory of 476 trees planted means we'll soon be reaching 500 new trees planted (50% toward our goal of 1,000 new trees). The challenge however, is that while many of the the 2009-2013 trees were planted in locations specifically requested (and subsequently adopted) by residents, the 2014 trees were all planted in April-May 2014 by Baltimore City without communicating with residents. We have been fortunate that spring 2014 has brought us lots of rain, so many of the 2014 trees are doing OK so far. But summer is now here, and to maintain our neighborhood goal of 95% survival rate, we'll need to connect these trees to nearby residents.

Here's an example of a 2014 tree in need of a good home (or just a friend with a hose):

2014 tree near the intersection of Park Avenue and Whitelock Street (6/16/14)

2014 tree near the intersection of Park Avenue and Whitelock Street (6/16/14)

We are also currently working to get the City and its contractors to take responsibility for assisting with the maintenance these trees. In the meantime, if you've noticed there is a new tree near your house and you are interested in watering it with at least 10 gallons a week,  contact Teddy Krolik (tkrolik@reservoirhill.net) so we can provide you with tree care instructions and materials (including a gator bag for slow-drip watering)!

Again, here's the map of all 2014 tree locations:

2014 trees 

2014 trees 

A sunny weekend in Reservoir Hill

Reservoir Hill Girl Scouts planting in the German Park tree wells (5/18/14)

Reservoir Hill Girl Scouts planting in the German Park tree wells (5/18/14)

The skies were clear all weekend, and Reservoir Hill neighbors were outside working on both Saturday and Sunday to make the most of it.

On Saturday, we nearly completed the “Great Granite Wall of Whitelock”:

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On Sunday, Reservoir Hill Girl Scouts designed and installed their own tile mosaic patterns, featuring lady bugs, trees, bumble bees, and flowers, around German Park tree wells. They also filled in one of the empty tree wells with flowers:

 

Life after the rain

Making pedal-powered smoothies at the Farm stand (5/3/14)

Making pedal-powered smoothies at the Farm stand (5/3/14)

After what seemed like a week of non-stop rain showers, it feels great to be outside!

Celebrating opening day at the Farm's market stand:

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Painting rain barrels with Reservoir Hill Girl Scouts: 

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Participating in John Eager Howard’s Fun Run/Walk Fundraiser at Druid Hill Park:



Saturday 11/23 10am-3pm: Groundbreaking on Linden Park

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image

Way back in 2012, neighbors started talking about what we could do to make the corner of Linden Avenue and Brooks Lane and more attractive, comfortable, and inviting place. Since then, neighbors have worked with volunteer designers from the Neighborhood Design Center to develop a site plan that includes trees, walkways, and seating areas that especially cater to the older residents who live nearby.  Come join us this weekend--Saturday 11/12 from 10am-3pm and Sunday 11/13 from 1pm-5pm-- for a groundbreaking and tree planting work day at the corner of Linden Avenue and Brooks Lane!

For more information: Contact Jonathan Bettle, jdbettle@gmail.com, and check out the project's Facebook page.

And for those who can't wait until this weekend to imagine new uses for the space, you can click on one of the images below to play around with ideas (and type in something like "2513 Linden Ave." to get started):

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Screen Shot 2012-09-25 at 4.10.04 PM
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Screen Shot 2012-09-25 at 4.07.26 PM

Introducing the Reservoir Hill Tree Menu

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TreeMenu_Final_Page_1

When you start knocking on doors asking neighbors what they think about the idea of planting a tree in front of their house, you learn that people can have very strong opinions about trees. But whether they love 'em or hate 'em, usually there's a lot of confusion about just what kind of impact a tree might have on nearby homes, sidewalk panels, utility wires and pipes, cars, gutters, birds, rodents, and on and on.

In fall 2013, we worked with a local designer (thanks Katherine!) and a Reservoir Hill-based illustrator (thanks Lisa!) to create a booklet that gives folks a few facts, lots of descriptions, and a bit of hand-drawn whimsy to help determine what kind of tree is the best match for each person, situation, and taste. We feature testimonials from neighbors who have recently planted each of the 5 presented tree species, and we'll use the "Tree Menu" to help select the 50-75 trees we'll be planting with neighbors this fall.

We have printed copies of the "Tree Menu" available at the RHIC office, but for everyone else feel free to click on each of the following images to enlarge!

Page 2 and 3:

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TreeMenu_Final_Page_2

Page 4 and 5:

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TreeMenu_Final_Page_3

Page 6 and 7:

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TreeMenu_Final_Page_4

Back cover:

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TreeMenu_Final_Page_5

Making trees look and feel great in Reservoir Hill

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IMG_0503

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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IMG_0749

(9/10/13)

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IMG_0748

(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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IMG_0497

(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)

Presenting the Reservoir Hill young tree map

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CJ records location, tree species, and condition for a tree on Newington Ave. (4/16/13)

In 2008, a group of neighbors (who would go on to form the RHIC Green Team) wanted to find out how many trees we had in Reservoir Hill.  They used paper and pencil to come up with a total number (965) and produced maps showing the locations of trees, stumps, and empty pits. At the same time, Reservoir Hill committed to matching Tree Baltimore's goal for doubling Baltimore's tree canopy by 2036.

2008 Reservoir Hill tree survey

2008 Tree Canopy map
2008 Tree Canopy map

Since 2009, we've been trying to figure out a more systematic approach to creating a record for every tree planted . It has taken many years and many more volunteers, but we are very excited to share with you the most recent map showing all 346 trees planted in the last 4 years. For those of you counting at home, that means that in just 4 years we are approximately 35% of the way to our 28-year goal of doubling our tree canopy!

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IMAG0710

Stephen, Nurisha, and Paul enter tree location data at the RHIC office (6/29/12)

We're still trying to figure out how to fully embed the map onto the blog so that you can click on each dot and see the tree details (including year planted, photo,  condition, latitude and longitude coordinates, and tree species). For now, you'll have to click on the hyperlinked image below, and that will take you straight to the fully interactive map!

2013 Reservoir Hill young tree map

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Screen Shot 2013-08-21 at 2.12.05 PM

Key:

Red: Trees planted in 2009

Yellow: Trees planted in 2010

Blue: Trees planted in 2011

Purple: Trees planted in 2012

In addition to the pretty colors, this map is extremely helpful for evaluating both current and future tree maintenance and planting priorities. For example, by clicking on the map and choosing the "Filter" tab and then "Condition" check box, you can immediately find that of the 346 trees, 328 are in good or fair condition, while only only 6 are in poor condition and only 12 have died! For city neighborhoods like Reservoir Hill, where trees have to contend with poor soil, small tree pits, and summer droughts (not to mention pesky humans and pets!), a tree survival rate of 97% is fantastic!

Likewise, you can click on the "Filter" tab and then the "Tree species" check box to see that we've planted a lot (49 to be exact) of American Elm trees recently.  The tree map continues to be a work in progress, so follow us as we update our 2013 tree plantings!

If you have questions, suggestions, or corrections, feel free to get in touch: tkrolik@reservoirhill.net