Site of the Frederick County Forest Conservancy District Board, Frederick Maryland

Click on any of the items in the Table of Contents to go to a particular section of this page. Use the 'Ctrl+Home' key chord to return to the Table of Contents.

Welcome to the Frederick County Forestry Board (FCFB) Web site.
The contents of each page on our site is briefly described below the 'Spotlight" section. From any page in this site you can access any other page by using the FCFB site navigator found in the upper left column. The lower left column of each page contains links to other Web sites that relate to FCFB page content.  You can contact us from any page by using the link provided at the in this site you can access any other page by using the FCFB site navigator found in the upper left column. The lower left column of each page contains links to other Web sites that relate to FCFB page content.  You can contact us from any page by using the link provided at the bottom of every page.  

We hope that you enjoy and benefit from visiting our Web site. If you have feedback about this site (e.g., corrections or suggestions)  please contact our Webmaster, Tyson Rose (

You can also contact the Frederick County Forestry Board using the information below:

Frederick County Forestry Board
8602 Gambrill Park Road
Frederick, MD 21702
Executive Secretary, Michael Kay
301-473-8417, 301-473-8577 (FAX)
Visit the  Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards offices for a listing of  all Maryland county offices (includes mailing addresses and phone numbers). 

Overview of the FCFB Web site 

 The Frederick County Forestry Board Calendar page includes official Frederick County Forestry Board activities as well as related events or activities of potential interest for forestry oriented residents in other counties of Maryland.

The Frederick County Forestry Board is dedicated to the forested lands in Frederick County. Go to our Our mission page to learn our purpose and the ways we support the community in promoting forestry concerns.

Are you interested in participating in a state sponsored stewardship of your forested land? Go to our Forest stewardship page to learn about the benefits and responsibilities of this worthwhile program.

Visit the Education programs page to learn about classroom, workshops, demonstrations, training, lectures, seminars and other types of education about forestry in the area. The FCFB Spotlight section above also contains links to recent or future educational events.

The Timber harvest page is a source of information for timber harvest plans, inspections, and related topics.

The spring of 2008 will see a major infestation of Gypsy moth larvae to many areas in Frederick County. Many concerned Frederick County land owners attended a FCFB workshop on the Gypsy moth in November and have banded together to combat the problem. Go to the FCFB workshop on the Gypsy moth in November and have banded together to combat the problem. Go to the Gypsy moth suppression page to learn more.

Go to the Board members page to see a listing of the 2009 FCFB membership. This page also contains highlights from the latest board meeting ('Board Briefs'). To contact the FCFB use the 'Contact us' link found at the bottom of every page in our Web our Web site.

Visit our Newsletter page to download our printed FCFB Newsletter (the current issue as well as past issues). To be added to the newsletter mailing distribution you can contact us and ask to be added to our newsletter mailing list.

The Field trials page contains forestry research result reports for studies conducted locally.

On the Big tree program page you can read about national and state champion tree in Frederick County. Pictures of these magnificent giants are also shown.

The Forest favorites page contains short articles by FCFB members about some of their favorite inhabitants of the forest ... flora and fauna.

The Forestry practices page contains articles intended to provide guidance to landowners who wish to undertake common forestry practices like tree planting, weed control, timber stand improvements, and commercial timber sales.

The Stronghold's demonstration forest page describes the Forestry Demonstration area at Stronghold which provides visitors with a visual representation of common forest harvest practices, as well as displaying a long-term comparative view of forest development resulting from these activities.

The Ecological communities and woodland wildlife habitats page contain articles about various Frederick County landscapes written by Mike Kay.

The Sustaining Frederick’s Forests - 2012 lecture series page contains information about a series of free lectures held at the C. Burr Artz Library in downtown Frederick on the first Thursday of each month from March until August 2012 conducted by the  Frederick County Forestry Board. These informal discussions featured talks by guest experts on subjects including managing backyard trees, getting involved in local conservation organizations, and threats to our natural resources.

FCFB Spotlight

Next Meeting of the Frederick County Forestry Board

Next Meeting:  

The next business meeting of the Board will be Monday, April 9, 2018, at the Walkersville Watershed.  Click here to get directions to the watershed. 

Be sure to visit the Board Briefs section on our Board members page to learn of past Board activities.  Predicted inclement weather may cancel this meeting. Check back here after 6 pm to learn if the meeting is canceled. 

Catoctin Creek Land Preservation Initiative

Mrs. Barry Salisbury recently attended a Frederick County Forestry Board meeting to express her interest in promoting perpetual easements in the Catoctin Creek Watershed as a way of helping to preserve the rural nature and economy of the Middletown Valley. Barry is a longtime resident of the Middletown Valley; and, the Salisbury family own a farm and some woodlots in this region which have Stewardship Plans and they have reforested riparian zones utilizing the CREP program. Many of these properties have conservation easements placed on them as well. Barry has been working with the Maryland Environmental Trust (MET) in this endeavor. She mentioned that this region has a number of special attributes including large blocks of forest, very productive farmland, endangered plants and animals, numerous recreational features i.e.( AT, Parkland, bike trails, etc.,)  Civil War History, Native American history etc. The MET has designated the Catoctin Watershed as one of their Signature Landscapes for all these reasons.  Barry also mentioned that the Community Foundation of Frederick County created a fund to purchase farms and forestland for the purpose of developing an easement on these properties then reselling the property with the easement in place. The Foundation in now searching out donors to fund this program.  The goal of the Catoctin Creek Land Preservation program is to establish 12,000 – 15,000 acres of easements on farms and forestland.


North American Competition 2017

Maryland hosted the 2017  Envirothon competition this week. Over 300 student competitors from forty-eight States and seven Canadian Provinces participated. Only the states of Hawaii and Alaska were not represented.  In addition, there were two teams from China.teams  from China.

Housing for the participants was at Mount St. Mary’s University campus in Emmitsburg. 

The young people were treated to a week of instruction, competition, and sightseeing.  The competition was over a variety of topics: Aquatics, Forestry, Soils, Wildlife, a current environmental issue-Soil and Water Conservation Stewardship, and a team oral presentation.  

On the 24th and 25th Frederick County Forestry Board members participated in Forestry techniques training and testing at two Frederick County rural locations. 

Participants of the North American Competition 2017

Teams were rotated through all the venues and a tight time schedule was adhered to. The movement of people was constant throughout.

Monday the 24th was spent demonstrating pacing to determine each individual’s number of steps to measure  a basic forestry unit of measurement, a chain, 66 feet. The teams  were shown tree measurement and lumber estimation using tapes, wedge prism, Biltmore stick and tables.  Tree identification techniques were shown by a team of DNR Foresters.  At the end of each session a period was provided for questions  and answers.  The day was hot and humid.  The beautiful Forestry venue was in woodland  adjacent to a working orchard. 

On Tuesday the 25th each of the teams was tested on the forestry topics demonstrated the previous day. The day was delightful with cooler temperatures, a breeze and sunshine. The testing took place in woodlands on beautiful farm property. 

At the end of the scoring, the Pennsylvania team came out on top followed by New York and New Mexico. Maryland ranked number ten 

The National Conservation Foundation, sponsors and all participants are to be commended for this event.

Details of the entire week can be found at

FFA Forestry Career Development Event

 July 13th and 14th, 2017

This event was hosted by Stronghold Inc., a non-profit organization established by the late Gordon Strong. Stronghold is located at Sugarloaf Mountain and on adjacent land near Comus and Dickerson Maryland… The gracious hosting was spearheaded by Russ and Travis  Thompson, Stronghold managers…  In addition to hosting the event Russ and Travis participated in the training and testing of FFA members and provided some of the demonstration and testing materials.

Participants performing tree identification

The activity was managed by Terrie Shank, MD FFA Executive Director and took place at the Western Overlook area on Sugarloaf Mountain in Southern Frederick County. These Forestry Related events consisted of tree identification, timber measurement, timber cruising which consists of identifying harvestable timber and estimating the potential yield in board feet of lumber.. In addition, chainsaw maintenance, Forestry/Logging tool identification and a team  essay oral presentation on forest disorders such as pest and disease were part of the activities. 

Participants were FFA youth and advisors from the Western Maryland region. Members of the Frederick County Forestry Board assisted in certain of the events by identifying and marking trees for tree ID,  identifying and marking trees for timber measurement and assisting in the grading of the essay oral presentations. 

One of the tools used by the participants is the Biltmore Stick. The Biltmore stick was developed at the Biltmore Estate near Ashville, NC in the 1890s . Then,  Gifford Pinchot, future first chief of the US forest service, and Carl A. Schenck were hired to restore 125,000 acres of land around the Biltmore estate to a healthy forest. This was one of the first efforts to use scientific methods of forest management. Carl Schenck was the developer of the Biltmore stick. This stick looks similar to a yardstick and is used to quickly get an estimation of the board feet of lumber available from a standing tree.  It has scales to measure diameter at breast height (DBH), four and a half feet, of the tree and the number of 16 logs that could be obtained from the log from stump height up to the size and condition level  useable at a sawmill.  Based on these measurements, other markings on the Biltmore Stick are used to determine  the quantity of board feet obtainable from a sample acre of timber. This measurement, along with other techniques using a wedge prism are utilized to quickly cruise timber. 

Other measurements can be obtained by  more accurate methods including measuring the diameter using a tape and the height using a clinometer. A clinometer is an optical instrument that among other things indicates height based on a known base length of a triangle and the angle of inclination.

Another simple device used to measure basal area in woodland is the wedge prism. Basal area is the cross-sectional area of a tree at breast height and  provides an indication of the productivity of the land, and the growth rate of the trees when one or multiple  basal area estimates are compared. 

The wedge prism  is commonly used in forest management. It can be used to estimate quickly the basal area per acre. It distorts the light and shifts the position of a tree trunk when looked at through the prism. Those trees that the trunk appears disconnected are not included in the count. Those connected are included and those that are just touching are included in every other count. The prism is used from a fixed location by looking at trees at a certain distance within a 360 degree scan to obtain a tree count.  Certain of the trees will meet the criteria to be included in the count or not counted. The number of “in” trees is then multiplied by the basal area factor of the prism used to determine the basal area per acre. 

This FFA event was statewide competition and a prelude to possible participation in a nationwide competition. While heat and humidity were factors, the two day event was enjoyed by the participants.

Frederick County Forestry Board supports the 2017 North American Envirothon

The Frederick County Forestry Board has long supported funding for community organizations such as the Maryland Association of Soil Conservation Districts participation in the 2017 North American Envirothon. Members of the Frederick County Forestry Board are assisting with a training session and helping proctor the competition.

The letter of appreciation for the $500 funding that came to the Frederick County Forestry Board is shown below. The letter also mentions the purpose of the Envirothon. 

Frederick County Big Tree Champ Flowering Dogwood

Pictured below is the Frederick County champion Flowering Dogwood (Cornus florida) recently measured by members of the Frederick County Forestry Board (Claude Eans, Steve Thrasher) and recognized by the Maryland Big Tree program of as a 'tri-State Champion'. The Frederick tree is the largest at 122 points, but there are two trees in Montgomery at 119 and 118 points that are considered to "share" the championship.  If the Frederick tree had been just a little taller, it would have owned the championship outright.
Frederick County champion Flowering Dogwood

AVERAGE CROWN WIDTH: 52.5’ x 50.5’ = 51.5’

Silver Maple – Frederick County Big Tree Champion 

A recent entry to the Big Tree program is the Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum) is shown below.  
Fredeick County champion  Silver Maple 

LOCATION/APPEARANCE/HEALTH OF TREE: This Walkersville tree has multiple leaders; tree has a significant cavity where leader broke off.  Crown looks good, tree house in tree.

New Frederick County Big Tree  Champion is second  in the  state standings

The largest Sweet/Black Birch tree in Frederick County was recently measured and recorded as the second largest within the entire state. Picture and statistics supplied by John Bennett.
Frederick County champion Sweet/Black Birch

NAME: Sweet/Black Birch 
LATIN: Betula lenta
LOCATION/APPEARANCE/HEALTH OF TREE: near Gate R3 on Epic Loop trail.  Tree is very healthy look with no apparent rot or dieback.

 2017 MEL Award goes to  Frederick County Forestry Board Member

Tyson Rose (left) receives this year's MEL Award from Keith Schoonover, President of the 
Frederick County Forestry Board. 

The MEL Award is given by the Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards each year for volunteering years of outstanding service and dedication that exemplifies what ir means to be an active forestry board means to be an active forestry board member.

Natural Resouces Career Camp in the News
Frederick News-Post article by Karen Gardner 3/18/17

"High school students with an interest in forestry, fisheries, wildlife or parks management are invited to join other teens at the Natural Resources Careers Camp, July 23 to 29 at Hickory Environmental Education Center in Garrett County."

Read the entire article.

Frederick County wins 3rd place award in Poster Contest
Frederick County award winning entry by fifth grader Tyler Koshar

In this year's Arbor Day grade school poster contest hosted by the Maryland Forest Service’s Tree-Mendous Maryland Program, the Frederick County entry took third place! 
The scanner was unable to capture the full watercolor. The complete theme for this year's contest was 'Trees are, terrific and energy wise'.

Frederick Bird Club Bird Walks

Enjoy bird walks and looking for more? Check out The Frederick Bird Club's local walks and field trips. Meetings and walks are open to the public.

Thurmont Community Park tree planting
Saturday April 22, 1917
Article and photos by Claude Eans

On Saturday, April 22nd a group of dedicated persons completed another tree planting in the Thurmont Community Park. Led by DNR Foresters and  Thurmont Town Personnel,  a substantial number of people braved the off and on rain to complete the planting of around 50 trees including a number of beautiful Flowering Dogwood in full bloom. 

Persons participating included members of the Frederick County Forestry Board, Thurmont Green Team, Scouts, dedicated environmentalists and community neighbors. The many hands made the planting go relatively quickly despite the light rain. As observed last year, again the Scouts and even younger children participated. It was particularly interesting to note how well the youth paid attention and then carried out the planting strictly according to how they were instructed. 

The pre-dug holes and the front end loaders with soil and mulch were greatly appreciated and mostly the necessary materials were close at hand. Due to the heavy rains recently it was observed that a couple of the pre-dug holes were water logged so it was decided to move a couple of the trees to slightly different locations with better drainage. 

The Thurmont Park is certainly beautiful this time of year especially and the trees planted there last year by many of the same persons were all thriving with 100% survival.

Many young persons enjoyed the effort and did their share of the work while learning how to properly plant the potted trees. Instructions were provided by Becky Wilson, DNR Forester who also supervised the progress of the project offering suggestions and showing the proper depth and preparation of the trees. The trees were planted to the appropriate depth, the root balls were released, the trees watered, mulched and bio-degradable tree shelters were installed to prevent damage by rabbits.

Why Public Health Researchers Are Looking to Urban Trees

A global study finds trees can help cool cities and reduce air pollution—for less money than high-tech answers. To read more visit the article in the Smithsonian Magazine link below:

Why Public Health Researchers Are Looking to Urban Trees




 Tuesday, March, 15, 2016 at the Thurmont Regional Library 

Approximately 50 people were in attendance. 

Invasive plants are those that are not native to an area and which have a tendency to spread and cause damage to the environment, economy, and health.   The spread of invasive plants throughout our forests, meadows, and open areas has been cited as one of the most serious environmental issues we face.  Because these plants have few natural controls they have the potential to overrun native communities, negatively impact local wildlife populations, denude our waterways, and some have been linked to serious health issues. 

This program provided information on how to identify these plants, describe control options for home and landowners, and identify local resources for assistance.  

This program was sponsored by the Frederick County Forestry Board.  Its mission is to promote the conservation, stewardship, and sustainable use of the forest resources of Frederick County through education.  

About the presenters:

Kerrie Kyde is an Invasive Plant Ecologist for the Maryland Natural Heritage Program, Wildlife and Heritage Service, Maryland Department of Natural Resources. She is responsible for assessment, control and monitoring of invasive plants and the ecological problems they cause on public land owned by DNR, about 475,000 acres. She manages the new Statewide Eyes program, involving Maryland citizens in invasive plant identification, mapping and ultimately, control. She works closely with other units within DNR to help control invasive plants, Maryland Park Service and Maryland Forest Service.

Timothy Pry
is coordinator for the independent Frederick County Weed Control program

Mike Kay is a Registered Professional Forester working for the MD Forest Service.  In this position, Mike helps implement the Forest Stewardship Program, tree planting initiatives, Urban Forestry programs, and forest fire suppression. Mike serves as the Project Manager for the Washington – Frederick Project concentrating most of his time in Frederick County.  One of the most pleasant parts of the job is working as the Executive Secretary of the Frederick County Forestry Board. 

Big Tree Measurements

Six members of the Frederick County Forestry Board have recently been measuring trees in Frederick County  for the Maryland Big Tree registry. Soon qualifying new entrants from our county will be displayed on our 
Big tree program page. (Photo by Ginny Brace)

On December 8, 2015 six members of the FCFB continued measuring big trees. Shown above is a Ginkgo tree in the backyard of a Frederick city townhouse that will be nominated as a candidate for consideration as a county big tree. 
 (Photo by Tyson Rose)

FCFB member Steve Thrasher measures a Horse Chestnut in downtown Frederick.

FCFB members Steve Thrasher (left) and Claude Eans (right) along with Matthew Witmer (Frederick County Government Intern) measure a swamp oak in Walkersville.

Matthew Witmer
Frederick County Government Intern) stand before a large black locust in Thurmont.

Two new Frederick County Big Tree Champions belong to FCFB President Keith Schoonover of  Smithsburg.

Northern Red Oak

CIRCUMFERENCE:  FEET: 14’ 7”     HEIGHT: 97.5’  
AVERAGE CROWN WIDTH: 67.5’ x 50’ = 59’

Black Oak

CIRCUMFERENCE:  FEET: 14’ 0”  INCHES: 168” HEIGHT: 117’     

AVERAGE CROWN WIDTH: 91’ x 45.5’ = 69’

Frederick Board members wins Mel awards 

FCFB member Ginny Brace was awarded the 2016 Mel Award for outstanding service and dedication as a forestry board member for Frederick County over the many years before retiring from the board in 2016.

Steve Thrasher of the Frederick County Forestry Board was awarded  the 2015 Mel Award.
Steve Thrasher and his Mel award (photos by Jim Arnold)

The 2017 MEL Award winner was also from the Frederick County Forestry Board

Coping with Emerald Ash Borer in 2015 and beyond
Sponsored by the Frederick County Forestry Board and the Fox Haven Learning Center
March 19, 2015
Fox Haven Learning Center
3630 Poffenberger Road  
Jefferson, MD 21755                     

Emerald Ash Borer is a destructive insect that was first discovered in Michigan in June, 2002. This insect has decimated ash trees in Michigan, Ohio, Illinois, and part of Pennsylvania and Maryland.  

Emerald Ash Borer (Courtesy photo)

Emerald Ash Borer has now been found throughout Central Maryland including Frederick County.  Information about  what you can do to manage your landscapes or forests for this serious pest was presented. A team of local experts were on hand to describe the threat, explain what steps you can take, answer questions that had and point them in the direction of individuals and agencies that could offer assistance.

Members of the Frederick County Forestry Board (Vincent Perrotta and Andy Driscoll) registered over 40 attendees to the presentation.

Forester Mike Kay covers the agenda for the presentation.

Entomologist Tom Lupp presents an EAB overview including the insect's life cycle and how it damages ash trees.

Dan Yates of Bartlett Tree Experts discusses how to manage EAB in the landscape.

Aaron Cook, MD Forest Service, presents how to manage EAB in the forest.

Tyler Wakefield, 
MD Forest Service, discusses how to decide what the property owners should do once EAB invests their trees.

After the presentations were completed the panel of speakers addressed questions from the audience.

The 2015 Scout Merit Badge Event program is scheduled for October 24, 2015, at the Walkersville Watershed. See the article below to learn about this well-received program offered through the FCFB. Look for more 2015 announcement information in this space as the scheduled date approaches. 

Boy Scout 
Forestry Merit Badge Event  at Walkersville Watershed on October 11, 2014
article and photos by Claude Eans

The Frederick County Forestry Board and Maryland DNR Foresters have completed another Forestry Merit Badge Day for the Scouts.  The day dawned with rain falling and after a long night of watching the weather a decision was taken to undertake the project despite the weather. Over eighty Scouts and parents participated and everyone seemingly enjoyed the day.

Department of Natural Resources Foresters, Hailu Sharew and Mike Kay manned their Watershed Management and  Forester Stations respectively.   Hailu explained the techniques used to manage a watershed for healthy forest and clean air and water. He explained specifically how this was done for the Walkersville Watershed where the event was held. Mike Kay explained and demonstrated several techniques used by a Forester to measure and quantify the forest environment. Among other things Mike explained how to identify a specific member of the Red Oak Tree Family and how to properly measure it. These things were interesting and will hopefully encourage some future Forester.

Forester Mike Kay discusses the duties of a forester

Forester Hailu Sharew explains watershed management

Forestry Board Members Heather Montgomery and Jim Arnold provided instruction and group participation in Ecology. They explained the interaction between  the forest and its plant and animal inhabitants. The Scouts were also busy inspecting under rocks for forest dwelling plants, insects and salamanders. These were found on the damp forest floor and are an indication of a healthy forest dwelling for these creatures. They also explained the benefits of having a healthy forest which retains and slows rainwater runoff providing this habitat and aiding in providing clean air and water. Heather and Jim did an excellent job of instilling knowledge and getting the participation of the Scouts in this activity. 

Heather Montgomery and Jim Arnold discuss ecology

A requirement of the Forestry Merit Badge, one of the oldest Merit Badges,  is to learn to identify fifteen species of trees.  Explaining how to do this and getting the Scouts to participate, obtain samples and annotate their workbooks with the information obtained was a task performed by Andy Driscoll and Vince Perrotta.  They presented a total of 20 tree species and explained in detail how to identify them using basic techniques as to classification of evergreen or deciduous and the characteristics of the tree bark, leaves, structure and habitat. Another valuable lesson was which are native and which are invasive species.  An explanation was provided detailing how invasive species are a definite threat to the environment by destroying the habitat and preventing the growth and propagation of native species. They also explained how the wood products are used and the benefits to wildlife and the environment of each species of tree they presented.

Andy Driscoll identifies a flowering dogwood

Vince Perrotta explains tree identification methods

At the "Wood" station, Forestry Board members Steve Thrasher with assistant Tom Anderson provided scouts with hands on identification of 14 tree species through close examination of slices of each tree.  Four sets of these tree 'cookies,' a set for each of the 4 picnic tables used by the scouts, were cut about 2 inches thick by Steve for the event, and were about 6" to 14" in diameter including the bark. The scouts brainstormed about uses for each type of tree, value to wildlife or in plantings, and on what things are made from the wood.  Discussion with the scouts also included timber harvesting and sawmill operations and wood pilings and their use to support piers, buildings and even city areas as in New Orleans or Venice. The most interest seemed to come from having scouts stand on boards supported at the ends to demonstrate breaking strength of the boards either lengthwise with the wood grain or across the wood grain.


Steve Thrasher and Tom Anderson discuss wood

Tree cookies 

Forestry Board member, Claude Eans and Scout leader Melissa Udbinac coordinated activities between the Scouts and presenters.  Melissa documented the participation, provided the scheduling and kept the activities running on schedule.

Towards the end of the activity rain completely ceased, the sun came out and the Watershed was cleaned up and all secured. Another successful Merit Badge Day was accomplished

Discover Your Woods by Claude Eans (photos by Laura Perrotta)

Forestry Board member Steve Thrasher and his wife Jolene, hosted a 'Discover Your Woods' field event sponsored by the American Tree Farm System. The event was held on October 4th at the  beautiful Thrasher family Tree Farm in Jefferson MD. 

Steve Thrasher welcomes 

Over  forty persons attended the event. The purpose was to acquaint landowners having  forest acreage with sources of information regarding forestry practices and available resources for assistance in the enhancement of their forest land and techniques for renewable forestry practices. The agenda included information about improving wildlife habitat, the availability and use  of the CREP program. This is the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program which is  voluntary and removes environmentally sensitive areas from farm or other production to meet specific needs and compensates the land owner for the loss of revenue or other use of the land for a specific period of time. The contract is in some cases renewable and is a valuable environmental conservation tool.

A Thrasher family graveyard dating back to the 1700s located on the property was shown and discussed by Nancy Cherry, Steve’s sister. Historical site consideration is a requirement of the Tree Farm Certification Program.

Nancy Cherry discusses historic graveyard

The Maryland Big Tree Program was explained and discussed. A beautiful Hackberry Tree on the property was measured by participants to demonstrate the techniques used to score trees. This particular tree is a Frederick County  champion.

Mike Kay demonstrates tree measurement 

A discussion was held regarding identification and control of invasive plant species was conducted by Tim Pry, Frederick Weed Control.

Tim Pry discusses invasive species and control

An enjoyable woods walk was held which discussed stewardship programs, cost share programs, the new cerulean warbler habitat restoration initiative and timber merchantability. This was presented by Professional Foresters and Western Maryland DNR Foresters and a wildlife expert.

Steve Thrasher demonstrated turning logs into saw timber with his portable sawmill.

Steve Thrasher shows portable saw mill

A catered lunch was served and a number of decorative and useful door prizes were given out to complete the program.

The success of the program was greatly enhanced by the participation of volunteer members of the Frederick County Forestry Board, the Maryland Tree Farm Committee and the Maryland DNR.


Tree Farmer of the Year award

Forester Mike Kay (left) presents the 2014 Tree Farmer of the Year award to Claude Eans of Walkersville.  In recent years Mr. and Mrs. Eans have worked to thin out their pine stand, control invasive species, plant trees, and clean up after Super Storm Sandy.  In addition to the work on the Tree Farm Mr. Eans is very active.  (Photo by Jim Arnold)

Woodsboro Tree Planting  Saturday, April 12, 2014

Jim Arnold, Mike Kay, Dr. Hailu Sharew, and Aaron Cook helped facilitate the planting of 1,800 trees at Woodsboro Park along with about 100 volunteers from the Scouts, Lions Club International, and assorted volunteers from around the county.  They established about 4.0 acres of new plantings and filled in about 1.0 acre previous plantings where a tree was missing.  The planting began at 8:00 am and concluded by 11:00 am when we all enjoyed a lunch provided by Trout’s store.

Unloading planting paraphernalia at one of the planting locations in Woodsboro Park

Supervisors, scouts, shelters, stakes, and trees.  A good mornings work!

Scouts and their helpers planting tree seedlings in the park

Planting by the wetland – creating cool habitat for the growing food chain

Filling in the gaps – goal was a buffer along the stream.  This was one of the last sections

Neighborhood Green Program 

Beginning in summer 2014, Frederick County's Office of Sustainability & Environmental Resources (OSER) will be offering an expanded Neighborhood Green program to help eligible landowners create personalized plans for their properties that include native species of trees, shrubs, and grasses; beautiful rain gardens; water-saving rain barrels, and more!

Visit the Neighborhood Green  Web site to learn more about the program and see pictures of  the tree planting activities by program  and see pictures of  the tree planting activities by program of  the tree planting activities by program  and see pictures of  the tree planting activities by program participants.

Tree Farm Inspector of the Year - Mike Kay

Maryland Tree Farm committee members and DNR Foresters were in Annapolis
Maryland to distribute Redbud tree seedlings to Maryland House and Senate personnel to celebrate Arbor Day, April 2nd, 2014. In addition Tree Farm and Maryland State Appreciation certificates were presented in the House Chamber to Richard and Kathy Abend, Maryland Tree Farmers of the Year by Delegate Eckhardt. In the Senate Chamber, Tree Farm Inspector of the Year certificate was presented to DNR Forester Mike Kay by Senator Brinkley. (Photo by Dave Gailey)


Natural Resources Careers Camp (NRCC) is a great summer opportunity for Maryland high school students who are interested in forests, wildlife, or natural resources.  At NRCC, students learn about a wide range of forest, wildlife and natural resources topics with challenging hands-on lessons.  They explore careers through field and classroom experiences led by professionals currently working in the field.   College credit is available from Allegany College of Maryland, and “college night” brings representatives of colleges and university from around the region to camp to meet with students one-on-one.

This week-long residential camp will be held in Garrett County,  July 21 – July 27, 2013.  The cost is $500, with scholarships available from your local Forestry Board.

Students who have attended this program in the past give it rave reviews, and many say it was key in helping them launch their careers!  Encourage the students in your life to check it out and apply today!

More information and application materials for NRCC are available.  
    • The 2013 NRCC Pamphlet ( in a PDF form, so it is downloadable )
    • The 2013 application ( in a PDF form ) to review before filling out the online registration
    • An updated reference list of all Board Chairs and DNR secretaries.
Take a look at the student testimonials from this years camp. The 2012 camp was very successful (see the FCFB Education programs page).

Registrations are now open, and we look forward to having all the forestry boards having student representation at the 2013 camp.  To learn more and apply visit the Maryland's Forest Conservancy Disctrict Boards Web site. 
  • Catoctin Mountain Park and Local School Systems Awarded National Park Foundation ‘Ticket To Ride’ Grant To Bring Local Students Into Park
Responding to an overwhelming need for transportation and educational programming funding from parks and schools nationwide, the National Park Foundation, the official charity of America’s national parks, created the Ticket To Ride program. With support from Disney, Ticket to Ride provides financial resources for transportation, in-park educational programming, and meals that make national park field trips possible for schools across the country. This year, Catoctin Mountain Park was selected to receive a Ticket to Ride grant in order to bring 550 students to Catoctin Mountain Park. Nationwide, over $230,000 in Ticket to Ride grants will make it possible for more than 30,000 students to experience their local national park this fall.

At Catoctin, high school students, selected by their teachers for capability and enthusiasm, will assist Park Rangers and volunteers guiding middle school and younger students on explorations focused on human impact on water quality and other topics relevant to that group’s science curriculum. Partner schools will bring urban and rural students from multiple counties, providing the first National Park visit for a large percentage of students, all of whom live within 35 miles of the park. Sadly, there is no public transportation in the area, so many may not have the means to make return visits to Catoctin, increasing the importance and impact of this journey

'Fourteen new Big Trees in county'   - Read the Frederick News-Post article entitled 'Fourteen new Big Tree in county' to learn about this major update to Frederick County's champion big trees on our FCFB Big tree program page. 

Trees linked to less crime, research finds
 A new study looking across Baltimore City and Baltimore County has found that with few exceptions, the frequency of crimes reported in a particular block or neighborhood goes down as the tree cover gets thicker. Just a 10 percent increase in leaf canopy was associated with a 12 percent drop in crime, it concluded. (Read Baltimore Sun article.) 

Sustaining Frederick’s Forests
  - a FCFB lecture series
 These informal discussions were conducted on the first Thursday of every month between March through August in 2012. They  featured talks by guest experts on subjects including managing backyard trees, getting involved in local conservation organizations, and threats to our natural resources. Details about each of the lectures are  available on the  Sustaining Frederick’s Forests - 2012 lecture series page of this Web site.
 Frederick County’s champion white oak tree has grown in Braddock Heights for an estimated 350 years. To learn more see the article in the FNP entitled "Casting a broad shadow: Braddock Heights white oak makes state registry".   
  • Braddock Heights white oak (Photo by Adam Fried)
    Visit the FCFB Big tree program page to learn more about big trees in Frederick County and Maryland.

    Just weeks after it turned up in Howard County, the emerald ash borer has been detected in Anne Arundel and Allegany counties.
     Maryland agriculture officials have responded by placing all Maryland counties west of the Susquehanna River and the Chesapeake Bay under quarantine. Movement of ash wood and trees, and all hardwood firewood out of the zone is banned, and all movement of hardwood firewood within the zone is discouraged. "Buy it where you burn it," officials urged.

    The quarantine is "the best way to secure Maryland's Eastern Shore, where EAB has not been found to date, and protect our riparian forest buffer plantings," said state Agriculture Secretary Buddy Hance. While federal, state and local authorities continue to search for better controls on the 
    pest, he added, "we rely upon cooperation from the community to follow the quarantine restrictions, not move firewood and to report signs of possible infestation."

    The emerald ash borer is an Asian invader first detected in Maryland in 2003, in Prince George's County. It reached Charles County five years 
    later and was found in Howard County last month. Fatal to ash trees, the insect typically kills its host within three years.

    Baltimore City has the state's largest population of ash trees, with an estimated 293,000 trees. There are an estimated six million in the city and surrounding counties. Removal of dead trees can cost between $1,000 and $2,000 each. Federal authorities have estimated financial losses in the Baltimore area alone could reach $227 million if the insect becomes established there.  
    Julie Oberg, spokeswoman for the Department of Agriculture, said the pest's spread to Baltimore and the rest of Maryland west of the bay now appears likely. 

    Do I need to get a logging permit?

    Are you thinking of conducting a logging operation on your property? You will need to have a permit before you begin. See the 'Logging Permits' article on our
    Forestry practices page.

    Under the spreading Chestnut tree ...

    The mighty American Chestnut once graced the entire east coast of the US but then fell victim to a blight. Could it be returning? Have you seen the test planting near Sugarloaf Mountain and other areas? A recent Washington Post article entitled 'The mighty American chestnut tree, poised for a comeback' discusses the possibility of a return of this wonderful American tree.

  • How to plant a tree seedling

    Nature Notes 3/18/2018    Black Cherry Tree  

    Black Cherry Tree

    The black cherry tree (Prunus serotina) is a very common tree found throughout Frederick County in hedgerows, along roadsides, fields, or any other disturbed areas that have abundant sunlight. The black cherry is known as a pioneer species, because it’s one of the first trees to colonize abandoned fields, and it needs plenty of sun to develop properly. This tree grows quickly, forming very rough, black-red bark that looks somewhat like corn flakes cereal. Cherries produce an attractive white flower in late April to May, and a green berry that turns dark purple-black in August. The fruit is not edible to humans without boiling in water, but many birds eagerly devour them. The leaves and twigs of cherry produce a substance containing cyanide, which can be poisonous to livestock and other animals.  

    Cherries of the Black Cherry Tree

    Cherry trees are attacked by eastern tent caterpillar nearly every year, which build their silky nests in early April, often stripping the trees of their leaves.  Despite this damage, the cherry tree always seems to bounce back.  Frederick County forests contain other cherry trees, most notably domestic cherry varieties that escape captivity once birds eat their fruits and deposit the hard-coated seed at a different location.  This bird deposition is the reason so many cherry trees grow beneath bird perches on utility wires and fence rows.  There is also another fairly unusual cherry tree that might be present in our area,  --the pin cherry (Prunus pennsylnanica) which is more common to the north. Pin cherries look a lot like black cherries, but their bark has a more silvery sheen compared to the more common variety. Black cherries were introduced to Europe as an ornamental, but quickly gained the status of an invasive exotic species.

     The black cherry tree has very different characteristics, depending on whether it is growing in the southern or northern part of its range.  Black cherries growing throughout most of Maryland tend to be short lived, smaller, and they often develop black knot canker and ring shake disease.  For these reasons, these cherries are not highly sought after for lumber, although they make good firewood.  Black cherries growing at more northern latitudes, like the Allegheny Plateau of Pennsylvania and Garrett County Maryland, on the other hand, tend to live longer, grow larger, and their deep red wood is a prized lumber used in fine woodworking and cabinetry.

     Past Nature Notes

    Use the following links to view past Nature Notes (large documents).

    Past Nature Notes for 2011
    Past Nature Notes for 2012
    Past Nature Notes for 2013
    Past Nature Notes for 2014
    Past Nature Notes for 2015
    Past Nature Notes for 2016
    Past Nature Notes for 2017
    Past Nature Notes for 2018