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 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 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 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 provide 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 contains 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 meeting of the Forestry Board will be held at the Tea Room in Gambrill State Park (8602 Gambrill Park Road Frederick, MD 21702) on Monday, July 10, 2017 at the Tea Room beginning at 7:00 pm.

Be sure to visit the Board Briefs section on our Board members page to learn of past Board activities. 

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.

NAME: Sweet/Black Birch – Frederick County Champion, #2 in MD 
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 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 March.

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 to 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 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 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 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)

Interesting Photos from the Forest

FCFB member Keith Schoonover took this 'turtle with five eggs' picture while hiking locally.

Another picture by Keith shows a resting fawn. 

Keith took these pictures of American ginseng he found in Frederick County but he won't say exactly where ... smile.

Send us ( your forest photos. Include a picture caption describing the scene content and locale. 

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 might 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 6/25/2017  Bush dogwoods

    Bush dogwoods
    Article by Mike Kay

    The image most people have of a dogwood is that of a small tree with beautiful white or pink flowers that bloom in the early spring--the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida.)  There are, however, many native dogwood varieties that have multiple stems and fairly nondescript flowers--the “bush dogwoods.” Some of the bushy dogwoods found in the east are silky dogwood, red osier dogwood, gray dogwood, pale dogwood, rough leaf dogwood, swamp dogwood, alternate leaf dogwood, and Canadian bunchberry.  Most dogwoods have opposite facing leaves (alternate leaf being the exception,) with the leaf veins forming a candelabra effect.  These shrubby plants typically have green stems in the summer that turn to red to deep crimson in the winter.  Most dogwoods flower in the spring and early summer, forming a bluish, purple to black “drupe” fruit in early to late fall.  Many of these berries stay on the bush throughout the fall and winter, providing a good fall food source for many birds.  These bushy plants often are very dense, and provide good cover for small animals and birds. The silky, red osier, and gray dogwoods are planted extensively where developing low shrubby wildlife cover is desired.  The silky and red osier or red twig dogwoods do best in wetter conditions, while the gray tolerates drier sites.

     Canadian dogwood or bunchberry (Courtesy photo from National Park Service)

     There are nearly 60 species of dogwoods worldwide, half of which are native to North America.  The name, “dogwood” is thought to be derived from “dagwood,” a name given to sharp, hard twigs that were used as daggers or arrows.  Dogwoods are dense and hard, used in cutting boards, mountain dulcimers, canes, and tennis rackets.  Many varieties of dogwoods are grown for ornamentals, like the flowering, or Kousa dogwood for its blooms, or the red twig for its dark crimson stem color in the winter.  Colonial farmers often waited until dogwoods went into bloom before planting their crops as an indication they no longer had to worry about killing frosts.

    Past Nature Notes
    Use the following links to view past Nature Notes (large documents).
    Past Nature Notes from July 2008 through 2010 

    Past Nature Notes for 2011