Tomorrow is National Love a Tree Day! On May 16th, trees are celebrated and recognized for the wonderful gift they are to us. From the sweet sap of sugar maples, to the towering trunks of tulip trees, there are so many species of trees we should love each and every day.
Four Reasons to Love Trees
- Trees are water-cleaning powerhouses. Did you know that trees are made up of more than 50% water? Forests are natural sponges that can absorb and filter lots of rain and stormwater.
- Trees keep our streets and homes cooler. Heat islands are a public health problem in urban areas. In the summer months, Baltimore’s low-income communities of color are hit the hardest and temperatures can vary in different neighborhoods based on our canopy coverage. The shade and water vapor made by trees can help keep urban areas up to 9°F cooler on summer days. Blue Water Baltimore is part of a city partnership dedicated to increasing our city-wide canopy to 40%.
- More trees means cleaner air. Many Baltimore neighborhoods – especially communities of color – bear the brunt of industrial pollution. We are one of the few cities in the U.S. that still depends on incineration for our waste. Trees take up pollutants from a variety of sources, such as cars and power plants. Trees won’t solve the problem, but they’re part of the solution.
- Trees bring people together (even when we’re 6 feet apart). When we plant trees in partnership with local residents, community leaders, students, congregations, and corporate groups, we’re building stronger and healthier communities in Baltimore. Our neighborhoods feel empowered to work together and create a better future, one tree at a time.
Four Ways to Celebrate
- Plant some native trees. Our Herring Run Nursery has plenty of native trees ready to call your garden home. Visit our new online store to see what trees we have in stock. Looking to fill a street tree pit or grass strip right-of way in front of your home? City residents can get a free 15-gallon tree delivered from TreeBaltimore this spring. Hoping to join a tree planting once the stay-at-home order lifts? Connect with us to stay in-the-know.
- Mulch trees the right way! Mulch can help soils stay healthy, suppress weeds, and insulate tree roots during hot, summer days or droughts. Just remember: mulch donuts, not volcanoes!
- Remove invasive plants. Invasive plants like English Ivy compete with trees for water, nutrients, and space. Check out our recent blog on removing invasive plants to learn more.
- Give the trees in your neighborhood a ‘hug’. Trees are always ready to accept a free hug, but now’s not the best time for that. Instead, shower trees with other forms of affection. Prune them and remove dead twigs. Look for pests or signs of disease. Water them during the hot summer months ahead. There’s lots of ways to show trees some TLC!
Marissa Zuckerman serves as Blue Water Baltimore’s Communications Specialist. She loves planting trees, hiking mountains, and petting dogs.