Maryland Outdoor Club
Sat, Oct 29 2005 - Tree Planting in Howard County (View Original Event Details)

Event Organizer(s): Jesse Allen
Participants:Jesse Allen, Kate Copanic, Lauren Silberman, Ruwan Alwis, Rob, Cara Aymold, Kyle Johnson, James Kim, colleen wade

Write Up:
We all arrived at the tree planting site to find large mounds of mulch, stacks of trees, an energetic team from event sponsors Tree-Mendous (from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources) and Winchester Homes, and lots of volunteers already well along in the business of planting trees and shrubs. So we set more or less straight into the project and planted trees ourselves.

Winchester Homes sponsors an annual tree planting event (see our contribution to this effort in 2004) to restore natural habitat and native species to areas where they can help protect the watershed, filter water, and prevent pollution from entering the Chesapeake Bay watershed. In this instance, we were planting hardy shrubs and trees along the edge of a golf course in Howard County. The new plantings will set roots in ground where runoff from the road will pass. The trees filter this water and prevent many of the runoff pollutants from entering the neighboring stream.

"So basically we are planting a bunch of sacrificial trees, right?" said Rob Copanic. No so: the trees actually can deal with and use many of the nitrate compounds from car exhaust and prevent these compounds from dissolving into the local water, and entering the Bay where they would cause algae blooms that use up the available dissolved oxygen in the water. By getting trees to use these chemicals as growth promoters instead of algae, we get attractive trees that are nett providers of oxygen instead of algae in the bloom, nett killers of Bay wildlife by starving the water of oxygen.

The MOC attendees put in an honest hour's work, but with such a large team from Winchester Homes, among other volunteers, we may remarkably short work of the job and were done with the tree planting in much less time than anticipated. Lauren floating the idea of getting together for lunch, but at merely 10 AM it seemed a bit early, so we said our goodbyes, admired our new trees, and went on our way.

- Jesse Allen

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