Thurmont tree planting

Thurmont’s Community Park is a charming 24-acre site on Frederick Road. The park is a picturesque oasis of towering trees providing a shaded place to play, a walk on the level path that winds through the park, a gathering spot in one of the pavilions, or a rest to enjoy nature’s beauty.

Participants plant trees Nov.5 2017 in Thurmont Community Park.

Credit: - Claude Eans

The park is well cared for and beloved by the local community, but its trees are being impacted by the invasive emerald ash borer that is devastating ash trees in the United States. The Maryland Forest Service evaluated the park in the winter of 2016, and found a high percentage of the trees in the park are ash and very susceptible to the borer.

Through additional field work, partnerships, and designated funding, the town developed a plan to manage this threat to its beloved space. High risk trees are currently being removed, healthy ash have been treated to protect from borer attacks, and a variety of other trees are being planted.

It was a beautiful Saturday in Thurmont on Nov. 5 when the community joined together to begin planting trees to replace the canopy of leaves being lost, thus ensuring the character of the park will endure. The town’s Green Team Members, local residents, girl scouts, the Frederick County Forest Conservancy District Board, town staff, and the Maryland Forest Service all came together to plant 25 trees.

The trees planted were a native mix of serviceberry, red maple, hackberry, and pin oak that will mature to provide shade and many environmental services to the community.

It was important to plant a diversity of tree species to reduce the risk of such a devastating event like the emerald ash borer in the future from impacting the park and town resources so extensively. Many hands made easy and satisfying work of the planting. The Thurmont maintenance personnel provided trucks to haul the trees, necessary tools, water and mulch for the trees to have a strong start in their new locations.

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, Maryland Forest Service Forester, who also supervised the progress of the project. A biodegradable tree shelter was installed around each tree to prevent damage by weed eaters, deer, and rabbits. The trees were provided by the Maryland Forest Service through the TreeMendous Maryland program.

Article and photo by Claude Eans, Frederick County Forest Conservancy District Board

Nature Note for 11/20/2016