Olszewski Creates Street Tree Replacement Program

–photo courtesy of Baltimore County Government-

County Executive Johnny Olszewski announced the new Street Tree Replacement program, continuing his administration’s ongoing efforts to restore critical green infrastructure throughout Baltimore County.

The County Executive, local community members and business owners kicked off the initiative — which will see more than 1,300 trees planted in six concentrated areas — by planting a native hackberry tree in downtown Towson.

“Baltimore County is fully committed to making our communities greener, cleaner, and more sustainable – and we are all in on trees as an important part of that commitment,” said Baltimore County Executive Johnny Olszewski.

“This new Street Tree Replacement Program will help bring back the tree-lined neighborhoods and business corridors that make our County a beautiful and healthy place to live and work.”

Baltimore County’s Department of Environmental Protection and Sustainability (DEPS) will begin the $625,000 County-funded project by planting 72 street trees in Towson and 31 trees along Dolfield Road in Owings Mills this winter.

Beginning in May, crews will plant approximately 250 trees each in Dundalk, Owings Mills/Randallstown, Parkville, Pikesville and the Security Square area of Woodlawn.

DEPS will reach out to community leaders and adjacent property owners before each planting operation.

“We are excited about County Executive Olszewski’s commitment to add street trees in downtown Towson,” said Baltimore County Councilman Mike Ertel.

“Over the years, we have had many trees that have been lost to aging, disease, construction, vandalism and even car accidents.

The reality is that trees are an important part of a complete streetscape and create a more congenial, walkable and safer atmosphere.”

Trees are critical infrastructure supporting health and well-being by improving air quality, lowering summer temperatures and absorbing greenhouse gasses and stormwater. They are proven to reduce cooling costs and enhance property values.

Last year, Olszewski launched Operation ReTree Baltimore County, a hyper-local tree equity program designed to expand the tree canopy in the urban communities most in need of greening. Through this program, more than 1,000 trees have been planted in Dundalk, Essex Owings Mills, Randallstown and Lansdowne.

Between Operation ReTree Baltimore County and the new Street Tree Replacement Program, the County will plant more street trees in one year than the past eight years combined.

This year, DEPS created two new Forestry Management divisions focused on urban forestry and tree maintenance.

Since 2000, Baltimore County has reforested more than 1,000 rural acres in support of the County’s requirements under the Forest Conservation Act, tree canopy goals and municipal stormwater permit. For the past two decades, Baltimore County has been recognized as a Tree City USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation, in partnership with the US Forest Service and the National Association of State Foresters.

Baltimore County’s goal is to achieve and maintain a 50 percent tree canopy Countywide and within the three drinking water reservoirs by the year 2025.

Additionally, the County is striving to achieve and maintain 40 percent tree coverage within the more populated areas inside the Urban Rural Demarcation Line (URDL) and for each of the Census Designated Places (CDPs).