Howard County Parks to Receive 490 Transplanted Pine Trees
10/07/2011
Elkridge Patch

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On October 4, 2011, Howard County Executive Ken Ulman announced that 490 Loblolly Pines will be planted in a number of our County parks as part of the County's reforestation program.

The pines are a result of a partnership between Howard County and the State of Maryland, in which inmates from the state-run Patuxent Institution, located in Jessup, planted and cared for hundreds of trees, which are now mature enough to be transplanted into the Howard County parks.

“When we announced this program three years ago, Governor O'Malley and I both stressed that this partnership was about protecting the environment AND government working smarter and more efficiently,” said Ulman. “This program has done both.”

The Natural Resources Division of the Department of Recreation and Parks will transplant the trees into Western Regional, Centennial North and Meadowbrook, as well as other reforestation sites throughout the County.

According to David Keane, Project Forester with the County's Department of Recreation and Parks, these three parks were all chosen to be a part of the tree transplant because the DRP already had plans to do some tree planting in each of these parks this fall.

DRP is still deciding and mapping out which reforestation sites will be getting some more of the new trees and how many acres in each park they'll be planting in, which will then in turn determine how many trees will be planted in the park.

Planting will begin at the end of the month.

The Loblolly Pine is one of the fastest growing evergreen trees, with dark green needles and narrow cones that are 3 to 6 inches long. The tree itself grows to about 60 feet to 100 feet in height with a 25 foot to 35 foot spread.

The Natural Resources Division also manages the Plant (It) Green Program for plantings on residential properties. This program includes both the Stream ReLeaf and Private Forest Conservation Establishment (PFCE) Programs, more of which you are going to read about in this column in the upcoming months.

According to the Office of Public Information, over the past four years more than 45,000 trees have been planted through the forest conservation and Plant (It) Green programs.