John Bennett, Volunteer Coordinator
June Report to Board
6-3 – A citizen wrote about a tree in Patterson Park, Baltimore City, that he believed was large enough to nominate. However, his email address was not found. Sheryl Heydt, Baltimore County Forestry Board, attempted to contact him, but without success.
6-10 – Kathy Kronner, DNR Forest Service, measured two new trees in Worcester County. They were a balsam fir (191 pts) and a dawn redwood (193 pts). Both are Worcester County champions. The balsam fir is #2 on the MD list. Permission forms had been previously received and the trees have been posted on the web site.
6-11 – Blue Water Baltimore, Inc., nominated a sassafras in Turkey Point Park, Baltimore County. A visit was made to the tree. It may well be a state champion, but cannot be measured until multi-flora rose and poison ivy vines are removed. A written request was made to various groups for assistance.
6-12 – Jim Sherring, Harford County Forestry Board, nominated a black gum in Friends Park. It will be scheduled to be measured in the fall. He also volunteered to make some home visits for some previously measured trees for which no contact information is available. He was sent some trees to check.
6-12 – A citizen wrote about a silver maple at a restaurant in Frederick County. The tree had been previously measured, but no ownership or contact information was available. The citizen contacted the owner, who then contacted the MBTP. Forms were sent and returned, and the tree is scheduled to be re-measured in the fall.
6-20 – The owner of a previously measured willow oak in 2008 returned a signed permission form that had been left at her house by Kathy Kronner. Kathy then made arrangements for a photo of the tree, which has been posted on the web site.
6-21 – The owner of a redbud in Harford County nominated her tree. Forms were sent and returned, and the tree is scheduled to be measured in the fall.
6-23 – The owner of a pignut hickory in Anne Arundel County nominated her neighbor’s tree. Forms were sent to the neighbor, but not yet returned.
6-23 – A permission form was returned from the Glenmont United Methodist Church for their sourwood which had been measured in April. The church gave permission for this tree to be listed as a “public access” tree.
6-25 – Kathy Kronner, DNR Forest Service, obtained a signed permission form and measured a royal paulownia in Worcester County. It became the county champion at 263 points.
6-26 – Kathy Kronner and Lance Carroll, DNR Forest Service, measured and re-measured 5 trees in Somerset County belonging to multiple owners. There are an Atlantic white cedar (146 pts), yellow poplar (336 pts), black walnut (288 pts), willow oak (323 pts), and American beech (281 pts). All trees are Somerset County champions.
6-29 – A citizen in Harford County nominated an unknown tree on her property. Forms were sent but have not yet been returned.
John Bennett, Volunteer Coordinator
4-1 – Planning continued for visits to Baltimore, St. Mary’s, Calvert and Howard Counties to measure big trees.
4-1 – Ann Cameron Siegal, a writer/photographer for the Washington Post, wrote to ask for information about the MBTP. She is planning an article for the kid’s section of the Post and wanted to focus on what children could do to participate in the program. Material was provided. The article ran on April 12th, and resulted in 3 new big tree nominations.
4-3 – Dori Murphy, Glenn Ferenschak, and John Bennett met in Baltimore County and measured/re-measured 11 trees, and dropped 3 additional trees from the data base due to health issues. Several new or existing Baltimore County champion trees were measured. A pignut hickory was added to the county champion list.
4-3 – Sheryl Heydt, Curator of Horticulture, the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, has agreed to make home visits for 7 trees in Baltimore County whose owners cannot be contacted in any other way. In April, Sheryl was able to make 3 home visits; she confirmed that two of the trees are deceased, and one is still alive. She obtained a signed permission form for that tree.
4-5 – Joli McCathran and Joe Howard, Montgomery County Forestry Board, have agreed to make home visits to the sites of Bicentennial Trees in Montgomery County. The only information available is the address of the tree, so home visits are necessary.
4-7 – Brian Stupak, DNR Project Manager, Anne Arundel County, submitted forms and measurement data for a huge yellow poplar. It will become the county’s co-champion at 432 points, and among the largest in Maryland.
4-11 to 4-13 – Dori Murphy and John Bennett traveled to Joli McCathran’s home in Montgomery County to stay overnight. The following day the three of them traveled to St. Mary’s County to meet with Bill Hunt, Deputy Director, St. Mary’s County Planning and Zoning. Mr. Hunt had a list of 15 trees to visit, either to measure or re-measure. An English Yew was re-measured and continues as the Maryland State Champion. Several other trees became St. Mary’s County champions.
The following day Dori, Joli and John traveled to Calvert County to measure/re-measure 9 trees that had been identified by Gracie Brady. Most of them were existing county champions and remained so. A new southern red oak was measured and it replaced the former county champion.
4-13 – As a result of the Washington Post article (see 4-1), 3 nominations were received--a northern red oak and black walnut in Montgomery County, and an American holly in Howard County. Forms were sent and signed permission forms were returned.
4-16 – An article was submitted to the Calvert Recorder regarding the trees measured on 4/13. To date no article has been published.
4-18 – An inquiry from a new owner of a registered big tree in Worcester County was received and answered.
4-23 – Forms and measurement data for a Northern Red Oak in Herrington Manor State Park in Garrett County was received from Becky Wilson, Western Region Coordinator, Urban & Community Forestry. The tree was nominated and measured by Jim Riley, DNR Park Staff.
4-23 – Three nominations were received from an owner in Anne Arundel County. Forms were sent, but have not yet been returned.
4-24 – Dori Murphy and John Bennett traveled to Howard County to meet Ted Cooper and Bill Snell of the Howard County Forestry Board and Joli McCathran of the Montgomery County Forestry Board. The team measured/re-measured 6 trees and checked the ID of several others which were potential State champions. One of the American hornbeams became the new State co-champion.
4-29 – American Forests is offering a series of forestry-related webinars. Forestry Education continuing credits will be offered.
John Bennett, Volunteer Coordinator
March Report to Board
3-1- Gabrielle Oldham and John Bennett re-measured two southern red oaks in Anne Arundel County. A third tree previously measured was deceased.
3-1 – Planning continued for a Big Tree Trip to St. Mary’s County. The dates are set for March 28-30. 14 trees are scheduled to be measured or re-measured.
3-1 – Work continued on the 138 “inactive” trees measured prior to 2004 in Baltimore County.
By the end of March, 68 trees had been reviewed, owners contacted, and the owners of 12 trees had returned permission forms. A trip is scheduled for April 3.
3-1 – Joli McCathran and Joe Howard continued to work on the “inactive” trees in Montgomery County. They visited 8 sites and found 5 trees deceased and 3 trees alive, which they re-measured.
3-2 – A new nomination for an American elm in Howard County was received and the forms sent. The forms were later returned.
3-3 – A new nomination for a white oak in Howard County was received and the forms sent. The forms were later returned.
3-5 – Sheryl Heydt, Curator of Horticulture, Maryland Zoo at Baltimore, volunteered to assist the Allegany County Forestry Board in tracking down the owners and status of their “inactive” trees (measured prior to 2004). The Board accepted her offer.
3-10 – Kathy Kronner, Lower Eastern Shore Big Tree Coordinator, measured a baldcypress in Somerset County. It became the county’s champion.
3-15 – Word was received that the Bicentennial Black Gum in Argyle Park, Montgomery County, blew over.
3-19 – A new nomination for a white oak in Prince George’s County was received and the forms sent. The forms have not yet been returned.
3-19 – A new nomination for a northern red oak in Baltimore County was received and the forms sent. The forms have not yet been returned.
3-22 – Larry Ward, Seasonal Ranger, Susquehanna State Park, met with Ron Hendricksen & Jim Sherring of the Harford County Forestry Board, and Dori Murphy and John Bennett from the MBTP, to show them a river birch and an eastern white pine which became new Maryland State Champions. They also checked a black walnut in the Park. Later Ron, Jim, Dori and John measured 8 additional trees in Harford County.
3-29 - The MBTP trip to St. Mary’s County was cancelled due to inclement weather.
3-30 – Work began on re-scheduling the above trip.
3-30 – Joli McCathran wrote to announce she checked on the listed address of a Bicentennial White Oak in Montgomery County and found it no longer existed.
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Program
Report To Board – January, 2014
1/1-1/31 – Work continued all month on updating records and photographs for Montgomery County trees. Over 500 photographs and 100 trees have been reviewed, and 1 photograph per tree has been selected and entered in a slide show presentation. In addition, a list of 60 trees last measured prior to 2004 was developed and send to Joli McCathran, Montgomery Big Tree Coordinator. That list is still being checked, but at least 5 of those trees are known to be deceased and have been transferred to the “deceased” file.
1/9 – Sheri Shannon, American Forests Big Tree Coordinator, emailed to say she is returning to school to pursue a master’s degree. She will continue to work part time until a new Coordinator can be hired.
1/10 – A response was emailed to the Washington County Forestry Board regarding signage for big trees.
1/10 – The 2013 MBTP end-of-year report was mailed to the Maryland Urban and Community Forestry Committee. Receipt was acknowledged by the Committee’s Grants Chair on 1/17.
1/11 – Tom Zetterstrom, Elm Watch, presented a program in Baltimore City on February 1st, and asked for photos and locations of large-leaved elms (American and English). Photos and locations of Maryland’s public access elms were sent, along with photos only of privately owned elms.
1/15 – Kathy Kronner, Lower Shore Big Tree Coordinator, emailed to announce she had re-measured a loblolly pine in Dorchester County and sent the data and permission form attached. A certificate was then mailed to the owner. She also announced she was beginning work on contacting the owners of registered trees in Somerset County.
1/16 – Citizens in Charles County sent a nomination and permission form for a large American sycamore the Charles County Champion when registered. A certificate was prepared and mailed to the owners and the tree was posted on the web site.
1/17 – Dan Hedderick, Allegany Forestry Board Secretary, sent an email asking for a list of registered big trees in Allegany County, including owner contact information and general location. This material was mailed.
1/17 – A citizen from Calvert County and Brian Stupak, DNR Forest Service, both wrote requesting information on the former State Champion American chestnut that blew over in 2006. Apparently the wood had been preserved and now was being offered to wood workers in Calvert. In addition the citizen is writing an article on the history of that tree. The information that was available was provided. The last measurement data was 7’ 3” circ., 75’ ht., 36’ spread, 171 points.
1/18 – Glenn Ferenschak, Baltimore County Forestry Board Chair, sent re-measurement data on the Benjamin Banaker Museum pecan. That tree is the current Baltimore County champion, and was last measured in 2010. A certificate was prepared and mailed.
1/20 – John Bennett and Joli McCathran met to review the slide show presentations on the Montgomery County trees. Several errors were discovered, and both agreed to work on obtaining the correct information and photos by the time of the official presentation on 2/11/14.
1/23 – A nomination form from Jim Riley, DNR Park Ranger, Herrington Manor State Park, was received. Becky Wilson was notified and asked if she could measure that tree.
1/27 – Jill Lee, Calvert County Big Tree Coordinator, send signed permission forms for two large white oaks that had been measured in 2008 prior to the requirement for permission forms. The trees were then posted on the web site.
1/29 – A citizen wrote to ask if the huge boxelder in Frederick County was on the Maryland database. The citizen was informed that sadly that tree fell over in 2011, but it had been the United State Champion for a number of years.
1/29 – Jill Lee (see above) wrote to report that the Calvert County Champion redbud is deceased.
1/29 – Gracie Brady, St. Mary’s County Big Tree Coordinator, sent a nomination form and a signed permission form for a willow oak in St. Mary’s.
1/29 – Location and time for the presentation to the Montgomery County Forestry Board and invited guests has been finalized—it will be at 2:00 p.m. on February 11th.
1/31 – Two new species were added to the website and photos were posted.
John Bennett, Volunteer Coordinator
Maryland Big Tree Program Report
In 2013, the MBTP volunteers measured, re-measured, or deleted 225 trees. There were 145 new trees added to the Register, 76 trees re-measured and 19 trees were reported deceased. There are currently 2624 registered trees on the Maryland database. It is the goal of the MBTP to measure/re-measure/delete 200 of the registered trees each year.
In 2013, two new county big tree coordinators volunteered their services. They are: Matt Barto, Carroll County, and Ron Hendricks, Harford County
The web site, www.mdbigtrees.com, became an important source of new big tree referrals, with most of the new trees being referred automatically from the web site nomination form.
The Maryland Forestry Board Foundation purchased a new laptop computer for the MBTP, with some financial help from the Cecil County Forestry Board. Patricia Valentine, Chair, Howard County Forestry Board, made the selection and purchase, and gave a tutorial on its use.
Members of the MBTP Measurement Team were able with the help of local volunteers to spend 3 consecutive days in the field on three different occasions. This practice is more cost and time efficient, but requires volunteers to provide a place to stay. In one case the Team stayed at a summer cottage belonging to Jim and Brenda Bardsley—Jim is the State Association President. In a second case, the Team stayed at the home of Joli McCathran, Montgomery County Forestry Board Treasurer.
Seven State Champion trees have died this year; two native species, and five non-native species:
Staghorn sumac – 54 points, native, Montgomery County
Devil’s walkingstick – 36 points, native, Montgomery County
White poplar – 151 points, nonnative, Somerset County
Painted maple – 86 points, nonnative, Baltimore City
Amur maachia – 120 points, nonnative, Baltimore City
Italian maple – 46 points, nonnative, Baltimore City
Japanese black pine – 109 points, nonnative, Cecil County
Also the Kent County Champion American basswood, 305 points, had to be taken down due to poor health.
This tree was a former State Champion and a well known fixture in Chestertown.
Two of Maryland’s Bicentennial Trees identified as being alive in 1776 have been found as a result of volunteer and publicity in St. Mary’s County, led by the Gracie Brady, the county’s Big Tree Coordinator. In both cases, the original owner(s) had sold the property and the new owners were not aware that they owned a Bicentennial Tree until they read an article in the local paper. One is a willow oak, believed to be 269 years old; and the other an American beech, 243 years old.
One new native species was added to the MD list:
Symplocos tinctoria – Horse sugar/Common sweetleaf – This species was found in the Wicomico Demonstration Forest. It is native to the lower Eastern Shore. It is an understory tree.
One native species returned to the MD list:
Carya pallida – Sand/Pale Leaved Hickory – This species was found in the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center in Prince George’s County. It is native to southern MD. The last example, in Calvert County, was cut down in 2011 due to poor health.
Fourteen new native State Champions were crowned in 2013. These were new trees discovered that exceeded the points value of the current champion—not trees that replaced dead champions.
American Chestnut, 132 points, Montgomery
Baldcypress, 396 points, Wicomico, co-champion
Balsam Fir, 211 points, Wicomico
Horse Sugar, 51 points, Wicomico
Loblolly Pine, 250 points, Worcester
Northern Red Oak, 430 points, Montgomery
Overcup Oak, 234 points, Montgomery
Pawpaw, 56 points, Montgomery
Pecan, 320 points, Wicomico, co-champion
Red Maple, 319 points, Montgomery
Umbrella Magnolia, 55 points, Baltimore County
Virginia Pine, 210 points, Baltimore County
Water Oak, 271 points, Montgomery
White Fringetree, 34 points, Montgomery
The International Year of the Forest Geocaching Program continued in 2013. Information about this program, photos of the visitors to the Maryland State Champion Calvert White Oak in Cecil County,
and comments from the visitors can be found at: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=c30ec022-8334-4a1f-837f-08bea856cbce.
The MBTP generated thirteen media articles/publications in 2013:
John Bennett, Volunteer Coordinator
Report to Board – November, 2013
11-2 – The “short form” permission form was received from a big tree owner in Calvert County. This is the first time this form was used. The owner’s tree was previously measured in 2008, but could not be posted on the web site until she gave written permission. The tree was then posted.
11-4 – Gracie Brady, Big Tree Coordinator, St. Mary’s County, wrote to announce one of the 5 Bicentennial Trees listed in 1976 has been “found.” As a result of extension media coverage, the current owners recognized the name of the previous owners from 1976, and contacted Ms. Brady. The tree was visited and confirmed as the Bicentennial willow oak.
11-6 – John Bennett, MBTP Volunteer Coordinator, gave a presentation to the DNR Central Region Forest Service staff at the Black Hill Work Station. The topic was a review of the MBTP and some suggestions for staff to bring to their local forestry boards.
11-6 – Scott Daniels, DNR Forest Service Project Forester, Dorchester County, requested information on a previously registered tree in his county.
11-6 – Gracie Brady (see above) wrote to announce another of the 5 Bicentennial Trees has been found. Again, the new owners recognized the name of the previous owners and contacted Ms. Brady. The tree was visited and confirmed as the Bicentennial American beech.
11-6 – Cheryle Franceschi, porecoproduction, an independent film production company, wrote to ask if John Bennett could be interviewed for her film, “Mr. Besley’s Forest”. The request was forwarded to Steve Koehn, Maryland State Forester, and permission was given. The interview took place on 12/2/13.
11-8 – Rod Simmons, MBTP volunteer, nominated two trees; one of which would be a new State champion, and the other a new co-state champion. Since the trees grow on sensitive land owned by DNR, multiple agencies are involved and the nominations were forwarded to them for consideration.
11-10 – A citizen in Calvert County, having read the media coverage in St. Mary’s County, nominated what he thought was a Bicentennial Tree. Although Calvert County has not been able to locate their Bicentennial Trees, unfortunately this tree was not one of them.
11-13 – Becky Wilson, DNR Western Region Urban Forester, collected some volunteers and supervised their measurement of a northern red oak on private property in Garrett County which the owners had previously nominated. The tree measured at 309 points, becoming the new Garrett County Champion.
11-13 – A citizen wrote to compliment the web site, but to also complain that the MBTP measured invasive species trees. An email was sent explaining the policy of American Forests, along with the link.
11-18 – Big tree owners in Charles County measured a white oak on private property belonging to another citizen. The measurement data was checked by the DNR Forest Service Project Forester. The tree scored 276 points and is the new Charles County champion. A permission form was mailed, but has not yet been returned.
11-19 – Because of the extensive media coverage, a citizen wrote to invite the MBTP Measurement Team to measure trees on a large estate in St. Mary’s County. The Team will make arrangements for 2014.
11-21 – Celeste Maiorana, Washington County Big Tree Coordinator, measured a new chinkapin oak in Woodland Way Park, Hagerstown. This tree is accessible to the public. Directions are posted on the web site.
It scored 279 points. All six registered chinkapin oaks in Maryland are located in Washington County.
11-26 – Patricia Valentine, Howard County Forestry Board Chair, volunteered to convert the measurement data for the 8 trees at the Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area from one format to another so the staff at Fair Hill could use the data. Plans are in the works to re-measure all 8 as well as some new trees.
11-26 – Rod Simmons, MBTP Volunteer, and a group from the Maryland Native Plant Society, measured a sand hickory at Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. It is the new Maryland State Champion, and the only one of its species registered in Maryland. This tree is accessible to the public. Directions are posted on the web site.
John Bennett, MBTP Coordinator
Report To Board, October, 2013
10/1 – 10/12 -- Plans evolved each day regarding the planned 3 day trip on 10/13 to 10/15 to measure trees in Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties. The Measurement Team will be staying overnight at the home of Joli McCathran, Montgomery County Forestry Board.
10/1 – 10/24 – Plans evolved each day regarding the planned 3 day trip on 10/25 to 10/27 to measure trees in Charles, St. Mary’s and Anne Arundel. The Measurement Team will be staying overnight at the home of big tree owners.
10/1 – 10/31 – Plans evolved over the month regarding the upgrade to the MBTP database. New fields will be created and text fields will be replaced by drop down menus if everything goes as planned.
10/1 – Dawn Balinski, Calvert County Forestry Board, wrote to provide an update on the Board’s progress on obtaining big tree permission forms. She was sent some additional information.
10/1 – Sheri Shannon, American Forest Big Tree Coordinator, wrote to ask about the status of the new State Champion hackberry in Washington County. She was told that at this time permission to list the tree on the American Forest website has not been obtained.
10/2 – David Ray, Conservation Forester, The Nature Conservancy, wrote to nominate a shortleaf pine in Wicomico County. During the following week, permission forms were mailed and returned, and the tree was measured by David and Kathy Kronner. It becomes the new Wicomico County Champion.
10/3 – A property owner in Garrett County nominated a northern red oak. The forms were sent and returned.
As of the end of the month, the tree has not yet been measured.
10/9 – A property owner in Kent County nominated a flowering dogwood. The forms were sent and returned.
As of the end of the month, the tree has not yet been measured.
10/11 – Marlie Somers, an intern at the Baltimore City Parks and Recreation, Forestry Division, wrote to ask about MBTP procedures regarding listing information about privately owned trees. She was provided with the policy, and encouraged to use the same policy in Baltimore City.
10/11 – Ted Cooper, Howard County Big Tree Coordinator, wrote to ask some questions regarding photos of trees, incomplete postings, and policy regarding the posting of new State Champion trees. He was provided with the answers.
10/12-10/15 -- Dori Murphy and John Bennett traveled to Frederick, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties (see 10/1). Joli McCathran and Joe Howard, Montgomery County Forestry Board, assisted with the
measurements in Montgomery County. 54 trees were either measured or re-measured, or existing measurements were confirmed, and all trees were photographed by Dori. A number of new State Champions were measured or confirmed.
10/13 – A big tree owner in Prince George’s County wrote to ask for help for her eastern hemlock which appears to have borer holes with sap flowing from the holes. She was referred to DNR list of licensed arborists.
10/14 – Erik Yetter, Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area seasonal ranger, wrote to ask about a list of registered big trees at Fair Hill. He was asked if he has access to a computer with Microsoft Access so the list could be sent in its original format.
10/16 – Joli McCathran, Montgomery County Big Tree Coordinator, was asked if she would submit 2 Montgomery County trees to American Forests as possible National Champions. She agreed to do so.
10/17 – Juls Wood, Allegany County Forestry Board, nominated a post oak for a private landowner, and sent the permission form. Juls agreed to do the measurement as well.
10/23 – Amanda Cunningham, Baltimore City Big Tree Coordinator, sent a photo of a mystery tree. Identification could not be made from the photo, so she was asked to take additional photos and possibly provide leaf and fruit samples.
10/23 -- Sheri Shannon, American Forests, asked how many 2014 Big Tree Calendars were desired. An order was placed for two calendars.
10/24 -- Jeff Kirwin, Virginia State Big Tree Coordinator, responded to a request on how to measure boxwoods.
10/25 to 10/27 – Dori Murphy, Kathie Jarmon, and John Bennett traveled to Charles County to measure 3 newly nominated trees, then to St. Mary’s County to meet Gracie Brady, St. Mary’s County Big Tree Coordinator, to measure 26 trees over the 3 days. On the last day, Dori, Kathie and John traveled to Anne Arundel County to measure 2 newly nominated trees. A subsequent article was published in the SoMdNews.Com, entitled “Bicentennial oak tree has gypsy moth eggs”.
10/31 – Sheri Shannon, American Forests, wrote asking about the history of the big tree measurement formula. A study group is reviewing the formula, and wanted to know how the formula was developed.
10/31 – Tyson Rose, Frederick County Forestry Board webmaster, wrote to say he had posted photos of the two trees measured in Frederick County on 10/13 on the Board’s web site.
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator
Report To Board, September, 2013
9/3 -- Emails were exchanged with the new Carroll County Forestry Board member who is considering volunteering to be the Carroll County Big Tree Coordinator. It was decided to send him some data sheets for trees in the Westminster area for him to visit and report on their condition.
9/5—A new nomination was received from the web site for a yellow poplar in Montgomery County. The necessary forms were sent and returned.
9/8—Cecil County Forestry Board members Dori Murphy, Matt Bazar, and John Bennett traveled to Towson, Baltimore County to meet with Glenn Ferenschak, Chair, and Sheryl Heydt, member, Baltimore County Forestry Board. A private facility was visited by arrangement and 15 trees were either measured or re-measured. Most were Baltimore County Champions, two were Maryland State Champions/Co-Champions, and one of those was a potential U.S. Champion. Over the next two weeks, trees were registered on the data base and posted on the web site. Certificates were sent to the staff people.
9/9—One of the trees measured on 9/8 was a smoketree, Cotinus, but it was not known if American or European. Information was sent to Scott Wade, PA Big Tree Coordinator, who identified it as European, C. coggygria.
9/13 – Sarah Lord, Chair, Baltimore City Forestry Board, invited the MBTP Measurement Team to visit Baltimore City to help her locate additional city champion trees. This invitation is under discussion pending available scheduling.
9/16 – The Environmental Studies teacher from The Gunston School, Centreville, Queen Anne’s County, emailed to ask how her students could be involved in an inventory of big trees on the campus. Several suggestions were forwarded to her.
9/17 – Scott Wade (see 9/9) again was asked for assistance, this time to provide the correct technique for measuring Chionanthus virginicus, Common Fringetree. He noted it can be multi-stemmed or single trunked, and the established procedures for species such as this should be followed.
9/17 – A new nomination was received from the web site for a yellow poplar in Carroll County. The necessary forms were sent and returned.
9/17 – A request was received from a doctoral student at Ohio State University to study the effect of registered big trees on the sale prices of homes. The student requested information on deceased big trees from 1993-2008. The request was forwarded to the DNR Forest Service.
9/20 – Chris Garrett, Senior Park Ranger, Prince George’s County M-NCPPC, and PG Forestry Board member, wrote to provide measurement data on two trees he had measured back last winter, but had not had time to process until now. The owner was contacted, forms were sent, and returned, and the certificates were mailed. One tree was a white oak, 306 points, the other a silver maple, 296 points.
9/24 – A request to re-measure was received from the web site for an American sycamore in Baltimore County. The owner wrote, “I just searched on a whim and found your wonderful website! I'm making a bucket list to see the Maryland State Champion trees open to the public.” Forms were sent and returned. Members of the Baltimore County Forestry Board were notified.
9/25 – A request to visit an American chestnut by a member of the American Chestnut Foundation was denied as the tree is on private property and had not yet been measured and identified by member of the MBTP. This request may be re-visited at a later time.
9/27 – Chris Garrett (see 9/20) wrote to provide measurement data on two black cherry trees. The first, in PG County, on Molly Berry Road, is accessible to the public, and was previously measured in 2008. It is the former Maryland State Champion, now the #2 tree. It has lost some large limbs, so the point value dropped from 313 to 309. The second cherry is privately owned, and a newly nominated tree. The owners were contacted and forms were sent and returned. It is at 306 points, becoming the #3 tree in MD.
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator
Report To Board – August, 2013
8/1 – A citizen from Harford County nominated a dawn redwood, but he did not own the property, and did not provide contact information for the owner.
8/1 – Christine Hintz, TEAM/DNR Coordinator, Chesapeake and Coastal Service, wrote to report the link to the MBTP on the DNR Education page was incorrect. After some exchange of emails, she agreed to contact the necessary staff to correct the link. It has been corrected.
8/2 – Celeste Maiorana, Washington County Big Tree Coordinator, wrote to inform that the Washington County Forestry Board had conducted a field training exercise on how to measure trees, and had re-measured the State Champion hackberry. She was informed that the new measurements would make it eligible for U.S. Champion status. She was asked to contact the owner again and explain what would be needed to submit an on-line application to American Forests. This process is still pending.
8/2 – Scott Wade, PA Big Tree Coordinator, confirmed that the dogwood in Montgomery County appeared not be eligible to be considered as a low forking tree, but rather as a multiple leader tree.
8/2 – A citizen in Montgomery County asked for assistance in selling his 40’ Japanese maple. It was explained that this was not part of the mission of the MBTP.
8/6 - A new volunteer citizen from Harford County checked the health of the State Champion common pear and found it to have health issues. DNR Project Forester Frank Lopez suggested Rebecca McDougill, Landscape Crew Supervisor for Harford County Parks and Recreation, be contacted. She, in turn, promised to refer the request to the appropriate person to see if monies could be budgeted to do some maintenance work on that tree. Ms. McDougill, at her request, was sent data sheets on all registered big trees belonging to Parks and Recreation.
8/9 – Members of the Maryland Big Tree Program Measurement Team, the Baltimore County Forestry Board, and the Blakehurst Retirement Community, agreed to meet on Sunday, September 8 to begin the process of evaluating the 80 plus species of trees at Blakehurst. It is presumed that most will be too small to meet the minimum size requirement, but at least one tree, a weeping beech, will qualify.
8/10 – Dori Murphy and John Bennett measured a Korean evodia or bee-bee tree in Cecil County. This is the first recorded example of this species in Maryland.
8/15 – A citizen from Montgomery County nominated an American elm using the automated nomination form. The permission form was send, but has not yet been returned.
8/16 – A couple who publish a monthly magazine in Queen Anne’s County called to ask about big trees in their county. They were provided with measurement data and photos of a half dozen of the largest trees.
8/18 – A citizen from Prince George’s County wrote to nominate a white oak at a business in Annapolis. The citizen provided contact information. The owner was contacted, and indicated he would like to have the tree measured. He was sent the necessary forms. They have not been returned as yet.
8/19 – Kathy Kronner, DNR Forest Ranger, Wicomico Demonstration Forest, on her own time, photographed 6 registered big trees from 2010 that were not photographed at the time of measurement. These were sent to Dori Murphy and were posted on the web site www.mdbigtrees.com.
8/20 – Joel Spano, Registered Arborist, nominated an American beech. The tree was borderline for minimum size standards so he did not provide ownership information.
8/20 – Mike Kay, DNR Project Forester, Frederick County, visited the site of the newly nominated white oak in Adamstown, and reported the site and the tree were enclosed in poison ivy. The owners were notified that the poison ivy would have to be removed prior to any tree measurement. They promised to do so.
8/21 – Peter Heck, reporter for the Kent County Times, wrote an article “Chestertown is losing a champion tree”. The tree is the former State Champion (1990-2007) American basswood. It was taken down due to poor health. The limbs that were dropping were endangering people and property.
8/22 – Dori Murphy and John Bennett measured a sugar maple in Cecil County. It became the 7th largest registered tree of its species in MD.
8/26 – The Chesapeake Conservation Landscape Council invited the MBTP to host an informational booth at its biannual conference on Saturday, November 16th at Shepherdstown, WV. This will be discussed with the Cecil County Forestry Board.
8/27 – John Lewis, Headmaster, The Gunston School, emailed to say he was signing and returning a big tree permission form. A member of his staff, who is a member of the Queen Anne’s County Forestry Board, had urged him to grant this approval. The MBTP Measurement Team will be doing an inventory of the 32 acre campus to see how many, if any, trees will qualify as “big trees”.
8/28 – Donna Davis, DNR Project Forester, emailed on behalf of her Forestry Board to inquire if the MBTP had photos of the recently deceased white oak in Westminster. There were no photos taken at the time of the measurement in 2008. It was suggested that some of the larger, living white oaks be featured.
8/28 – A permission form for a loblolly pine in Dorchester County was signed and returned.
8/29 – 5 permission forms were returned by owners of trees in Montgomery County. There are now 29 trees ready to be measured in October.
8/30 – See 8/16. This same couple nominated a large elm in the courthouse square in Centreville. Up close photos of the leaves suggest either American or English Elm. The couple reports suckering at the base which suggests English elm.
8/31 – Dori Murphy and John Bennett re-measured a large Virginia Pine in Elk Neck State Forest. This tree is accessible to the public, and handicapped accessible.
John Bennett, MBTP Coordinator
Report To Board – July, 2013
7/1--The paperbark maple, Acer griseum, at Brookside Gardens in Montgomery County (110 points) was determined to be the new Maryland State Champion. The former champion at Cylburn Arboretum (91 points) dropped to #2. Both were recently re-measured.
7/2—Wayne Merkel, Central Region Forester, DNR Forest Service, announced he had secured approval to use a modified permission form for public access trees.
7/3—Eric Sprague, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, wrote to point out that the MBTP website link was incorrect. The webmaster immediately made the correction.
7/3—Dori Murphy, MBTP Measurement Team, announced that the big tree photos for Queen Anne’s County were posted to the web site.
7/4—Father Blake Wamester sent photos of the recently measured swamp white oak in Dorchester County.
7/8—A big tree owner emailed a question about emerald ash borer. He was sent information and directed to the local county extension office.
7/9—Dori Murphy send emails to multiple members of the Frederick County Forestry Board to establish photo credit for various big tree photos. On 7/12, she announced that the Frederick big tree photos were all posted.
7/9—A citizen wrote to ask if a willow oak in Prince George’s County was registered. It was not, and he requested and was sent the necessary forms, which have been returned.
7/10—Larry Ward, seasonal park ranger at Susquehanna State Park, emailed a photo of an unknown tree. It was subsequently identified as a black birch.
7/12—Dori Murphy announced that the Baltimore City big tree photos were posted on the web site.
7/12—Glenn Ferenschak, Sheryl Heydt, and John Dingedahl, Baltimore County Forestry Board, measured one new tree, a sycamore, and re-measured a Japanese maple. Certificates were mailed to the owners.
7/12—Jason Babcock, of the Enterprise Newspaper in St. Mary’s County, interviewed big tree volunteers and wrote “Rainstorm fells 234-year-old-tree in Chaptico” which appeared in the 7/17 edition of the paper.
7/15—Scott Wade, PA Big Tree Coordinator, nominated a loblolly pine he saw on his way to Henson Scout Reservation in Dorchester County. He also positively identified a photograph of an unknown tree in Cecil County as a Korean evodia or bee-bee tree, Tetradium danielli. This is the first example of this non-native tree to be identified in Maryland for the MBTP.
7/16—Lisa Bierer-Garrett, Programming Coordinator, Pocomoke River State Park, wrote to inquire about tree champion signs. She was told it was the policy of the MBTP to discourage tree signage due to vandalism. She was referred to several folks who had experience with tree signage.
7/17—Rebecca Barnabi, reporter for the Maryland Independent, Charles County, wrote to set up an interview for an article on big trees. The subsequent article, “Charles County’s big tree records need updating”, was printed on July 24th.
7/18—Kathy Kronner, DNR Forest Ranger, collected and sent photos of three registered big trees in Wicomico County to update the web site.
7/19—A citizen in Prince George’s County called to nominate a white mulberry. He was sent the necessary forms, which have been returned.
7/20—Connie Hoge, Carroll County Forestry Board Chair, wrote to confirm that the Maryland State Champion deodar cedar, was mis-identified, and was actually a blue atlas cedar. The correction was made by the Forestry Board’s newest member, Steve Algiere. The owners were notified, and forms were mailed to re-measure that tree and another as both were past due for re-measurement. The forms have been returned.
7/22—Celeste Maiorana, Washington County Big Tree Coordinator, wrote to confirm that the Maryland State Champion red spruce was mis-identified, and was actually a Norway spruce. This was discovered when the tree was re-measured earlier in the month. A new certificate was mailed.
7/22—A staff member from a retirement community in Baltimore County submitted an automatic nomination form for a weeping beech. This tree was last measured in 1999, and needed to be re-measured. The necessary forms were mailed, and have been returned. The staff person also sent a 4 page list of tree species growing on the property. These will need to be checked for minimum size eligibility.
7/24—A citizen from Harford County wrote to volunteer his services to the MBPT. He was introduced by email to members of the Harford County Forestry Board and given two trees to check on near his home. These two trees were last measured 4 years ago, and needed to be checked for any problems. He has since checked on one of the trees.
7/26—Will Lowery, Senior Horticulturist, Salisbury University, sent a link to a press release on the recent measurements on the campus trees. The link is http://www.salisbury.edu/newsevents/fullstoryview.asp?id=5402.
7/30—Teri Batchelor, DNR Project Forester for Kent and Queen Anne’s Counties, wrote to inform that a registered American basswood in Chestertown will soon be taken down due to ill health. This tree is a former Maryland State Champion.
7/31—A citizen wrote to nominate a tree of unknown species in Charles County. The forms were sent but have not yet been returned.
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator
Report To Board – June, 2013
6-2 – A citizen in Anne Arundel County nominated 2 trees. Forms were sent and the signed permission form was returned.
6-4 – Dawn Balinski, Maryland Forestry Board Foundation, notified me that the forms and reports on the State Association website had been updated.
6-4 – Dan Lievens, webmaster, 3dlsolutions, wrote to discuss how to add additional species to the website. The discussion continues.
6-6 – Joyce Browning, Horticulturalist, University of Maryland Extension Service, Harford County, wrote to inquire about the MBTP. Her questions were answered.
6-10 – Karis King, DNR Office of Communication, wrote to follow up on a submission of a press release on the discovery of the horse sugar/common sweetleaf tree in Wicomico County last month. After some editing, the press release was printed on 6/13.
6-10 – A citizen in Baltimore County submitted a web generated big tree nomination and permission form. Unfortunately the estimated circumference was well below the minimum size standard for that species.
6-11 – Gracie Brady, St. Mary’s County Big Tree Coordinator, wrote to begin planning for a 2 day overnight visit by the MBTP Measurement Team in October.
6-11 – Dan Lievens, webmaster, 3dlsolutions, wrote to announce the “About” menu item had been updated.
6-12 – Patricia Valentine, Howard County Forestry Board Chair, wrote to request a visit to discuss changes to the MBTP database. It was decided we would meet on 6/27 at Cecil Forestry Board Chair Gabrielle Oldham’s house.
6-13 – Stacy Esham, Parker Forestry Services, Inc., used the web generated nomination form to nominate a willow oak in Worcester County and a swamp white oak in Dorchester County. Owners were contacted, permission forms were sent & returned, and certificates were mailed.
6-13 – An article appeared in the Carroll County Times regarding a registered big tree, a white oak, that had been toppled by a storm the day before. The Times article mentioned the MBTP web site, and used information from that site. The article was picked up and used by several other Maryland news media outlets. As a result, a number of new nominations were forthcoming in the following week.
6-14 – Emails were exchanged regarding the presentation of big tree certificates to Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Baltimore City, but no date was established.
6-15 – A citizen in Carroll County used the web generated nomination form to nominate a white oak. A permission form was sent but has not yet been returned.
6-15 – A citizen in Frederick County used the web generated nomination form to nominate a white ash. A permission form was sent but has not yet been returned.
6-17 – A citizen in Caroline County used the permission form posted on the DNR Forest Service site to nominate two trees. Unfortunately that form is outdated, and a new form was sent to the citizen. That form has not yet been returned.
6-18 – A citizen in Baltimore County used the web generated nomination form to nominate an unknown oak. A permission form was sent but has not yet been returned.
6-20 – Dori Murphy and John Bennett measured a longleaf pine and a common persimmon in Cecil County. Both trees became county champions. Certificates were prepared and mailed.
A press release was sent to local media. A large sugar maple on property across the road from the persimmon was investigated and forms left. The owner later called to ask that her tree be measured. A permission form was sent, but not yet returned.
6-21 – A contractor in Baltimore City nominated a white ash on private property. After checking property tax records, it was decided not to pursue contacting the owner.
6-21 – The caretaker for the Audubon Society of Central MD property in Frederick County used the web generated form to nominate a previously measured and registered hackberry from 2006. Forms were sent but have not yet been returned.
6-24 - Gabrielle Oldham nominated a baldcypress at a local business. Two calls to the owner were not returned.
6-24 – Sheri Shannon, Communications Manager, American Forests, wrote to announce she is soliciting photos and stories about U.S. Champion trees for the 2014 calendars. The deadline is August 16.
6-24 – An owner of a registered big tree in Baltimore County called to report his tree recently lost a large section of trunk and a large limb. Although he is the owner of the tree, it grows on a county right-of-way, so there was a question of responsibility. Rob Prenger, DNR Project Forester, was contacted, and he subsequently contacted the owner, and has made several follow-ups to try to resolve the issue.
6-27 – Patricia Valentine (see above), Gabrielle Oldham, and John Bennett met to discuss Patricia’s proposals to modify the recording of data on the MBTP database. A written summary was prepared and sent to members of the Cecil County Forestry Board for discussion at their 7/10 meeting.
6-28 – The Allegany County Forestry Board at their June meeting adopted a work project to review their big tree list and compare it to the trees in Allegany County registered with the MBTP. Bernie Zlomek volunteered to head up this project and he and John Bennett discussed the project by phone.
6-29 – The owner of a registered big tree in Worcester County sent a photo of his tree for posting on the website. The photo was posted.
6-29 – Joli McCathran, Montgomery County Big Tree Coordinator, exchanged emails with John Bennett, Dori Murphy, and Kathie Jarmon (the MBTP Measurement Team) to set dates for a 3 day, 2 night visit to Montgomery County. The Team will stay at Joli’s house and work with Joli and Joe Howard on backlogged re-measurements and new trees. The tentative dates are October 11-13.
6-30 – Dori Murphy announced the posting of all available big tree photographs to the website for these counties: Worcester, Wicomico, Talbot, Dorchester, Queen Anne’s, Charles, and the public access trees in Montgomery County.
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator
Report To Board – May, 2013
5-2 – Kathy Kronner, DNR Forest Technician, Wicomico County, measured and nominated a
common sweetleaf/horse sugar, Symplocos tinctoria, in the Wicomico Demonstration Forest. This is the first time an example of this species has been identified and measured for the MBTP. A press release was sent to the DNR Office of Communication on 5/29.
5-5 – A citizen sent an email requesting information on planting appropriate trees in Garrett County. She was referred to the appropriate DNR Forest Service personnel in Garrett.
5-6 – A citizen sent an email requesting information on how to protect an American elm tree from Dutch elm disease. He was sent some literature.
5-6 – A big tree owner wrote to say that her family was clearing the vines and brush from around what probably will be the new Dorchester County champion silver maple. The MBTP Team discovered this tree on an earlier visit but the tree could not be measured at that time due to the vines and underbrush.
5-7 – Nicole Merrick, Manager, Fair Hill and Elk Neck State Park, sent an email requesting the MBTP work with Rachel Temby, DNR staff, to organize the re-measurement of a half dozen trees at Fair Hill. The first available date was later cancelled due to the Fair Hill Races. No further data has been established.
5-7 – Gary Adelhardt, Manager, Pocomoke River State Park, sent a thank you email regarding the MBTP’s recent measurement activities at the Milburn Landing Area of the Park.
5-7 – A citizen from Cecil County sent an email following up on a recently nominated unknown cherry (Prunus). The tree has been identified as a mazzard, or sweet cherry, Prunus avium. It was explained that this particular tree appeared to have no central leader, but had multiple branching that had become leaders (coppicing). Under the measurement policy, only the largest leader could be measured, and it would appear, although the tree had a huge crown spread, that it would not qualify under the minimum point rule. The citizen was disappointed, but accepted the ruling.
5-7 – Pam Cressman, DNR Forest Service, Annapolis office, send an email requesting copies of the updated Maryland Championship Tree List and the 2012 Annual Report. These were sent.
5-8 – Dan Lievans, web master, send an email offering to replace the current “About” menu item to reflect Maryland’s practices. His offer was accepted. On 5-15, Dori Murphy took a photo of the current MBTP Measuring Team. On 5-22, the revised “About” page was sent to all Cecil County Forestry Board members for approval. On 5-29, the page was mailed to Dan.
5-8 – A citizen wrote to request that the MBTP Team measure a swamp chestnut oak at Mariner Point Park in Harford County. After some exchange of emails, it was determined that this tree was in danger of falling into the nearby waterway, effectively blocking access by boat.
The citizen was referred back to the Harford County Recreation and Parks Department for discussion of this issue.
5-8 – Sheryl Heydt, Curator of Horticulture, Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, and a member of the Baltimore County Forestry Board, wrote to report that she and members of the Board had conducted a tree measuring workshop for a new Board member on 4/27, and they had measured a 354 point yellow poplar. Subsequent emails established that the tree was a triple leader, separating 8-10’ above ground (making it eligible), and that the tree was on City property in Druid Hill Park near the Zoo. The ownership was confirmed in an email on 5/23 by Gary Letteron, Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks, Forestry Division. Gary also suggested that the certificate be presented to the Mayor of Baltimore. Subsequent email discussions with members of the Baltimore City Forestry Board, and with Erik Dihle, City Arborist, Chief of Urban Forestry, BC Dept. of Rec. and Parks, established a target date in September for this presentation. The City Forestry Board agreed to take some additional photos and help prepare a 10 minute photo presentation of the registered big trees on city-owned property.
5-9 – A citizen wrote to ask for help in saving an old white oak tree belonging to her Property Owners’ Association in Anne Arundel County. After further discussion, it was learned that the tree had been identified as a “hazardous tree”. The citizen was sent some information about liability issues with hazardous trees and she reported that she had changed her mind about wanting to save the tree.
5-9 – Geoff Graff, Chair, Harford County Forestry Board, wrote to say that Chris Golley, the Harford County Big Tree Coordinator, had resigned from that position, and from the Board. Geoff had assumed his duties, and would try to deal with several big tree issues that he had been sent.
5-15 – A citizen nominated a pawpaw on his property in Harford County. His paperwork was sent and returned. He was notified that the Big Tree Coordinator in his county had recently resigned (see above) and it might be until fall before the MBTP Team could make a visit. He was encouraged in the meantime to attend a Harford County Forestry Board meeting as he works for an environmental firm in Bel Air. Members of the Board were copied in hopes they would invite him to attend.
5-18 – A citizen in Cecil County sent photos of the baldcypress growing in an unnamed tributary of the Sassafras River in Kent County. This has been an ongoing investigation as to their identify and origin. The nearest property owner has been identified and will be contacted to see if the MBTP Team can wade out from his shoreline to measure the largest tree.
5-18 – Bill Harms, Volunteer Project Leader, North Tract Plant Inventory Project, Patuxent Research Refuge, wrote to nominate a Bartram Oak, a hybrid oak Quercus x heterophylla, from northern red and willow oaks. His nomination was referred to Jim Bardsley, President, Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards, and a recognized authority on oaks in Maryland. He concluded that the ID was probably correct, but that the MBTP should not be listing separate hybrid oaks, as there are many of them, some named, others not.
5-20 – The MBTP Measurement Team measured a silver maple nominated from Cecil County.
There was also a tree, compound pinnate opposite leaves, which could not be identified. It appears to be a member of the olive (Oleaceae) family.
5-22 – Dori Murphy, Jim Bardsley and John Bennett attended the Caroline County Forestry Board meeting to present Dave Reinecke with a plaque upon his retirement as Chair of the Board, and as the MBTP Regional Coordinator for Caroline, Queen Anne’s and Talbot Counties.
5-23 – A citizen called to complain that she never received her certificate for a black oak measured in 1999 by DNR staff. The tree recently had been hit by lightning and was dying. She was hoping DNR Forest Service had some funds to help her pay for its removal. She was told there were no funds, but an apology was given for the lack of response in past years, and a certificate was prepared and mailed using the 1999 data.
5-28 – Two staff members, one a DNR Park Technician; the other a DNR Park Ranger, measured and nominated a large boxelder. At 281 points it becomes the new Maryland State Champion. The tree was registered and a certificate was sent to Patapsco Valley State Park, the owner of the tree.
5-29 – A citizen called to inquire about nominating a sycamore in Baltimore County. Unfortunately the email she left was not accurate.
5-30 – Sheri Shannon, American Forests, notified all State Big Tree Coordinators of the formation of two study groups to review the eligibility of species, and to review the current measurement standards. She also announced the appointment of 5 new members to the Big Tree Advisory Council.
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator
April Report to Board
4/1 – Holly Thomas, Senior Urban Forester, Montgomery Parks, approved posting to web site of two dozen “public access” trees on Park land.
4/2 – Amanda Cunningham, Executive Director, Baltimore Tree Trust, wrote to ask for suggestions for someone to prepare a workshop on “ecology of the forest floor”. Several names were suggested
4/2 – Tyson Rose, Frederick County Forestry Board webmaster, reported he has posted photos and text about the two trees that were recently measured by the MBTP.
4/5 – Chris Todd, Assistant Crew Supervisor, Maryland Conservation Corps, Susquehanna, Rocks, and Palmer State Park, reports that the GPS points for the big trees in the above parks are not accurate, but that they have found most of the registered trees and are preparing a trail guide so campers and visitors can find them.
4/5 – An exchange of emails is begun with various members of The Nature Conservancy regarding the re-measurement of several trees on their property in Wicomico County. A signed permission form is received on 4/9 from Deborah Landau, Conservation Ecologist.
4/8 – Sheri Shannon, American Forests Big Tree Coordinator, reports that “March Madness has ended with the champion being the Missouri Ozark Chinkapin.
4/9 – Kathy Kronner, Forest Ranger, Wicomico County, reports she has been able to obtain a signed permission form for the county champion willow oak.
4/10 – Kathy Jarmon, Cecil County Forester Board, agrees to do the driving for the 3 day trip to Wicomico and Worcester Counties.
4/11 – Jim Bardsley, President, Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards, reports the cottage is ready for the 3 day trip to Wicomico and Worcester Counties.
4/11 – Chris Garrett, Senior Park Ranger, M-NCPPC, Prince George’s County, reports he has measured a potential new State Champion loblolly pine in the Milburn Landing Area of Pocomoke State Park. The tree is then added to the list of trees to visit for the upcoming trip.
4/11 – A nomination was received in Cecil County with a signed permission form for an unknown flowering tree. It was explained that the MBTP typically does not measure non-native trees, and did not recognize the type of tree from the enclosed photo. The Cecil Forestry Board would be apprised of the request to see if they could help.
4/12 – Glenn Ferenschak, Baltimore County Forestry Board Chair, wrote to announce that Board member Sheryl Heydt would be conducting Board training on how to measure trees at the Maryland Zoo at Baltimore on 4/27. He asked for suggestions of trees that could be measured. He was provided with two trees that already had signed permission forms, and one tree that did not have a signed permission form.
4/13 – A MBTP volunteer began sending photos of previously measured trees in Garrett County in the Oakland area.
4/13 – Liz Swift, Park Ranger, Susquehanna, Rocks, and Palmer State Parks, requested information about the MBTP as part of their ongoing park trail program. History and measurement information was provided.
4/15 - Emails were exchanged with Kathy Kronner, Will Lowery, Senior Horticulturalist, Salisbury University, and Lisa Bierer-Garrett, Naturalist, Pocomoke River State Park, regarding the final logistics for the MBTP measurement team visit to Wicomico and Worcester Counties on April 19-21.
4/17 – Gary Barkdoll, Manager Maintenance Department, Frederick County Public Schools, called to request information about the registered trees on FCPS property, and the legal rights of the school system regarding those trees. He was relieved to learn that FCPS maintains all rights to those trees, and that there are only 2 trees belonging to FCPS.
4-18 – Dave Reinecke, Caroline County Forestry Board Chair, wrote to announce he was retiring from forestry board and big tree program activities. He will be missed!!
4/18 – Don Outen, Baltimore County Government, had received a flyer announcing the Montgomery County Big Tree Tour on May 18th, and wondered if Baltimore County could host such an event. It was explained that there are few “public access” trees in Baltimore County, so that big tree owners on private property would have to be contacted and a permission form developed to allow the MBTP to release information for the County to develop such a tour. It was noted that Joe Howard, Montgomery County Forestry Board, has been doing the Montgomery County tour for many years and has already developed some sort of permission form, so that he would need to be contacted for assistance.
4/19-4/21 – Dori Murphy, Kathie Jarmon, and John Bennett drove 473 miles round trip to Wicomico and Worcester Counties, and with the assistance of Kathy Kronner, Will Lowery,
Lisa Bierer-Garrett, and Joan Maloof, measured/re-measured 44 trees. During the remainder of April and part of May these trees are being posted on the web site.
4/21 – A citizen wrote to ask the minimum standard for a willow oak to be measured. Her tree was not large enough.
4/22 – The 1,000th tree was posted to the Maryland Big Tree web site.
4/23 – Nevin Dawson, Forest Stewardship Educator, MD Cooperative Extension Service, announced the Emerald Ash Borer Control Workshop on May 7.
4/23 – Sarah Lord, Baltimore City Forestry Board Chair, began an extended exchange of emails regarding ownership of “street trees” in Baltimore City. This exchange also involved Gary Letteron, Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks.
4/25 – A citizen wrote to ask about how to determine the age of a black mulberry. In response the citizen was asked how he knew it was a black mulberry, and not a more common white mulberry.
4/26 – A citizen wrote to follow up on her nomination and permission form on a longleaf pine in Cecil County. In response she was sent an apology for lack of action to measure this tree.
4/27 – The owner of the State Champion weeping willow in Garrett County wrote to say that her tree had been severely damaged in a recent storm. Emails were sent to Ernie Metz and Becky Wilson, DNR Forest Service, Garrett County, to see if they could find a volunteer to re-measure this tree to see if it still qualifies as the State Champion.
4/27 – A discussion began concerning the State Champion red mulberry in Salisbury, Wicomico County. The concern is if the tree is correctly identified.
4/30 – Kathy Kronner, Forest Ranger, DNR Forest Service, Wicomico County, wrote to report that she had painted and installed Day-Glo orange T-posts in the field buffer near the two large yellow poplars at Nanticoke River Wildlife Management Area. These are public access trees, but hard to find without some sort of marker.
John Bennett, MD Big Tree Coordinator
March Report to Board
3-1 – Dori Murphy finished posting the Washington County Big Tree photos on the web site.
3-2 – John Bennett and Kathie Jarmon presented yearly MBTP report to the State Association.
After the meeting, Gabrielle Oldham, Dori Murphy, Kathie and John measured two trees in Edgewater, Anne Arundel County. One was a Bicentennial white oak; the other a new county champion eastern red cedar.
3-2 – Volunteer Mark Hollis begins sending photos of trees from Garrett County. Mark volunteered to help Becky Wilson measure two eastern hemlocks in Swallow Falls State Park in February, and he visited three other sites to photograph previously registered trees.
3-3 – Certificates for the Columbia Association big trees were mailed to Ted Cooper.
3-3 – A citizen inquired about the measurement of trees in historic Londontowne, Anne Arundel County. It was explained that the owners of any trees on private property would first
Have to be contacted and a permission form signed.
3-4 – Dori Murphy and John Bennett traveled to St. Mary’s County to meet with Gracie Brady, St. Mary’s County Big Tree Coordinator. They visited 6 properties and measured or re-measured 9 trees: 2 American basswoods, white oak, southern red oak, 2 willow oaks, 2 yellow poplars, and an unknown Cedrus, possibly a Deodar Cedar.
3-4 – A photo of the previously measured Talbot County Champion willow oak was sent by the owner, along with the GPS location data.
3-4 – American Forests announces the details of the “March Madness Big Tree Contest”. Information was forwarded to Lindsay Major for distribution to all Board members.
3-4 – A graduate student at Columbia University doing a study on public tree programs send a list of questions about the MBTP, which were answered.
3-5 – Joan Maloof sent an email in response to a request to locate 6 trees in Pemberton Park, Salisbury. Subsequent exchange of emails developed the logistics for meeting with Joan in April to search for these trees.
3-6 – A “thank you” email was received from one of the big tree owners in St. Mary’s County.
3-6 – Eric Sprague, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, requested a copy of the Maryland Champion Tree List, which was sent.
3-6 – A citizen wrote requesting information on how to visit the State Champion trees. She was referred to the new web site, and provided an explanation of “public access” trees that can be visited vs. privately owned trees which cannot be visited.
3-8 – American Forests was sent registration information on the State Champion blackjack oak, which appears to be larger than the current U.S. Champion in Florida.
3-10 – Emails were exchanged with Sandy Wright, a new Forestry Board member in Caroline County. Mr. Wright previously worked for the office of Planning and Zoning in Dorchester County, and thought he could find a list of significant trees which that office had documented.
3-14 – A referral was received from DNR Forest Service from a citizen inquiring about “specimen trees”. His questions were answered and a “thank you” was received.
3-14 – Joe Howard, Montgomery County Forestry Board, nominated the State Champion sourwood as a potential new U.S. Champion, as the points exceeded the current U.S. Champion in Ohio. Since that tree was measured in 2008, prior to the use of signed permission forms, the owner was contacted and asked to sign a form. She agreed, and the form was mailed. The signed form was returned on 3-29, and the nomination to American Forests will be made soon.
3-16 – Michael Morgan, Cecil County Forestry Board, nominated a new longleaf pine. The owner was contacted and a permission form sent. This signed form has been returned. The owner noted the language in the permission form was inconsistent with the practice of the MBTP not to include the name(s) of the owners in any publication. After consultation with the Cecil County Forestry Board, the permission form was modified.
3-17 – A series of emails began regarding the logistics for the use of a privately owned cottage in Worcester County for a MBTP-planned trip to Wicomico and Worcester.
3-18 – Doug Draper, Salsibury City Manager, sent an email announcing his staff had “found” the State Champion loblolly pine in the Salisbury Zoo Park. It will be re-measured in April.
3-19 – Mark Garrity, Director, Anne Arundel County of Recreation and Parks, requested a new big tree certificate for the new State co-champion shortleaf pine, as the original certificate had been ripped when the envelop was opened.
3-19 – John Dingedahl, Chair, Education Committee, agreed to add a discussion of the development of the “Links” menu item for the new big tree website on the agenda of the next meeting.
3-20 – Sheryl Heydt, Director of Horticulture at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, sent measurement data on a zelkova that had been measured in 2010, but never registered. The registration was completed and a certificate was sent.
3-22 – Amanda Cunningham, Baltimore City Big Tree Coordinator, sent photos of the removal of the former city champion swamp white oak in Herring Run Park which had been burned in a trash fire and had died. An article was published in the Baltimore Brew, http://www.baltimorebrew.com/2013/03/22/farewell-to-a-mighty-tree-felled-by-torched-toilets/.
3-22 – Celeste Maiorana, Washington County Big Tree Coordinator, sent a signed permission form from St. James Academy to allow for the posting of the two trees on their property to the web site.
3-24 – Dori Murphy, Kathie Jarmon, and John Bennett traveled to Frederick County, Carroll County, and Baltimore County to measure/re-measure 9 trees. They are northern red oak, white ash, white oak, Austrian pine, eastern hemlock, cedar of Lebanon, saucer magnolia, weeping Japanese scholar tree, American holly.
3-25 – Holly Thomas, Senior Horticulturist, M-NCPPC, Montgomery County, sent an email giving permission to post all the M-NCPPC trees to the web site as “public access” trees and include specific directions on their locations so they can be visited by the public. The posting has been accomplished.
3-26 – The owner of the St. Mary’s County only living Bicentennial tree, a white oak, sent a signed permission form so this tree can be posted to the web site. It is not a public access tree
3-26 – Sheri Shannon, American Forests, sent a reminder that the working groups deadline is April 15th. The message was forwarded to Lindsay Major for distribution to all Board members
3-30 – Joli McCathran, Montgomery County Big Tree Coordinator, called with measurement data on 4 new trees belonging to M-NCPPC. These trees were registered, and the data sheets were sent, with a request to Holly Thomas that they be listed as “public access” trees.
3-30 – Scott Wade, Pennsylvania Big Tree Coordinator, sent an email with directions on how the circumference for saucer magnolias should be measured.
3-31 – Jim Bardsley, Anne Arundel County Forestry Board Chair, sent an email noting that the Board had approved a $500 donation to the MBTP, and that he had the check available.
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator
February Report to Board
2-1 Wil Hylton, Baltimore City Forestry Board web master, posted the first of a series of Featured Species of trees, starting with the American beech.
2-9 Dori Murphy completed the posting of the Carroll County trees to the web site. She started posting Kent County trees.
2-10 A citizen wrote to follow up on a nominated tree in Baltimore County, which had been nominated last fall. It is a non-native tree.
2-11 An absentee landowner of 12 registered big trees in Cecil County sent a signed permission form to allow for photos of those trees to be posted on the web.
2-11 John and Dorothy Bennett nominated a shortleaf pine in Anne Arundel County while on vacation.
2-12 Lindsay Major provided a Certificate of Insurance to the Columbia Association to complete the requested documentation for the registration of 6 trees in Howard County.
2-13 Joli McCathran, Montgomery County Forestry Board, called to report that her Board had given her permission to begin posting privately owned trees on the web site.
2-15 Tom and Tim Matthews and Champ Zumbrun of the Allegany County Forestry Board measured a 218 point black walnut, which is the new county champion.
2-15 American Forests announced the formation of two working groups to study the current tree measurement standards, and the standards for inclusion of species on the National Championship list.
2-17 Dori Murphy completed the posting of Kent County big trees photos. She began work on posting Washington County.
2-18 Celeste Maiorana, Washington County Big Tree Coordinator, sent her collection of photos of Washington County big trees.
2-18 Mark Hollis returned from Swallow Falls State Park and began sending photos and information on trees he and Becky Wilson had measured earlier in the month.
2-20 Chris Garrett, Prince George’s County Big Tree Coordinator, sent measurement data on the shortleaf pine nominated on 2-11. It becomes the new Maryland State Co-Champion at 179 points.
2-20 Dan Hedderick, Allegany County Forestry Board Secretary, requested the nominator of the county champion osage orange be contacted. The nominator requested a big tree certificate of registration, which was provided.
2-20 Gracie Brady, St. Mary’s County Big Tree Coordinator, confirmed that the owners of 10 different big trees have been notified of the pending visit on 2/26 to measure these trees.
2-23 Chris Garrett requested that the Maryland State Champion blackjack oak be nominated as the new U.S. Champion, which was done. He also reported that the county champion baldcypress had been severely damaged in a recent windstorm, losing about 1/3 of the height of the tree.
2-23 A homeowner nominated a large saucer magnolia in Howard County.
2-26 The pending trip to St. Mary’s County (see 2-20) had to be cancelled due to bad weather.
2-27 Permission to post the State Champion southern magnolia on the web site was received from the owner in Somerset County.
2-28 Kathy Kronner, DNR Forest Technician, reported the 390 point yellow poplar in Wicomico County is still alive.
2-28 Dori Murphy finished posting the photos of the Washington County big trees on the web.
2-28 Dawn Balinski, Calvert County Forestry Board, volunteered to help with the posting of material on the new web site.
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator
Report to Board – January, 2013
1/1 – Work was begin and continued throughout the month on the list of 30 big trees that were measured last fall by Howard County Big Tree Coordinator Ted Cooper, and some with help by Bill Snell.
1/2- Approval was given by members of MUCFC to carry over remaining funds in the big tree brochure grant of $70 approved for 2012.
1/7 – Dave Reinecke send measurement data on 5 trees that he had recently measured. These trees had been identified as eligible during a trip to Caroline County in December. The trees were registered, posted on the web, and certificates sent.
1/9 – The Cecil Forestry Board approved the 2012 Maryland Big Tree Report. It was then sent to various interested parties, and posted on several web sites, including the MBTP site.
1/9 – Mark Hollis, a MBTP volunteer in Baltimore County, nominated a very large sycamore in Soldiers Delight, Baltimore County.
1/10 – Wil Shylton, a member of the Baltimore City Forestry Board, proposed that their Board institute a monthly web page on missing champion species of trees in the City. His idea was supported and material was sent to Wil for posting. The American beech was selected as the first monthly posting as the former city champion was taken down in October, 2012.
1/10 – Dr. Joan Maloof, Salisbury University, has discovered a pond pine, pinus serotina, on private property in Worcester County. Her identification was confirmed by Wes Knapp, DNR Wildlife and Heritage Service.
The pond pine is listed as native to the 3 lower Eastern Shore counties, but this would be the first time one has been nominated for the MBTP. A permission form was sent and later contact made with the manager of the property.
1/16 – Notification was received from Kathy Kronner, DNR Forest Ranger, that the ownership of the property in Berlin, Worcester County, where the State Champion longleaf pine is growing has changed. Contact was made with the new owner, and a new permission form was mailed. The form was returned signed, and a new certificate was prepared and mailed.
1/18 - An inquiry was received about the big eastern hemlock (#2 in MD) at Prettyboy Reservoir in Baltimore County. This tree was measured and recorded in 2012, but listed as a Baltimore City tree because the watershed area is owned by the City. The citizen accepted the reason for the listing, and was directed to the listing and photo on the web site.
1/18 – A nomination was made for 2 American basswood trees in Mechanicsville, St. Mary’s County. Forms were sent and have been returned. A pre-measurement visitation was made later by Gracie Brady, St. Mary’s County Big Tree Coordinator, along with photos of the two trees.
1/20 – An inquiry was made about a large white oak in Garrett County. It was recommended that the citizen nominate the tree, which is in a State Forest, but that it would be difficult to get it measured as there are no volunteers currently available in Garrett. To date, no nomination has been received.
1/22 – A nomination was made for a Bicentennial white oak in Edgewater, Anne Arundel County. Forms were sent and returned. The nominator was asked if she would look for another nearby white oak that was last measured in 1989. She subsequently located the tree, but was not willing to obtain or deliver the required permission form. Members of the AA County Forestry Board have been asked to handle this.
1/23 – Billing for the hosting of the MBTP website was received from Dan Lievans, in the amount of $180. The bill was forwarded to Gary Allen, President of the Maryland Forestry Board Foundation, copy to Dawn Balinski, Treasurer.
1/25 – Inquiry was received from Sheri Shannon, American Forests, regarding access to contact information of owners of the U.S. Champion trees for photography and media inquiries. The MD policy on privacy was explained and it was suggested she contact Gabrielle Oldham, Chair, Cecil County Forestry Board, for further discussion.
1/27 – Mark Hollis, MBTP volunteer in Baltimore County, volunteered to help locate and photograph Garrett County big trees while on vacation starting in February. Becky Wilson, DNR Forest Service, was contacted, and thru an exchange of mails, Mark and Becky have made arrangements to meet during Mark’s vacation and explore an area of Swallow Falls State Park, where several large eastern hemlock and eastern white pines were once located and measured (1996). Becky also agreed to help Mark locate some of the trees in Garrett County that were measured several years ago but never photographed.
1/28 – Joan Maloof was contacted about the status of the Wicomico County big trees, which were measured under the auspices of Salisbury University. Dr. Maloof forwarded the email to an official of Salisbury University.
1/29 – A nomination was received from Camp Fairlee, a camp in Kent County for children with handicaps owned by the Easter Seals Foundation. It was believed that the tree is a pin oak, but after photographs were received, it was determined to be a southern red oak. Forms were sent and returned. Permission was given to explore the entire property during the visit by the MBTP volunteers to look for additional big trees.
1/31 – An inquiry was received regarding three trees in Leonardtown, St. Mary’s County, that had been previously nominated in September, 2012. It was explained that there were not enough trees at that time to justify the cost of the trip from Cecil to St. Mary’s. With the addition of the two American basswood trees on 1/18, there are now 7 trees to measure, which will justify a trip.
1/31 – Posting of trees on the new web site has been concluded at 850. The DNR legal staff is reviewing the policy for the posting of the remaining trees, estimated to be 1000. Most of the remaining trees do not have signed permission forms, as they were not required at the time these trees were registered.
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator
Maryland Big Tree Program Report
In 2012, the MBTP volunteers measured, re-measured, or deleted 205 trees. There were 157 new trees added to the Register, 22 trees re-measured and 27 trees were reported deceased. There are currently 2479 registered trees on the Maryland database. It is the goal of the MBTP to measure/re-measure/delete 200 of the registered trees each year.
In 2012, four new county big tree coordinators volunteered their services. They are: Shirley Bailey, Dorchester County; Gracie Brady, St. Mary’s County; Ted Cooper, Howard County; and Michelle Donahue, Frederick County. We are very appreciative of their help in their respective counties.
On 9/26/12, the MBTP established a new web site, www.mdbigtrees.com. This site is designed by Dan Lievans, approved by the Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards, and funded with money from the Mel Noland Memorial Fund. The main purpose of the site is to provide the citizens of Maryland a place to look at Maryland’s wonderful collection of big trees, and to locate trees to visit. Trees marked with 2 stars ** are trees that are accessible to the public.
Eight State Champion trees have died this year: American basswood, Charles County, 401 points
Kentucky coffeetree, Montgomery County, 367 points
Pin oak, Charles County, 350 points
Boxelder, Frederick County, 246 points
Sugar maple, Harford County, 311 points
Silktree/Mimosa, Baltimore County, 225 points
Common Pear, Calvert County, 191 points
Table Mountain Pine, Harford County, 151 points
The American basswood, Kentucky coffeetree, and Boxelder were also United States Champions
One of Maryland’s Bicentennial Trees identified as being alive in 1776 has died. It was the black oak at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Phoenix, Baltimore County. It was a victim of superstorm Sandy.
On April 24th, the Montgomery County Forestry Board presented a proclamation to the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission signed by Governor Martin O’Malley to recognize the Dickerson Park American sycamore as “Maryland’s Biggest Tree”, replacing the Eder Park Silver Maple. It was re-measured at 479 points.
Notable county champion trees that died in 2011 include the Baltimore City Champions American beech (331 pts.), willow oak (322), and swamp white oak (317), the Cecil County Champion northern red oak at St. Mary Anne’s Episcopal Church (306), the Montgomery County Champion European linden at Woodlawn Mansion (302), the Calvert County Champion boxelder (279), the Baltimore County Champion post oak at UMBC (252), the Harford County boxelder (252), and the Calvert County persimmon at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum (148).
Five new species were added to the MD list:
Swamp bay, Persea palustris, found growing naturally in the swamps in Worcester County.
Grey birch, Betula populifolia, not native to MD, a 46 year old planted example in Harford County.
Washington hawthorn, Cratagus phaenopyrum, native to most areas of MD, planted in Harford Co.
Yellow birch, Betula alleghaniensis, found growing naturally in a grove in Harford County.
Coast redwood, Sequoia simpervirens, not native to MD, a 23 year old example planted in QA County.
Eleven new State Champions were crowned in 2012. These were new trees discovered that exceeded the points value of the current champion—not trees that replaced dead champions.
Southern red oak, Quercus falcata, 414 points, St. Mary’s County, Gracie Brady
Chinkapin oak, Quercus muehlenbergii, 294 points, Washington County, Celeste Maiorana (co-champ)
Royal paulownia, Paulownia tomentosa, 274 points, Montgomery County, Joe Howard/Joli McCathran
Eastern white pine, Pinus strobus, 273 points, Baltimore County, Dan Wilson (co-champ)
Sweet birch, Betula lenta, 247 points, Harford County, Dan Wilson (co-champ)
Blue spruce, Picea pungens, 183 points, Howard County, Ted Cooper
Eastern hophornbeam, Ostrya virginiana, 109 points, Harford County, Dan Wilson (co-champ)
Striped maple, Acer pensylvanicum, 82 points, Baltimore City, Dan Wilson
Rose-of-Sharon, Hibiscus syriaicus, 53 points, Baltimore County, D. Murphy, K. Jarmon, J.Bennett
Staghorn sumac, Rhus typhina, 53 points, Harford County, Dan Wilson (co-champ)
Devil’s Walkingstick, aralia spinosa, 29 points, Harford County, Dan Wilson
The International Year of the Forest Geocaching Program continued in 2012. Information about this program, photos of the visitors to the Maryland State Champion Calvert White Oak in Cecil County,
and comments from the visitors can be found at: http://www.geocaching.com/seek/cache_details.aspx?guid=c30ec022-8334-4a1f-837f-08bea856cbce.
The MBTP generated nineteen media articles/publications in 2012:
http://www.cecildaily.com/news/local_news/article_b260a1ea-4876-11e1-8386-0019bb2963f4.html. – 2/6
http://www.dnr.state.md.us/dnrnews/pressrelease2012/012612a.asp – 2/16
“Big Red, Little Red”, by Bill Hughes, appearing only in print in the “Cecil Guardian” 11/8
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator
NOVEMBER Report to Board
11/1 – Notification was received that a Maryland Bicentennial Tree had been toppled by the winds of superstorm Sandy on 10/29. The tree was located at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Phoenix, Baltimore County. The official Bicentennial bronze plaque was nearby. A citizen took a half dozen photos of the downed trees and sent them to the MBTP.
11/2 - Emails were exchanged with Ted Cooper, the Howard County Big Tree Coordinator, about details of the huge yellow poplar he measured in Gwynn Acres Park, at 419 points.
11/3 – Bob Stanley, an arborist in Talbot County, nominated a pin oak at a local church on behalf of the Talbot River Protection Association.
11/5 – Webmaster Dan Lievans resolved some technical glitches in the new web site.
11/5 – The MBTP was notified of the pending removal of two registered northern red oaks at St. Mary Anne’s Episcopal Church in North East, Cecil County. Arrangements were made with volunteers to take photos of the 2 day operation. The larger tree was the Cecil County Champion for many years.
11/5 – An owner in Prince George’s County nominated an American sycamore in the Camp Springs area.
11/7 – DNR Forest Service posted a revised MBTP permission form on their web site. The revision emphasized that registered trees would be photographed and these photos would be posted on the new web site, unless the owner objected.
11/9 – DNR Forester Brian Stupak notified the MBTP that the Calvert County Champion Persimmon had been blown over.
11/9 – A citizen requested a copy of the Prince George’s County Champion Tree List, which was provided.
11/10 – The Cecil County Forestry Board, together with DNR Forest Ranger Shawn Day, measured 5 trees that had been newly nominated on a portion of Elk Neck State Forest.
11/12 – A citizen, on behalf of an owner, nominated a ginkgo in Harford County.
11/12 – Amanda Cunningham, Baltimore City Forestry Board member, notified the MBTP that the Baltimore City Champion American Beech was being taken down due to poor health.
11/13 – An arborist in Baltimore County expressed interest in becoming a MBTP volunteer. An exchange of emails was forthcoming and the volunteer signed and returned the DNR Volunteer Form.
11/14 – John Bennett, MBTP Coordinator, gave a talk to the Old Enough Club in Bel Air on the Maryland Big Tree Program and showed slides of some of the Harford County Champion Trees.
Later he measured, with a citizen and the owner, the large ginkgo that had been nominated on 11/12. It continued as the Harford County Champion (347 points).
11/16 – Dave Reinecke, Mid Shore Big Tree Coordinator, measured a large willow oak (308 points), on Tilghman’s Island, Talbot County.
11/18 – In the summer, Ted Cooper, Howard County Big Tree Coordinator, had measured 4 trees (a littleleaf linden, 309 points, a horsechestnut, 282 points, a English walnut, 209 points, and a saucer magnolia, 161 points) on a farm that operated as a retail produce business during the growing season. The owner of the farm was consulted by phone on 11/18 about whether she wanted these trees to be listed as “available to the public”, meaning the address and location of her farm would be available to the public. She decided she would like to have them so listed.
11/20 – The MBTP received an inquiry from a citizen in Anne Arundel County about a tree that was believed to be “the 2nd oldest tree in the county”. After researching available documents, no record of this tree could be found and the citizen was notified.
11/20 – The MBTP received 4 new nominations from a citizen in Taneytown, Carroll County.
11/20 – Jim Bardsley, President, Maryland Forestry Boards Association, asked by email if the MBTP had received any information on turkey oak, Quercus laevis. He had reports that it was being seen in the lower Eastern Shore. It is a shrubby tree, commonly seen in Tidewater Virginia, but perhaps moving northward due to the warming climate.
11/20 – The MBTP sent emails to Shirley Bailey, Dorchester County Big Tree Coordinator, and members of the Dorchester County Forestry Board, notifying them that the registered big trees of Dorchester County had been posted to the new web site. Also Dave Reinecke, Caroline County Forestry Board Chair, was notified that the Caroline County big trees would now be posted to the new web site.
11/25 – The owner of a 17’ 8” circumference southern red oak in Prince George’s County inquired about the nomination process for her tree. Forms were sent to her.
11/26 – Dave Reinecke was notified that all Caroline County big trees had been posted to the new website. Also Celeste Maiorana, Washington County Big Tree Coordinator, and members of the Washington County Forestry Board, were notified that their trees would begin to be posted to the new web site.
11/27 – DNR Office of Communication sent a draft article to the MBTP regarding the loss of the Maryland Bicentennial Tree earlier at St. John’s Lutheran Church in Phoenix, Baltimore County. The original article had been submitted by the MBTP, which approved the revised article for print. It appeared on the DNR site on 11/29/12, http://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2012/11/29/maryland-loses-bicentennial-tree/.
11/27 – A member of the Christ Episcopal Church in Howard County contacted the MBTP granting approval of the posting of information and photo of a large, previously measured yellow poplar on the new web site.
11/28 – A citizen in Talbot County wrote inquiring about a possible Alleghany chinkapin on his property. It was determined that he had sawtooth oaks, Quercus acutissima.
11/30 – In response to the DNR article (see 11/27), a citizen wrote to ask about Bicentennial Trees in Prince George’s County. The list of trees was emailed to him, and he wrote back saying that he was familiar with one of the trees, an American Holly, and believed it to be still alive. Chris Garrett, Senior Park Ranger, M-NCPPC, has agreed to check on this tree.
11/30 – The sycamore nominated on 11/5 in Camp Springs was measured and registered, and the certificate was mailed.
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator
OCTOBER Report To Board
10/1 – A signed permission form for a nominated tree in Montgomery County was received.
10/2 – Kathy Kronner, DNR Forest Ranger, reported via email that the Nature Conservancy has designated the area surrounding the three large baldcypress trees in Wicomico County (including the MD State Champion) as a “special area” that will be exempt from the scheduled timber stand improvement thinning. We will work with staff from the Conservancy to re-measure those three trees.
10/3 – A big tree nomination in Baltimore County was received. The forms were send and they were returned several days later with the signed permission.
10/5 – Shirley Bailey, Dorchester County Big Tree Coordinator, nominated a tree and the owner sent the signed permission form.
10/8 – Chris Golley, Harford County Big Tree Coordinator, sent photos of a tree. We decided it is a black oak, not a blackjack oak as first thought.
10/9 – An inquiry was received about a tree in Montgomery County. Based on the owner’s circumference measurement, it appeared the tree would not meet minimum size standards.
10/10 – A signed permission form for a tree in Talbot County was received. Dave Reinecke, Big Tree Coordinator for the Central Eastern Shore, was asked to schedule a measurement for that tree.
10/10 – John Bennett confirmed with a member of the Old Enough Club in Bel Air, Harford County, that he would do a presentation on 11/14.
10/11 – All MBTP volunteers were notified that American Forests, and the new MD Big Tree Program web site, www.mdbigtrees.com, was now using Quercus montana, instead of Quercus prinus, for chestnut oaks.
10/11 – Lindsay Major, DNR Forest Service, notified everyone that the Fall meeting of the Maryland Forestry Boards Association has been cancelled.
10/11 – Emails were exchanged with property owners in PG County regarding a row of shagbark hickories.
10/13 – Judy Owen, Adjunct Professor, Cecil College, checked on a nominated tree and reported it was a Siberian elm, not American as first thought, and the size was not sufficient to qualify.
10/13 – Emails were exchanged with a big tree owner in Washington County who owned a registered MBTP hackberry tree and wanted to visit some of the other hackberry trees in his county. He was given a list of the trees on public lands, but explained that the Maryland State Champion hackberry was privately owned and therefore not available to the public. It was suggested he discuss with Celeste Mariorana, Washington County Big Tree Coordinator, the possibility of helping her re-measure that tree as it is due for its 10 year re-measurement. Later in the month Celeste did contact him.
10/16 – Chris Garrett, PG County Big Tree Coordinator, sent me an email announcing the PG Champion Tree Tour sponsored and hosted by the PG County Forestry Board, for October 27th. His email was forwarded to several parties in the area.
10/17 – An email was sent to Glenn Ferenschak, Baltimore County Big Tree Coordinator, reporting that all the Baltimore County trees registered in the past 10 years have been posted to the new web site. A “thank you” email in return was received.
10/18 – Confirmation from members of the Cecil County Forestry Board for a date to measure trees on the east side of the newly acquired Martinak property were sent out and received back.
10/19 – A proposal by Patricia Valentine, Chair, Howard County Forestry Board, that the MBTP consider using digital GPS postings so a State-wide map of big tree locations could be developed was discussed by phone. This will be discussed with the Cecil Board at our next meeting.
10/22 – An email from a property owner in Montgomery County listing the circumferences of 3 trees on his property was received. The two oaks probably would not meet minimum size standards, but that the maple might if it were a red maple (not if it were a silver maple). Joli McCathran, Montgomery Big Tree Coordinator, was copied, who responded with a request to visit the property if the owner permitted.
10/22 – An email from a citizen in Cecil County who had discovered a stand of 8 baldcypress growing in Mill Creek, a tributary of the Sassafras River was received. He wanted to confirm that these trees are well north of the native range for baldcypress, which he correctly identified as Calvert County in MD, and Sussex County in Delaware. His research appeared correct so emails were sent to various DNR personnel. On 10/22, Jonathan McKnight, DNR Wildlife and Heritage, responded by saying the native range remains the same, and these were probably planted trees. The citizen was skeptical and notified me he planned to investigate further.
10/23 – Tom Frederick, DNR Project Forester for Cecil County, notified Board members that the 2013 MBTP grant request for $1500 had been approved by the Maryland Urban and Community Forestry Committee. Many thanks to members of that committee for their continued support!!!
10/23 – John and Dorothy Bennett had dinner with Montgomery County Big Tree Coordinator Joli McCathran and husband Ken. After dinner we reviewed the process for entering the big trees of Montgomery County on the new web site and gave Joli a 3 ring binder with all the data sheets.
10/23 – Kathy Kronner, DNR Forest Ranger, reported that she has no photos of the Worcester County big trees posted on the web site. These trees will need to be photographed when they are re-measured.
10/25 – Sarah Lord, Baltimore City Big Tree Coordinator, was notified that all the big trees in Baltimore City measured in the past 10 years were posted on the new web site. She sent back a “thank you.”
10/26 – John and Dorothy Bennett measured a 355 point southern red oak in LaPlata, Charles County, that is privately owned. It has been posted on the web site.
10/27 – Dori Murphy, Kathie Jarmon, John Bennett traveled to Queen Anne’s, Talbot and Dorchester Counties to measure 15 newly nominated big trees. In Queen Anne’s County they measured a coast redwood, a new species to Maryland. In Talbot County, they measured two osage orange trees in front of Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Easton. In Dorchester County they joined Shirley Bailey, Dorchester County Big Tree Coordinator, to measure two loblolly pines, a silver maple, a southern magnolia, a post oak, a persimmon, a willow oak, an eastern red cedar, am English oak, an American elm, and two southern red oaks. Almost all of the Dorchester County trees are new County Champions. Photos of each of these trees, except the coast redwood, are posted on the new web site, www.mdbigtrees.com. Several of these trees are accessible to the public.
10/29 – Bob Stanley, arborist, Talbot County, called to nominate an American basswood. The necessary forms were sent.
10/30 – Ted Cooper, Howard County Big Tree Coordinator, sent a spreadsheet containing 22 newly measured big trees in Howard County. Most were on public property, but a few are privately owned, and permission forms had been sent previously. Many appear to be new Howard County Champion trees.
10/31 – An email nominating a tree in Frederick County was received. The necessary forms were sent.
OCTOBER MBTP Report
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator
September Report To Board
On September 2, the Star Democrat published the article written by me and Shirley Bailey, Dorchester County Big Tree Coordinator, entitled “Large White Oaks Sought”., http://www.stardem.com/news/local_news/article_84a32170-f6cb-11e1-829c-001a4bcf887a.html. As a result of that article, we received 7 responses from Dorchester County residents and 2 responses from Talbot County residents. We have scheduled a measuring trip to Dorchester and Talbot Counties on 10/27.
On 9/4, I received an email request from the Horticulture Department of Howard Community College for American chestnut seedlings. I forwarded the request to Glenn Ferenschak, Return of the Chestnut program, Maryland Association of Forest Conservancy District Boards. Glenn responded that he did not have any available for Spring, 2013.
On 9/6, Dori Murphy and I traveled to Howard County to meet with Ted Cooper, Howard County Big Tree Coordinator and Patricia Valentine, Howard County Forestry Board Chairperson, to visit a number of trees that Ted had previously measured. We photographed all of them, and re-measured two that were in contention for State Champions.
On 9/6, Joli McCathran, Montgomery County Big Tree Coordinator, requested information on trees accessible to the public at Susquehanna State Park. I prepared a list with directions and sent them to her.
On 9/7, I was notified by an alumnus of the University of Maryland Baltimore County that BT-2167, post oak, 252 points, Baltimore County co-Champion, located on Griffin Hill on campus, had blown over in an earlier wind storm. He asked for some recommended species to plant on the Hill to replace the oak which I offered.
On 9/9, Dori Murphy, Kathie Jarmon and I travelled to Baltimore, Carroll and Frederick Counties to measure/re-measure 8 trees. In Baltimore we did a silver maple, shrub althea, copper beech and black walnut. All were newly nominated trees. The shrub althea is the new Maryland State Champion. In Carroll County we did an osage-orange and an American sycamore. The osage-orange was a re-measurement and remains the Carroll County Champion. In Frederick County we measured a Norway spruce and white oak. The Norway spruce is the new Frederick County Champion; the white oak was too small to register. All certificates have been mailed to the owners. The round trip was 266 miles.
On 9/10 a citizen emailed a request for information on how to care for a large pecan in Chestertown. I emailed some material about pecans and recommended a licensed arborist. She also asked about small “street trees” recommended for planting. I referred her to the list posted on the DNR web site.
On 9/10 one of the science teachers at Glenelg High School in Howard County asked for help on how to tell dawn redwoods from baldcypress. I referred him to several on line tree ID sources, and also suggested he contact Ted Cooper, Howard County Big Tree Coordinator.
On 9/12 an owner sent paperwork to nominate and give permission to measure some trees on her property in Montgomery County. I forwarded the paperwork to Joli McCathran, Montgomery County Big Tree Coordinator.
On 9/12 Gabrielle Oldham, Cecil County Forestry Board Chair, signed and mailed the 2013 MUCFC funding request for the Maryland Big Tree Program in the amount of $1500.
On 9/12, Bill Harms, Volunteer Project Leader for the North Tract Project, Inventory Project, Patuxent Research Refuge, send photos and a description of a tree that he thought might be a bear oak. We exchanged some information via emails, and I sent the photos on to several big tree ID experts for their opinions. After a week, the responses concluded it likely was a strange looking black oak, or possibly a black oak hybrid.
On September 14, Dr. Gregory Reighard, Professor of Horticulture, Fruit Tree Culture and Genetics, Clemson University, nominated a pitch pine at Antietam National Battlefield Park which he saw while on vacation.
On 9/15, I set up the Forestry Board display table and electronic display board at Cecil College as part of the Living Landscapes Workshop. Forestry Board member Kathie Jarmon served as Workshop Coordinator for the Cecil County Horticulture Club.
On 9/18, Heidi Kellerman, representing the National Arbor Day Foundation, wrote to ask permission to use Dori’s photo of the U.S. Champion swamp chestnut oak in Kent County in their upcoming publication, “Heritage Trees”. I forwarded the email to Dori and she subsequently granted permission and sent a high resolution photo as requested.
On 9/18, Dan Lievans wrote to check to see if we had figured out how to load photos. I replied that we had not, and we spent an hour trying to figure out the problem. We were unsuccessful.
On 9/19, Pat van den Beemt, reporter for the North County News (Baltimore) called to inquire about a recent black walnut that we had measured (see 9/9). The owner had contacted her. I sent her some material, but did not hear back and assumed she decided not to pursue the article.
On 9/21, Celeste Maiorana, Washington County Big Tree Coordinator, wrote to say she had measured the pitch pine at Antietam (see 9/14), and it becomes the new Washington County Champion and the #2 tree in MD.
On 9/24, Dave Reinecke, Caroline County Big Tree Coordinator, wrote to say he and wife Ann had obtained paperwork and measured a newly nominated black walnut in Ridgely. It becomes the Caroline County Champion. The owner wrote a very complimentary email thanking everyone involved.
On 9/27, Kathy Kronner, DNR Forest Ranger, lower Eastern Shore, wrote to say that the Nature Conservancy was planning on thinning some timber stands which might impact the 3 baldcypress that were measured in 2007. She wanted to get the exact locations, but unfortunately in 2007 we had not yet begun to use GPS measurements, so all I could give her was a general location.
On 9/28, Dan Hedderick, Allegany County DNR Project Forester, wrote to say that Allegany County Forestry Board members Francis (Champ) Zumbrun and Steve Resh had measured an osage-orange on the grounds of the main branch of the Cumberland post office. It becomes the new Allegany County Champion.
On 9/29, a citizen from Deale, Anne Arundel County, wrote to ask about a willow oak that he understood was registered on the big tree data base. Unfortunately it was not registered, so I could not provide any information.
Also on 9/29, a citizen from Howard County wrote to ask if we would measure her Wye Oak seedlings, now about 30’ tall. I explained we did not provide that service and referred her to Ted Cooper.
On 9/30 Dori and John Murphy successfully loaded the first big tree photo on the new web site, www.mdbigtrees.com. The secret is that each photo has to be downsized to fit the format/size limitation established by the web site. Hooray for Dori and John!!!
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator
Report to Board – August, 2012 On August 2nd I gave a presentation to the Harford County Master Gardeners at their Forest Hill office at 7:00 p.m. 27 Master Gardeners and 2 Harford Forestry Board members were present. The presentation went well. I was given a check for $50, made out to the Forestry Board Foundation. I mailed the check to Dawn Balinski. 5 members gave me their contact information and asked that I mail them the permission and nomination forms. I have done so, but have had no response since then from anyone. As a result of the newspaper article which appeared on August 1 in the local Charles County newspaper, I received telephone calls from 3 owners who requested the necessary forms. I have mailed them, but have received no responses. On August 4th, Michael, Gabrielle, Dori, and I measured the large northern red oak in Elkton. The measurements are 17’ 4” circ., 95’ ht., 82.5’ spread, 324.0 points. It is the new Cecil County champion. The certificate packet was mailed, and a draft article for the Cecil Whig was sent to the editor, Jacob Owens. Also on August 4th, I received a completed nomination form for a baldcypress in Wicomico County. The nominator had determined the tree was on State Highway property and had gotten a sign-off from the SHA county administrator. DNR Ranger Kathy Kronner measured the tree for him. The measurements are 9’ 10” circ., 61’ ht., 46’ spread, 191.0 points. I sent a certificate to the nomination and he sent back a “thank you” letter. Beginning on August 7th, I exchanged emails with Audrey Stuller, employed by a company doing tree survey work for DNR Wildlife and Heritage. She was finding what she thought were small slippery elms. I sent her some ID material. She later decided they actually were small American elms. On August 7th I called Shirley Bailey in Dorchester County. We had a good conversation and discussed the reason for her resignation. We agreed that I would write a “Letter to the Editor” for the local newspaper, which she would submit. She has done so on August 10th, with a follow up request on August 29th, but the article has not yet been printed. On August 10th, Ted Cooper, Howard County Big Tree Coordinator, sent me a spread sheet of some 25 trees that he had measured—all of which were on public property so no permission forms were required. Since then I have been registering those trees and preparing data sheets. Dori and I have scheduled 9/6 to travel to Howard County to photograph as many of them as we have time for. One tree, a silver maple, may be a National Champion. On August 13th a big tree owner sent me a signed permission form and nomination forms for two trees on her property in Montgomery County. I emailed Joli McCathran, Big Tree Coordinator for Montgomery County, and she has contacted the owner, but not yet made arrangements for the measurement. On August 15th I was contacted by a member of the Southern Maryland Woodcarver’s Association. He wanted my help in obtaining a portion of the wood from the former U.S. Champion American basswood in Chapman Woods State Park. I explained why that was not possible. I agreed I would send him the “before and after” photos of that tree, and would notify him if any other basswood in the area were to become available for woodcarving. On August 16th Wayne Merkel emailed me to say that the measuring equipment for Howard County had been purchased. I notified Ted Cooper and later in the month Ted picked up the equipment from the DNR office. I recorded the serial number of the hypsometer. On August 17th I was notified by a representative of the Environmental Office of the State Highway Administration that the former State Champion sugar maple in Harford County was about to be taken down. I thanked him for the advance notice and told him we had already removed it from the “active” file and moved it to the “deceased” file.
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator
On August 20th I began a series of email exchanges with a property owner in Howard County (who used to live in Rising Sun and was taught math by Dorothy). He was referred by DNR Forest Service about a question about a big tree that possibly was a “hazard tree.” After research, I sent him the portion of the Roadside Tree Law that defined “public right of way” and it was obvious that his tree did not apply. I also sent him several articles on homeowner liability regarding hazardous trees, and recommended he consult an arborist ASAP. Subsequently he notified me that the arborist recommended the tree be taken down immediately, and he was able to have it done within a week.
On August 21st I received a signed permission form and a nomination form for two trees in western Frederick County. Dori, Kathie and I have made plans to travel to Baltimore, Carroll and Frederick Counties on 9/9 to measure these and other pending trees.
On August 23rd I received an email from Chris Golley, Big Tree Coordinator from Harford County, stating that he had prepared a spreadsheet on trees on public lands at the request of the Master Gardeners. I spent a number of hours over several days reviewing and editing the list, and mailed it back to Chris.
On August 24th Dan Lievans wrote to say the entry format for the MBTP web site has been completed. He provided a password and program name. Since then I have accessed the format a number of times and entered several trees. We are still waiting to see some of the entered data appear on the web site.
PA Big Tree- Add Tree
• Year Nominated
• Year Last Measured
• Circumference Inches
• Height Feet
• Spread Feet
• GPS Coordinates
• Measuring Crew
• Original Nominator
• National Champion
• Penn Charter
On August 30 a citizen called to nominate a large sycamore that appears to be on the State right-of-way on Route 26 in Carroll County. I wrote to DRN Project Forester Donna Davis asking her to provide an SHA contact so I can confirm the ownership. We may be able to measure that tree on 9/9.
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator
Report to Board – August, 2012
On August 2nd I gave a presentation to the Harford County Master Gardeners at their Forest Hill office at 7:00 p.m. 27 Master Gardeners and 2 Harford Forestry Board members were present. The presentation went well. I was given a check for $50, made out to the Forestry Board Foundation. I mailed the check to Dawn Balinski. 5 members gave me their contact information and asked that I mail them the permission and nomination forms. I have done so, but have had no response since then from anyone.
As a result of the newspaper article which appeared on August 1 in the local Charles County newspaper, I received telephone calls from 3 owners who requested the necessary forms. I have mailed them, but have received no responses.
On August 4th, Michael, Gabrielle, Dori, and I measured the large northern red oak in Elkton.
The measurements are 17’ 4” circ., 95’ ht., 82.5’ spread, 324.0 points. It is the new Cecil County champion. The certificate packet was mailed, and a draft article for the Cecil Whig was sent to the editor, Jacob Owens.
Also on August 4th, I received a completed nomination form for a baldcypress in Wicomico County. The nominator had determined the tree was on State Highway property and had gotten a sign-off from the SHA county administrator. DNR Ranger Kathy Kronner measured the tree for him. The measurements are 9’ 10” circ., 61’ ht., 46’ spread, 191.0 points. I sent a certificate to the nomination and he sent back a “thank you” letter.
Beginning on August 7th, I exchanged emails with Audrey Stuller, employed by a company doing tree survey work for DNR Wildlife and Heritage. She was finding what she thought were small slippery elms. I sent her some ID material. She later decided they actually were small American elms.
On August 7th I called Shirley Bailey in Dorchester County. We had a good conversation and discussed the reason for her resignation. We agreed that I would write a “Letter to the Editor” for the local newspaper, which she would submit. She has done so on August 10th, with a follow up request on August 29th, but the article has not yet been printed.
On August 10th, Ted Cooper, Howard County Big Tree Coordinator, sent me a spread sheet of some 25 trees that he had measured—all of which were on public property so no permission forms were required. Since then I have been registering those trees and preparing data sheets. Dori and I have scheduled 9/6 to travel to Howard County to photograph as many of them as we have time for. One tree, a silver maple, may be a National Champion.
On August 13th a big tree owner sent me a signed permission form and nomination forms for two trees on her property in Montgomery County. I emailed Joli McCathran, Big Tree Coordinator for Montgomery County, and she has contacted the owner, but not yet made arrangements for the measurement.
On August 15th I was contacted by a member of the Southern Maryland Woodcarver’s Association. He wanted my help in obtaining a portion of the wood from the former U.S. Champion American basswood in Chapman Woods State Park. I explained why that was not possible. I agreed I would send him the “before and after” photos of that tree, and would notify him if any other basswood in the area were to become available for woodcarving.
On August 16th Wayne Merkel emailed me to say that the measuring equipment for Howard County had been purchased. I notified Ted Cooper and later in the month Ted picked up the equipment from the DNR office. I recorded the serial number of the hypsometer.
On August 17th I was notified by a representative of the Environmental Office of the State Highway Administration that the former State Champion sugar maple in Harford County was about to be taken down. I thanked him for the advance notice and told him we had already removed it from the “active” file and moved it to the “deceased” file.
John Bennett, Maryland Big Tree Coordinator