Takoma Park places special value and pride in its robust urban forest canopy. The City’s Urban Forestry program seeks to preserve and improve its urban forest canopy through tree planting, tree care, private property regulation, education, and more. Read on to learn about permit requirements, hiring tree care professionals, tree care best practices, and other useful tree knowledge.
Urban Forestry Updates:
Approved Tree Species List Proposed Update
The Urban Forest Manager has proposed an update to the Takoma Park Approved Tree Species List. This list sets out the tree species that are approved for fulfilling a replacement planting required for a Tree Removal Permit, and is the list that the City selects from for planting in public space. The species on the list are selected from Maryland native and climate adapted species suitable for planting in Takoma Park. In addition to minor language changes, the update includes the addition of three climate adapted species desirable for planting in the City: pond cypress, water tupelo, and nuttall oak. These additions serve to expand the diversity of urban-tolerant trees available for planting while maintaining strong ecological contributions and suitability. See below for the updated list and please contact the Urban Forest Manager if you have any questions.
Urban Forestry Reports:
Urban Forest Manager’s Annual Report
The Urban Forest Manager provides an annual report on various aspects of the City’s Urban Forestry Program to the City Council. See below for copies of recent reports.
Urban Tree Canopy Assessment
The City contracts for periodic Urban Tree Canopy Assessments to be conducted. These assessments use aerial photo and LiDAR imagery to determine the amount and location of canopy cover in the City. The assessments are used to gauge changes in the canopy due to various factors and to guide the City’s Urban Forestry Program.
Urban Forest Master Plan
The Urban Forest Manager publishes an Urban Forest Master Plan to communicate the goals and strategies of the program.
Marty Frye, Urban Forest Manager
Table of Contents for Urban Forestry
- City Tree Programs
- Tree Education
- Tree Permits and Regulations
Spotlight Topics of Interest: The Spotted Lanternfly
The spotted lanternfly is an insect pest that recently arrived in Maryland. It sucks sap from trees and can weaken them but rarely kills them. It is of most concern to tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima), grapes, and nursery and orchard trees. The Takoma Park Urban Forest Manager has not yet confirmed a sighting of the spotted lanternfly in the City but it has been sighted in Montgomery County, which is currently designated as part of the quarantine zone. See the resources linked below for additional information.
What can residents do?
- Maintain the health of your trees so they can cope with any stress caused by potential spotted lanternfly feeding. This includes mulching the soil tree roots are growing in, maintaining appropriate soil fertility, and watering during dry times.
- Report any sightings of the spotted lanternfly to the Urban Forest Manager and to the Maryland Department of Agriculture via the link below.
- Check vehicles and outdoor items for spotted lanternfly egg masses, nymphs, and adults before moving them out of the quarantine zone.
Spotted lanternfly (Lycorma delicatula) is native to China. In 2006, this planthopper spread to South Korea and then in 2014 to Pennsylvania. Since then there have been confirmed sightings in New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland and Virginia. Its favorite host is Ailanthus altissima, the Tree-of-heaven, also native to China but is known to feed on a wide variety of plants. As this invasion is an on-going issue, we don’t yet know the full range of affected plants. Currently, the plants that are affected by this insect include; Almond, Apple, Apricot, Basil, Blueberry, Cherry, Cucumber, Grape, Hickory, Hops, Horseradish, Maple, Nectarine, Oak, Peaches, Pine, Plum, Sycamore, Walnut and Willow. The current understanding is that the insect is of most concern to tree-of-heaven, grapes, and potentially nursery and orchard trees. It seems likely that the health impacts to many of the other species will be minor. However, we must remain vigilant and adapt as new information emerges.
The insect damages these plants in two different ways:
- The nymphs and adults use their piercing mouthparts to feed off the fluid from the stems or leaves. This causes reduced yield, stunted growth, localized damage and in some cases, death.
- The second way damage is caused is through the sugary secretion the Spotted Lanternfly makes while feeding. This substance is called honeydew and attracts ants, wasps and other insects as well as is readily colonized by mold. The mold then causes parts of the plant to blacken which reduces photosynthesis.
For current information please refer to the following links:
- Up-to-date information about the quarantine: Spotted Lanternfly by the Maryland Department of Agriculture
- General information: Spotted Lanternfly Management for Residents by University of Maryland
- To report a sighting: Report a Spotted Lanternfly Sighting in Maryland