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Urban Forestry

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.

Current Events and Updates

Events and Announcements:

The City is very excited to announce its new tree planting program for private properties called Tree Takoma.  This program offers free tree planting consultations and free canopy trees for any private property in the City.   The City is particularly interested in working with low-canopy properties and areas of the city.  See our Tree Takoma Webpage to read more about the program and to learn how to request your free consultation.

Resources and Workshops:

 

Contact Information:

Marty Frye, Urban Forest Manager
Email: urbanforestmanager@takomaparkmd.gov
Phone: 301-891-7612

Table of Contents for Urban Forestry

 

 

Spotlight Topics of Interest: The Spotted Lanternfly

Overview

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.
Further Details

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:

Urban Forestry Sections