Trees of Hampton
Have you ever traveled on Google Earth and looked at the canopy of green that surrounds us and Loch Raven Reservoir? We are an oasis near the beltway and downtown Towson. Trees help our air and water quality. They suppress urban sounds and provide a cool respite in the summer.
Taking care of our trees sometimes takes more than a little TLC. Branches fall in storms, and should be removed. Carpenter ants or other pests sometimes invade. Moisture can undermine growth. But with a little knowledge, we can have healthy, happy trees.
Downed Trees or Branches
1. If a tree falls onto a power line, call BGE right away: 1-800-685-0123. Take care not to plant in areas around the power lines. Call BGE if you have any concerns.
If your tree falls on your neighbor’s house or car and damages it, usually their home owners insurance or auto insurance will cover the damage (unless your tree were already dead or dying and you neglected to trim it).
If your tree falls in your neighbor’s yard and doesn’t do any damage to the house, then most likely it’s probably up to you do pay for the cost of removing the tree. Talk to your insurance agent about this. Even if it is covered in your policy, the cost to haul away a fallen tree may be more than your deductible.
If you have a roadside tree in a public right of way that falls into the street, call Baltimore County’s Bureau of Highways at 410-887-3560. After severe storms, residents may have to wait to have a tree removed by Baltimore County. The county will also remove stumps by grinding. You can have trees removed at your expense from a public right-of-way, but you still have to have a valid permit from Baltimore County.
High trimming sometimes has to be done to keep a tree from growing too close to your house, or to help it maintain its shape. Make sure that anyone who trims your trees is licensed. The Maryland Department of Natural Resources keeps a list. Take a look at: http://www.dnr.state.md.us/forests/tree_expert_search.asp
Self trimming. If there is trimming that you can do yourself, read up about how to trim a tree. Your cuts should be at an angle so that water cannot easily seep into the cut, and damage the tree.
Trimming near power lines. BGE regularly trims, or sometimes removes, trees that interfere with the delivery of service. If your trees are to be trimmed, BGE will notify you. This is free to the homeowner, because it is covered through general public utility power charges.
Feeding trees – According to the University of Maryland Extension, never fertilize your trees. Lush growth attracts insects and deer. And it can lead to disease of the plant or trees. Best to mulch autumn leaves with your mover and let them decompose on your lawn, and in your beds so nutrients can enrich the soil.
There are several pests that can do some damage to your trees – gypsy moths, hemlock woolly adelgids, spider mites, large sawflys and carpenter ants. If you notice that any of your trees seem to be suffering from some sort of insect damage, be sure to call your tree company. Or you can check with the University of Maryland Extension (UME)/Baltimore County Office to see if they can offer up any words of wisdom at 410-771-1761.
If you ever notice mushrooms growing at the base of a tree, have it checked out. Often that’s a sign of moisture undermining the tree. And it might be in danger of falling in a storm.
Anyone making application for a subdivision, grading permit, or sediment control plan on a tract of 40,000 sf or more must submit a Forest Stand Delineation (FSF) and a Forest Conservation Plan (FCP) to MD DNR.