The Maryland Department of Transportation’s State Highway Administration (SHA) will plant more than12,000 trees on nearly 50 acres in Anne Arundel and Charles counties this fall. Crews will begin planting trees in Anne Arundel County next week. The $1.3 million project should be complete by spring 2018, weather permitting, which includes two planting seasons and two years of tree establishment monitoring.
“Being new to the region and experiencing the Chesapeake Bay for the first time, I quickly came to understand how vital the bay is in all aspects of Maryland living,” said SHA Administrator Gregory Johnson, P.E. “Trees are the most cost effective method to reduce nutrients from entering the bay watershed.”
Trees significantly prevent nutrients from entering streams and rivers and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay. According to the Maryland Department of the Environment, planting trees in urban areas results in the following reductions of nutrients:
- 6.22 pounds per acre annually of nitrogen;
- 0.44 pounds per acre annually of phosphorus; and
- 0.40 tons per acre annually of sediment.
Additionally, tree planting reduces seasonal mowing operations, which helps in the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. SHA’s contractor for the tree plantings is F&F Landscaping, Inc. of Brandywine.