Why Reforestation Matters

January 23rd, 2017 No Comments

By: Erin Johnson, Friends of the Lake

When I met my new neighbor earlier this year, he said he remembered the beauty of the surroundings and the lakes from when he was young and that’s why he bought a home here. Likewise, we moved here because of the wooded nature of the community, the hiking trails, and lake views. It is unique here and likely why Lake Linganore was voted one of the top places to live by Frederick Magazine.

However, when a new house is built here, let’s estimate that about 10 mature trees get cleared per quarter acre lot. With plans to build over 1,000 new homes in the coming decade that means we will lose 10,000 trees. This is a lot of trees to replace in order to maintain the beauty of the community. Reforestation is the number one priority for protecting this beauty and the beauty of your property.

Reforestation is even more important since we have lakes. A healthy tree canopy is the number one way to control stormwater runoff, which helps ensure good water quality. How does that work?
• The tree and shrub canopy intercepts raindrops and slows them down before they reach the soil.
• Leaf surfaces collect rain and allow for evaporation.
• Decaying leaves on the ground pull sediment and pollutants from runoff.
• Root systems hold soil in place and absorb water and nutrients.
• An uneven soil surface, with mounds and depressions, allows rain and snowmelt to puddle and infiltrate.

In Lake Linganore, reforestation will continue to be the top strategy for fighting the pollution caused by stormwater runoff. In spring 2015, the first reforestation projects were planted along the Indian Caves Trail in the Meadows and on the grounds of the Audubon Condos. In Spring 2016, we planted 750 new seedlings in Nightingale, Summerfield, and along Lake Merle.

In reforestation projects, planting small trees in plastic shelters with wooden stakes is cost-effective and has the highest success rate. The shelters protect against animals and humans. They will remain in these shelters for four years. Some projects use weed mats, that biodegrade after a couple of years. In about six years we will have beautiful small trees. Eventually, we will have a new forest with a variety of trees, including red maple, black walnut, sycamore, willow oak, pin oak, flowering dogwood, and redbud.

In spring 2017, we will continue to reforest with plantings in Pinehurst and Nightingale. In addition to these community-wide efforts, you can contribute to our progress by planting trees on your own property. Plant native trees like the ones described above. It’s in our covenants that for each tree you get permission to remove, you should plant a new tree.

If you peek into some of the tree shelters around the community, you will likely see little trees popping out. That’s exciting!

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