Want to plant an oak in your yard? The tree commission can help!

Oak trees are the environmental and biodiversity champions of our region, providing exceptional wildlife habitat and other benefits. Sadly, many of our biggest, oldest oaks are reaching the end of their lives. To ensure that future generations of Mount Rainier residents enjoy the benefits of oaks, the tree commission is launching a program called "30 Oaks in 30 Days" to provide deeply discounted native oak trees to residents and assist with site preparation and planting.

Learn more: 30 Oaks in 30 Days

Questions? Email trees@20712.org 

Announcement: climate-resilient tree list

Anyone reading the news today knows that climate change is here, and it's only going to get more severe in decades to come. Trees can play a major role in blunting the impact of climate change by providing shade on hot days. But to get those resilience benefits, we need to plant trees today that will be resilient to the hotter temperatures and more extreme weather of the future. The tree commission has developed a list of trees that are appropriate to Mount Rainier and that we believe will be climate-resilient, based on the latest science. We hope this will be useful for city and county agencies, for residents planting trees on their own property, and for the wider DC-area urban forestry community.

Where do our trees come from - and how are we preparing for the future?

Tree commissioner Gabe Popkin has written two articles for the Mount Rainier Message on how the tree commission is working to keep our tree canopy strong and healthy today, and how we are setting the stage for a future with increasingly severe climate change.

To learn about our tree planting and care activities over the past few years, scroll to page 4 of the September newsletter:

To learn about how we are planting a resilient urban forest for the future, scroll to page 4 of the October newsletter: http://www.mountrainiermd.org/home/showdocument?id=1307

Next Tree Commission meeting

Monday, October 26
7:30 -- 9:00 pm
Meeting will be held remotely. Email trees@20712.org for details.

Our meetings are open to the public and all Mount Rainier residents are invited to attend. 

If you are planning to attend, we suggest emailing trees@20712.org ahead of time for any last-minute changes or cancellations.

About the Mount Rainier Tree Commission

The Mount Rainier Tree Commission is a group of volunteers charged with protecting and enhancing the urban forest of Mount Rainier, Maryland. The Tree Commission advises city staff and council on decisions regarding planting and maintenance of city-owned trees. The Tree Commission has no authority over trees on private property, but commission members may advise property owners regarding tree planting, maintenance and removal, at the request of the property owner.

Current Tree Commission members are Gabe Popkin (co-chair), MaryLee Haughwout (co-chair), Barry Stahl, Brad Ball, Jackie Sabath, Rebecca Christopher and Zachary Hennessee. 

Other tree-related positions in Mount Rainier include: 
-- Rocio Latorre, Public Work: roadside tree care expert; city staff liaison to the Tree Commission
-- Bryan Knedler, City Council: roadside tree care expert; city council liaison to the Tree Commission

Please email trees@20712.org if you're interested in getting involved with the Tree Commission.

If you have a request regarding, email Rocio Latorre at rlatorre@mountrainiermd.org. You may copy the tree commission.

Past events: tree pruning workshops

This winter the tree commission hosted not one but two pruning workshops!

1. Tree Pruning Basics
Sunday, February 2, 2020, 1:00 -- 3:00 pm

2. How to Prune Crape Myrtles (Properly, not Murderously)
Saturday, February 29, 2020, 1:00 -- 3:00 pm

Tree commissioner Barry Stahl led both workshops.

Past event:
Native Garden Tour 
Mount Rainier, Brentwood and Hyattsville
Sunday, May 12, 2019, 10 am -- 1 pm

This was a self-guided tour featuring eight gardens in Mount Rainier, Brentwood and Hyattsville. CLICK HERE for more information and tour locations.

Past event: FREE tree pruning workshop

We learned the basic methods of structural tree pruning, which is essential to giving young trees good form and setting them on a path to a long, healthy life. The workshop was led by Barry Stahl, tree commissioner and former National Park Service horticulturalist. 

Past event: Tree planting, Sunday, April 8, 2018

The tree commission celebrated Arbor Day and planted 25 new trees in Mount Rainier! We greatly appreciate Maryland state forester Horace Henry coming by to present the Arbor Day proclamation and pose with us and this awesome flag. Tree City USA for 17 years and counting!

Arbor Day 2018
 Left to right: Bryan Reisz, Gabe Popkin, Horace Henry, Amy Dona, Barry Stahl.

NEWS: Spring 2017 tree planting

In celebration of Arbor Day, tree commissioners, volunteers, public works staff and council members planted 15 trees along streets and in parks. Please enjoy your new trees, and if you live near one, email trees@20712.org to find out about how you can help water them through the hot, dry summer!

Planting trees on Perry Street and in Spring Park. Photos by Gabriel Popkin

Past event: Tree pruning workshop

On January 28, 2017 the Tree Commission held a tree pruning workshop and approximately 10 people attended, including city council members, tree commissioners, residents, and public works staff. The workshop was led by master gardener and tree commissioner Barry Stahl. The training focused on the right time to prune trees and pruning techniques, and participants were able to practice on several Mount Rainier street trees.

Mount Rainier roadside tree care expert Jessica Love practices pruning, as tree commissioners Barry Stahl and Amy Dona, and councilmember Bryan Knedler, look on.

Announcement: Mount Rainier tree ordinance revised

On December 6, 2016, the Mount Rainier City Council adopted a revised Urban Forest Chapter of the City Code. A copy of the revised tree ordinance is available at https://sites.google.com/a/20712.org/trees/planning

NEWS: Trees Planted (May 2016)

On May 7, 2016, members of the Mount Rainier Tree Commission, city council member/roadside tree care expert Bryan Knedler and other community members planted two flowering dogwoods at Spring Park (33rd and Shepherd Streets) and tree redbuds in street tree boxes around town. This added to seven oaks and redbuds that were planted last weekend, and 25 more oaks, redbuds and dogwoods that will be planted soon. Enjoy your new arboreal neighbors!

Photos from this weekend's tree planting:

NEWS: Trees Planted (May 2015)

In May 2015, city council member and roadside tree care expert Bryan Knedler oversaw the planting of 63 trees in our city. After spending the day overseeing the planting, Knedler reports: “I am exhausted and didn’t even do any of the manual labor! You’ll see new trees around city hall, the Kaywood section of Varnum St, on Perry St at the Brentwood border, and other scattered spots. Most trees planted are native to the area."

Some things you can do on this site:

Click here to view an online list of all street trees in Mount Rainier. This inventory is continually being updated.

Click here to send us updated information about any tree in the city.

Click here to see information on a recent tour of Mount Rainier's trees.

Click here to download a tree permit application, required for removing, substantially pruning or taking any action that could impact a tree larger than 18 inches in diameter, even if it is on your property.

To submit a question or comment, email trees@20712.org. Please keep in mind that the Tree Commission is an all-volunteer group, and is not always able to respond to requests for immediate information or action. If a response to your query is needed, we will try to provide one in a timely manner.

Tree Planting Pics

Pruning and Maintenance Work