Arbor Day swells tree population Communities plant saplings, honor residents

April 08, 1993|By Katherine Richards | Katherine Richards,Staff Writer

Arbor Day burst into bloom all over Carroll yesterday, as people around the county planted trees and honored those who care for them.

In a countywide Arbor Day program held in the Manchester Firemen's Activity Building, Manchester Councilwoman Charlotte Collett announced that the town will rename the upper baseball field at Christmas Tree Park in honor of the late Earl L. Yingling.

Mr. Yingling, a longtime town resident, was the chief caretaker of the Wye Oak on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

Nobody knows the age of the Wye Oak, the largest white oak in the United States, but the tree is believed to have sprouted in the 1500s.

"He was very dear to me," said Ms. Collett. "I was asked to say a few words about Earl. I can't."

Dean Minnich, editorial page editor of the Carroll County Times and a former Sunday school student of Mr. Yingling, read a eulogy his paper had published following Mr. Yingling's death this winter.

"I was impressed with the depth of his faith," he said. "He taught the lessons with simplicity and sincerity and humility."

Also honored yesterday were the towns of Hampstead and Manchester, which received plaques and flags from the National Arbor Day Foundation marking their new status as Tree Cities USA.

Westminster, which has been a Tree City USA. for four years, was recognized by the foundation for progress in its tree-management program.

The Carroll County commissioners presented a plaque to Tom Ford, an extension agent with the University of Maryland's Cooperative Extension Service, "for his contribution as a key horticultural resource person for citizens and professionals in Carroll County."

Jim Slater of the Carroll County Office of Environmental Services presented plaques to the owners of seven trees named Landmark Trees following a countywide contest. The trees were selected because of their great size or other unique characteristics.

Steve Eline and C. Bayard Bollinger, members of the Hampstead Rotary Club, presented a donation on behalf of the club to the Hampstead Tree Commission.

Charles Adams, director of the Office of Environmental Design with the State Highway Administration, explained the tree-preservation efforts during the reconstruction of Main Street Westminster.

Thanks to cooperation between the state and the city, he said, "We will be able to save all of those trees that are worth saving."

Commissioner Elmer Lippy promised to mend his ways after years of loudly expressing his distaste for the loblolly pine, which he labeled "the starling of the tree world" and "majestic in its ugliness."

He read a poem by Eileen Shields of the county economic development office, "Ode to the Loblolly Pine." The ode proclaimed the loblolly "a wonk, a dork, the nerd of trees."

Commissioner Donald Dell responded by presenting Commissioner Lippy with some loblolly pine seedlings.

"I promise to plant it and nurture it, and that will be my memorial," Mr. Lippy said. "But, Don, it's still ugly."

Following the presentations, about 40 people gathered in Christmas Tree Park as a seedling grown from an acorn from the Wye Oak was planted in Mr. Yingling's memory by representatives of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture.

Mr. Yingling was first president of the chapter, started in 1978.

Elsewhere around the county, Arbor Day was observeded with a flurry of tree plantings.

In Hampstead, high school forestry and landscaping students planted more than 40 trees and shrubs along a nature trail they created in a new park in North Woods Farms.

At North Carroll High School, three students planted a "King's Choice" elm donated by King's Tree Farm.

The tree will be the centerpiece of a corner of the school grounds dedicated to the memory of students who have died.

The King's Choice elm is the official town tree of Hampstead.

Ben King of Hampstead holds the patent on the King's Choice variety of Chinese elm, which grows very fast and is resistant to Dutch elm disease.

Also in Hampstead, four trees were planted at a new park on Route 88 at Dogwood Drive, which was dedicated yesterday to the memory of former Police Chief Durward C. "Sarge" Sites.

Hampstead Mayor Clint Becker called Chief Sites a "peacemaker."

Chief Sites' parents, Albert and Elsie Sites, and several other relatives attended the dedication.

Pat Lewis, Chief Sites' daughter, said her father used to try to work with young people who were in trouble.

"He'd talk to them, and try to get them set straight," she said. Sometimes, she said, he helped them find work.

She said her father was a Maryland State Police officer for 25 years. After his retirement, he served the town of Hampstead from 1977 until his death in 1986.

In New Windsor, two pear trees and two cherry trees were to be planted to mark Arbor Day, said Linda Donaldson, chairwoman of the town's tree commission.

The city of Westminster plans an extended Arbor Day celebration April 19-23.

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