Feeding the trees that are saving the bay

ScienceFertilizerChemical IndustryAnnapolisForestry and Timber

I am appalled to learn that Maryland has forced the elimination of phosphorus from liquid injector tree fertilizer. It is the phosphorus that is most important to root development.

A mature tree will certainly use all the phosphorus injected into the soil with nothing left to harm the Chesapeake Bay. It is this lack of proper root development that has made falling trees, once rare, now a common occurrence.

I should not have to quote tree experts on the importance of feeding trees anymore than I should have to quote nutrition experts on the importance of feeding humans. The state needs to take a balanced view and be as concerned about the trees as it is about the bay. It makes no sense to kill the one that is most responsible for saving the other.

Prudence is necessary here. I have proposed a compromise to two state elected officials and received no response yet. So I will put it forth here: Allow phosphorus to be used only by licensed arborists for use in approved green fertilizers that are injected into the soil and not applied topically.

Simple. But is anyone in Annapolis listening?

Joseph Clisham, Baltimore

The writer is a former chairman of the Baltimore City Forestry Board.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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