Berlin Ecumenical Green Team
Guided Tree Walk October 2021
Meet at the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum. Observe notable trees around the property.
This walk will feature several notable trees in the downtown Berlin area, all viewed from a public standpoint. Berlin is home to a variety of tree species. The trees featured on the tour are just a few of the beautiful trees thriving in our town. Trees enhance our town environmentally and aesthetically.
AMERICAN SYCAMORE Focus on sycamore located at the front of the Calvin B. Taylor House Museum. This tree enhances the front yard of this historic house which was built in the 1830s. The tree was probably planted around the same time making it two hundred years old. Many stories exist about the tree’s spiritual qualities; these stories have not been verified.
At the time in Berlin, there were only about 18 houses, a few stores and shops and a church (St. Paul’s Episcopal).
Walk south through town to Worcester County Arts Council property.
CEDAR OF LEBANON This tree was documented in 2003 by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as an official Maryland Big Tree. Note specifics on the large plaque: it is the fourth largest Cedar of Lebanon in Maryland and the largest on the Eastern Shore. This species is native to the Middle East. How it moved to Europe and the New World is not verified.
Walk south past Buckingham Presbyterian Church to ---S. Main Street
MAGNOLIA The quintessential southern tree, the magnolia produces large fragrant flowers, usually in the spring, and shiny dark green leaves. The seed pods of magnolias are sometimes used in flower arrangements. Magnolias are not native American trees, but they thrive here and in the south. This stately magnolia thrives in its current location, but specifics about its age and species is not known at this time. In 2015, this magnolia was identified as the second largest magnolia in the state of Maryland.
Cross the street. Walk north on the east side of Main Street to undeveloped lot just before commercial district.
LINDEN TREE This linden tree is unusual in that it has five trunks. The tree has a fragrant blossom in the spring. This tree is frequently planted in parks because it offers wonderful shade. Notable local examples of large linden trees are champion trees on the campus of Salisbury University.
Continue north to commercial district, veer down William Street by Berlin Town Hall; use public restrooms if needed.
Continue walking on William Street
PAULOWNIA The paulownia tree is native to China. The unusual pods of a paulownia tree were used as packing materials for furniture and pottery imported to the New World during the early 19th century. It is a fast-growing tree, and some species are considered invasive. Because Paulownias are fast growing and have pretty blooms in the spring, they are popular trees to plant in yards.
Continue to Burbage Funeral Home side yard
REDWOOD The redwood tree in this yard was planted over 50 years ago. Kirk Burbage planted the tree with his grandmother. Redwoods are usually found on the west coast, not the east coast, and they grow into tremendous trees.
Continue east on Vine Street to former Littleton property
GINKGO A Ginkgo tree is in the back of the former Littleton property. Gingkoes are native to China and are one of the oldest species, even prehistoric! Sometimes they are referred to as “maidenhair trees.” The leaf of a ginkgo tree is a very unique fan-shaped leaf. Both male and female trees are needed for fertilization and fruit production, and trees need over twenty years to reach pollination age. Other tree species have “evolved” so that a male and female tree are not needed for pollination.
BALD CYPRESS This bald cypress tree is thought to be one of the biggest bald cypress trees in Maryland. Bald cypresses are the oldest trees in the United States. They are called “bald” because they lose their foliage in the fall. In wet areas, they send up “knees.” This tree was probably planted here, as opposed to occurring naturally, because it does not have “knees.”
Return to Main Street in the vicinity of Island Creamery.
Berlin is rich in horticultural history.
In the 1920s, Harrison’s Nurseries was the largest mail-order nurseries in the world. The main farm was located near Stephen Decatur High School. Harrison’s developed a peach that was resistant to the blight the impacted southern peaches; this is why Berlin’s “peach history” is celebrated annually with a Peach Festival.
One of the founding members of the Berlin Heritage Foundation was Dr. Mary Humpreys. Born in 1912, Dr. Humpreys was an active citizen and activist in Berlin. She earned a doctorate from Duke University at a time when few women entered the field of science. She taught Botany at Mary Baldwin College, and then returned to Berlin in the 1960s. She was an ardent bird watcher in the region and advocate for trees in Berlin.
This tree tour is approximately one mile and includes several “shade breaks.”
The walk will pass the Berlin public restrooms.
Donations are welcomed.
Berlin Heritage Foundation
Calvin B. Taylor House Museum
Dr. Joan Maloof, Old-Growth Forest Network
Gregory Purnell. Ocean City Arborist, retired/ BFH Board Member