Can you imagine the Park without its cooling shade?
Fortunately, early planners pictured Patterson Park as an urban oasis, offering a country-like setting for year-round enjoyment. Trees have always been an important element in Patterson Park. The earliest recorded tree plantings date back to 1835 when William Patterson planted 200 trees on the original six acres of park land. Over many years, hundreds of trees, both native and exotic, have been planted, throughout the Park.
Thanks to the wonderful Tree Team, over 800 trees have been planted and maintained in the last seven years! Currently, there are more than 1,500 trees in Patterson Park, representing more than 50 different species. Besides mature shade trees such as maples, oaks and lindens, there are several species that provide us with seasonal beauty: scented white magnolias, pink redbuds and delicate cherry blossoms in the spring and fiery maples and golden oaks in the fall.
The species composition of the trees within the park has changed dramatically since the 19th century, not only in the diversity, but also in the composition of the tree species. In 1887 a tree inventory reported that the most dominant species were an assortment of maples as well as European and American Lindens. Maples and lindens, along with oaks, are still fairly dominant in Patterson Park today though there is greater species diversity now than 130 years ago. Patterson Park has some very interesting trees including the largest Amur Cork and the largest Weeping Mulberry found in Baltimore City. Near the offices of the “Friends” there is a large White Oak that is said to be a descendant of the famous Wye Oak. Other species that date back to 1887 and are indigenous to Southern Europe include the Horse Chestnut and the Babylon Weeping Willow. In recent years, the focus has been on planting species that are native to Maryland.
In 2009, a local author wrote a pastoral tree walk for the western side of the park. Tree Walk guides are available at the Pagoda on Sundays, 12pm to 6pm. Stop by and take an educational walk around the park! Many of the trees along the walk have botanical signs thanks to a grant from Parks & People.