MIDDLETOWN, Md. (WDVM) — Middletown joins the ranks of thousands of communities across the country as a Tree City USA municipality. 

The town recently earned the designation after meeting four standards including the creation of a Tree Board, implementation of a tree care ordinance, establishing a community forestry program with an annual budget of at least $2 per capita, and observing Arbor Day with an annual ceremony.

 In keeping with a focus on urban forestation, the town is launching two new initiatives.

The local tree board has rolled out a new memorial tree and memorial bench program.

Residents can dedicate a newly-planted tree to a loved one or graduate and add to the town’s tree canopy. The program will plant trees along five different town trails. 

And along Wiles Branch Trail, the town has placed placards on or beside 14 different tree varieties, providing both the common and scientific name of the tree and an interesting factoid. 

“With this Eastern Hemlock, [the placard] says they can live 800 years which I think is really exciting that they can live that long,” explained town planner Cindy Unangst, “When you go to the website, we’ll have information on how you would identify [this tree].”

Plans are to expand the tree ID program to other trails in Middletown.