What’s happening?

Despite promises of protective measures, Johns Hopkins’ demolition of a block of 100-year-old row houses on 29th Street damaged two magnolia trees on Friday, Fern Shen reports for the Baltimore Brew. The university’s director of media relations, Jill Rosen, acknowledged that “not all of the precautions were followed” to preserve the trees during the demolition.

What caused the magnolia tree injuries? 

As  crews tore down the buildings, falling debris crushed several branches of the Saucer Magnolia at the front corner of the block. Rubble gathered around the trunks, and the soil was compacted by heavy machinery, causing “irreversible” damage to both the Saucer and Southern Magnolia trees, according to Zoe Gensheimer, the chair of the Baltimore City Forestry Board. “They had a plan” to save the trees, Gensheimer said. “They just didn’t follow through.”

Reporters from the Baltimore Brew cited measures to mitigate destruction to the trees, including some “protective material” around the trunk of the magnolia trees and another tree on the lot. A chain-link fence labeled with a “Forest Protection Area” sign previously separated the buildings from the trees, but Gensheimer said it was flattened by debris.

Anything else I should know? 

Rosen, the university spokesperson, said Johns Hopkins is addressing the issue with their contractor. 

You can read more here.