After the majority of Camden’s majestic Elm trees died from Dutch Elm disease in the 1970s, the town of Camden and the Camden Garden Club joined forces and initiated a planting program to redevelop street-side shade trees throughout town. In the ensuing years, hundreds of trees have been planted throughout town; many of them now are large, mature trees.

In 2013 the town of Camden was awarded an $8,000 Project Canopy Grant from the Maine Forest Service and USDA Forest Service, for tree planting and maintenance. This year, the grant requirements state that the trees must be planted within the downtown business area. Through the efforts of Camden Development Director Brian Hodges, this is the second year the town has received the grant, according to a press release from the town's Shade Tree Program.

The Downtown Business Group, the Camden Garden Club, and the town of Camden have each contributed equal funding shares in order to qualify for the grant.

This year's Shade Tree Committee includes Camden Garden Club members Dale Bruce, Priscilla Granston, Dave Jackson of the Downtown Business Group, Hodges, Tree Warden Bart Wood and Rick Seibel  of the town Public Works Department.

The trees that have been selected this year are significantly larger than those offered through this program in the past, the press release said, and planting them required some large equipment. Hoboken Gardens won the planting contract and its crew started work early on the morning of May 23 at the Camden Library site. A single Princeton elm has been planted in front of Camden Library, next to the semi-circular pathway along Main Street. This tree replaces one that died a few years ago.

Two paperbark maples have been planted at the corner of Wood and Chestnut streets, on the slope bordering the St. Thomas' Episcopal Church parking lot.

Three golden raindrops crabapples have been planted in the parking lot border along Mechanic Street, opposite the Knox Mill. These trees continue a line of crabapples up the hill to the end of the connecting lots.

The Camden Fire Department has agreed to be responsible for watering the trees on Mechanic and Chestnut streets, according to the press release, and the library will care for its tree.

"It’s exciting to see some large trees being planted in downtown Camden this year. We hope everyone will enjoy them for many years to come," said Bruce.