Baxter Pines & Baxter Woods


Spring 2017:

Special Event: Forest Ecology and Urban Forest Management. Lecture by Dr. Kevin Smith, US Forest Service and Jeff Tarling, Portland City Arborist

Wednesday, May 24th 5:00 pm – 6:30 pm

Wilde Chapel at Evergreen Cemetery

Join US Forest Service Plant Physiologist Kevin Smith and City Arborist Jeff Tarling as they give a talk on Urban Forest Management. The concept of conducting urban forest management is an often overlooked component of maintaining sustainable, long term forests.  While the equipment used for this work is similar to timber harvesting on private or commercial lots, the urban forest management project has a focus on improving forest health, habitat, and recreation activities.  Understanding the landscape history of New England and how our forests have evolved demonstrate the resiliency and human influences that shaped today’s remaining forested open spaces.





Fall 2015: Baxter Pines Update

Baxter Pines (2015)City Arborist Jeff Tarling reports that the forest thinning will continue throughout the winter, with the removal of invasive plants and replacing them, in the spring of 2016, with native species. The City also hopes to have the information kiosk up and operational by that time.

To read the entire plan, go here: Baxter Pines Forest Plan

April 17, 2015: Public Lecture at McAuley High School

FOG Lecture Flyer (1)

October 2014: Educational Archeological Survey of the Francis O.J. Smith Estate

Invitation to the Open Dig! October 18th

MHC_logoNEG_RGB_pdf_300The Deering Center Neighborhood Association was awarded a Major Grant from the Maine Humanities Council to undertake an an archeological dig at the historic site of the Francis O.J. Smith Estate in the heart of Baxter Woods.

Throughout the month of October 2014, archeologist (and Deering Center resident) Norm Buttick will work history teacher  Eric Jorgensen and students

Norm Buttrick works with McAuley Students

Norm Buttrick works with McAuley Students

from McAuley High School to unearth artifacts and map the location of Forest Home, the grand residence of Maine statesman and entrepreneur, Francis O.J. Smith.

Forest Home

The library at Forest Home c. 1839

Originally built in 1836 by one of the country’s preeminent architects, Asher Benjamin, Forest Home was  a grand residence, designed to rival those of his neighbors.  The house and adjacent library were typical of Benjamin’s late work in the Greek Revival style, and matched its owners own penchant for opulent grandeur.

Today, the site is part of a nature preserve, familiar and beloved to dog-walkers, school students, and cross-country skiers. There is little evidence of the site’s storied past.As a result of this excavation and scholarship, a colorful part of Deering Center’s history will be restored. The excavation will last until the ground freezes, all artifacts and findings will be catalogued and published online. Norm Buttrick will present his findings at the annual DCNA meeting in November – stay tuned!

Textbook used: In Small Things Forgotten by James Deetz

Textbook used: In Small Things Forgotten by James Deetz



May 2014:  Baxter Pines UpdateBaxter Pines

Work on forest thinning at Baxter Pines will continue this spring. The work will take about a week to complete, and Jeff Tarling will check on the activity of the invasive plants. Contact DCNA if you would like to be part of a survey walk.

August 2013:

City Arborist Jeff Tarling  has let the DCNA know that trees and invasive undergrowth within Baxter Pines have been marked for selective harvesting, as part of the Plan for Baxter Pines to remove the dense understory and keep this wooded park in good health.

Jeff provided us with a copy of the Baxter Pines Plan and the BaxterPines-deed for more information.  If you still have questions or concerns feel free to contact him at the Department of Public Services, (207)-874-8801.

Jeff would also like to meet with members of DCNA, neighbors of Baxter Pines,  and interested parties sometime in September, please contact us if you would like to be included.

April 2012

Baxter Pines

City Arborist Jeff Tarling is looking for a crew of interested Deering Center neighbors to work  on a review of Baxter Pines, now that the City has  a forest plan.  Management and care of Baxter Pines, which is located along Mabel Street and just northeast of the ball fields, will be  reviewed along with  a plan to control the invasive plants along the Mable Street edge – which also serves as a buffer to Memorial Field.

This small woodland, about 4.5 acres total including the ballfields,  was reportedly built after WWII by Governor Baxter and a group of volunteers and students, and is still used and enjoyed as a park and outdoor class room by all residents of Deering Center.

The purpose of the Baxter Pines Review Team will be to bring the park to its optimal health, control the invasive species that threaten the pines and prohibit use, and improve the overall forest health.

Please contact us if you are interested and we’ll get your information to Jeff!

Baxter Pines Review Plan

City of Portland Website