… a poem as lovely as a tree.

Ten, actually, to replace the nine slaughtered (humanely, it has been persuasively argued) on White Street yesterday.

The replacement trees — Harvest Gold crabapples — are on order and should arrive later this week for planting ASAP, borough arborist Mike Olimpi told the Borough Council and its audience Monday night.

Olimpi and other members of the Shade Tree Committee, including Bill Brooks and Boris Kofman, ran through an extensive presentation, complete with chunks of trunks taken from the White Street trees, to argue for the necessity of taking the trees down.

All nine were Bradford pears, trees that at maturity tend to shed large limbs at the slightest provocation owing to a genetic trait that causes the limbs to grow too close together.

In a nutshell: because of their frail state, they were a hazard to the utility wires they had grown into. They were also a danger to moving and parked cars and to pedestrians on the sidewalk over which they grew.

Olimpi said that if he’d failed to take the trees down, he’d have been guilty of arboreal “malpractice.”

Brooks explained that the Bradford pears were widely popular in the postwar years, but turned out to be problematic for municipalities as the trees matured and started shedding their limbs. “They were overplanted to beat the band,” especially in Fair Haven and Rumson, he said.

The crabapple trees will be about seven feet tall and two inches in trunk diameter at planting. Two existing crabapples were left on White Street.


Also, the Shade Tree Committee reports that it has won a $24,308 grant from Cool Cities USA for planting
additional trees in the borough. It also won recent inclusion in the Tree City USA program.

By the way, that’s Olimpi with the saw at left, felling one of the Bradford pears.

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