A contractor hired by Red Bank planted 15 new trees along White Street Sunday morning, fulfilling a promise by borough Arborist Mike Olimpi to replace nine mature Bradford pear trees that were cut down April 23.
Ten Harvest Gold crabapples had been planned, but the borough managed to get 14, so five new holes were made in the concrete to accomodate them, Olimpi said.
Instead of the seven-foot crabapple trees originally expected, the new ones are around 10 feet tall, Olimpi said. They’ll top off at about 20 feet, a safe height even with utility wires overhead.
The Bradfords were removed as a hazard to pedestrians and an overhead alarm wire to the Liberty Hose firehouse. Mature Bradfords have a genetic characteristic that causes their branches to easily break off.
Alluding to comments posted on redbankgreen in which readers expressed concern that the sidewalk and parking lot would now become hazardous field of fallen crabapples, Olimpi reiterated that the fruit of the Harvest Gold does not drop off the tree when it ripens.
Up next: five new London Planes will be planted, probably next Sunday on Broad Street, replacing trees so severely damaged in the February ice storm that they had to be cut down, Olimpi said. The new ones, he said, will be 16- to 18-feet tall.
The borough’s Shade Tree Committee recently pulled down 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.
Above are photos taken April 23, left, showing Olimpi cutting down a Bradford pear, and the crabapple that has now replaced it.