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Tree Planting

Trees were planted this week by arborists in the Richmond Heights Parks and Recreation Department.

This summer the City of Richmond Heights did an extensive tree pruning and culling program. Many residents were upset and did not understand why trees were being cut. On my street arborists cut down a mature maple in the city-managed "right of way". Even though the residents jockeyed to park beneath its shade in summer, the tree cutters said that there was insufficient room for its roots in the right of way, that the roots threatened nearby underground utilities, and that the weak limbs were a hazard to pedestrians and parked cars during snow and ice storms.

This past week, the City arborists showed up with a truck bed full of trees. They dug holes, planted, and staked the young trees. These included Bald Cypress, red buds (a native Missouri understory tree), a Black Gum (no gumballs on this one to rake up!), and a Lace-bark Elm.

The elm is Chinese in origin, so does not suffer from the dreaded Dutch Elm Disease like its American cousin. Like the American Elm it is a vase shaped tree of spreading proportions when full grown. Its bark is an interesting feature and is a patchwork of cinnamon and tan markings. There are specimen trees according to the arborists on Buck and at the corner of Sunset and Wise Aves (pictured here).

So, "hats off" and kudos to the Urban Forestry Program of Richmond Heights. We  may not rival University City or Webster Groves for their old trees, but the City of Richmond Heights is looking to honor any trees which might be 100 years old as part of its centennial celebration in 2013. I take my notebook to record tree locations on my walks and have already found a burr oak, a pin oak, and a sycamore in my neighborhood which I will nominate to the centennial tree list.

Look around your neighborhood and let me know if you think you have a century tree candidate. I will forward the information to the City to check out. Happy Tree Hunting!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Luke Havel November 30, 2012 at 10:14 PM
Cool post Mark. I wish local Parks & Forestry departments would do more to bring back the American Elm. Many Dutch Elm Disease resistant cultivars are now available, such as, the Princeton Elm, Jefferson Elm, Patriot Elm and New Harmony Elm. And they are fast growers! I live in Maplewood and have an American Elm that is 37" DBH, and has a classic bouquet/vase shape. I would guess it is at least 100 years old. It got a good bill of health this year by my arborist, so that is good. Black Gums are also lovely trees, but slow growers. I have two I am nursing right now, one is 6 ft tall and the other about 2.
Mark Cockson December 02, 2012 at 12:25 AM
Hello, Luke: Thank you for your information packed posting. I will pass your suggestion about the Elm cultivars onto the R.H. Parks and Rec. crew. regards, Blogger Mark

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