|Postcard of tree-lined streets (maples and elms), circa 1900|
Recommendations are that for an urban or suburban community, no one species make up more than 10 percent of the tree population, and no genus more than 20 percent. Glenwood Cemetery is a special case, as after the hurricane of 1938 killed most of the original plantings circa 1870, the near-majority replacement was with sugar maple. For all of Maynard’s public spaces the inventory is 25 percent Norway maple, 43 percent for all species of maple. Note that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts has deemed Norway maple an invasive species and has banned it sale or distribution. Existing trees are allowed to continue to exist.
|Tree stump, Nason Street|
Separate from what the town can do, property owners should consider planting trees on their own property. Too often, home owners remove trees that are dead, dying, or just too big for the space they occupy, yet do not take action to add trees. Trees have economic, environmental and social value. Realtors estimate that properties with mature trees command a premium sale price. Shade trees on the south and west side can reduce energy costs. Trees and shrubs reduce stormwater water run-off and absorb pollutants from the air. Trees dampen noise, and provide habitat for wildlife. Lastly, research has shown that adequately treed neighborhoods improve mental and physical health when compared to tree-barren areas.
Insects, both native and invasive, can be tree killers. For much of the past decade, Maynard’s birch and maple trees suffered from winter moths consuming leaves in early spring. The presence of this pest has been diminished recently via introduction of species-specific parasites. Gypsy moth caterpillars have been harsh on oaks especially, but also maple and other species. Spotted lanternfly is an invasive species that has not yet reached eastern Massachusetts.
|European copper beech on Acton Street may be|
the largest tree in Maynard. (click to enlarge)
Not in the newspaper column:
1912: Maynard had a Moth Department to combat gypsy and browntail moths
1938: Hurricane knocked down hundreds of trees, including spruce trees in Glenwood Cemetery, replaced by sugar maples
1941: Elm tree designated as the state tree; plantings promoted
1960s: Dutch Elm Disease kills hundreds of elm trees
1960s: Multi-year drought contributed to death of hundreds of trees, mostly maple
1967: Conservation Commission established
1970s: DPW budget for purchasing trees less than $1,000/year
1999: Maynard qualifies to be a Tree City USA (needs annual renewal)
2018: Creation of Rail Trail included removal of >650 trees that were at least 4” diameter