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The Trees of Copley Square

My daily commute takes me through the Copley Square area of Boston, and I frequently enjoy walking through the plaza, especially in the nice weather.

A few weeks ago, I noticed green signs posted on the London Plane trees in the plaza. The trees hadn't looked too healthy in a while, and according to the signs, they were all infected with a canker stain fungus and scheduled to be removed. The signs explained that the trees were dying and gave information about a public hearing to explain the situation and tell the residents of Boston the plans for tree removal and replacement.

As I walked through the plaza this morning, I noticed that the tree removal and planting of new trees had begun, and I took a few pictures.

This first picture shows the starkness of a tree stump in the foreground. The second and third picture show the dead trees piled upon a Boston Park Department flatbed truck.


The Stumps of Dying Trees in Copley Square The Stumps of Dying Trees in Copley Square Copyright ©2012 by Michael A. Burstein. All rights reserved.
Removed Trees on a Flatbed Truck in Copley Square Removed Trees on a Flatbed Truck in Copley Square Copyright ©2012 by Michael A. Burstein. All rights reserved.
Boston Park Department Truck in Copley Square Boston Park Department Truck in Copley Square Copyright ©2012 by Michael A. Burstein. All rights reserved.
As Some Trees Die,  Others Are Planted (Copley Square, Boston) As Some Trees Die, Others Are Planted (Copley Square, Boston) Copyright ©2012 by Michael A. Burstein. All rights reserved.



I like that last picture, above. I'm not a professional photographer, but I was trying to capture the image of a newly planted tree in the foreground with the truck piled with the removed trees in the background.

Can anyone identify that new tree? According the Boston Globe, the old trees are being replaced with 12 red maples, four ginkgo biloba trees, and four seedless sweet gums. As a city guy, I'm not up on my ability to identify trees.

More information on the tree removal and replacement, from the Boston Globe's Boston.com website:
20 diseased trees to be removed, replaced in Copley Square (May 10, 2012)
Ailing Copley Square trees to be removed (May 11, 2012)
Boston begins cutting 20 diseased trees at Copley Square (May 16, 2012)

Comments

Without a close-up of the leaves, it's hard to tell.

But there's a guy on LJ who might know, you could ask him. He's at http://urbpan.livejournal.com/.

You also might enjoy following his journal. He lives in the Boston area and posts a lot about nature. A couple of years ago he identified a species a day for a year. The tag for those posts is "365 urban species" and the link is http://urbpan.livejournal.com/tag/365%20urban%20species.

I bet that some of his posts contain information about nature that you would enjoy passing along to Squeaker and Muffin.

Can't tell for sure without a higher res photo, but of the three options I'd guess it's a seedless sweetgum.
Try http://www.arborday.org/trees/whattree/?TrackingID=908

I'd need a better resolution picture to be sure, but it looks like red maple.

Ginkgo leaves look kind of like a scallop shell and grow in a distinct way from the branches. (The female of the species produces seeds that smell like rancid butter).

Young sweetgum and young maple trees have similar shaped trunks, but based on the angle of the leaves and shade of the bark it looks like maple.
Sweetgum leaves are usually a bit darker and the five pointed lobes of the leaves are more symmetrical and longer than the points of a red maple leaf.
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