Hope Crolius, Chair, Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee
The Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee meeting late this afternoon started off on a sad note (leaving at least one member to shed tears) as long time Chair Hope Crolius announced her sudden retirement from the committee due to personal health reasons and an increasing time commitment to her two businesses.
Tree Warden Alan Snow arrived a few minutes late for the meeting and was hit with the news before even sitting down replied, "I'm very sorry to hear that." To which Ms. Crolius responded in jest, "It's not you Alan, it's me."
Turning serious she said, "My brain changed channels and I'm no longer on the same frequency as the Shade Tree Committee." She did agree to stay on for one more month to help the committee transition.
But the APST committee heard some good news: the tree planting on Blue Hills Road was a big success with ten trees planted. The neighbors were described as "energetic." So far this year the town has planted about 250 trees towards the goal of 500.
Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee this afteroon
A DPW crew of four is using a tracked mini excavator which speeds up the process from the summer, when 2 interns were planting by hand using shovels.
Tracked mini excavator, at rest
The committee also voted to send a letter of thanks to Amherst College President Biddy Martin for safely moving (at a reported cost of $100,000) the Camperdown Elm, originally slated for death during the Pratt Field renovation project.
Camperdown Elm, Amherst College Pratt Field
Conversely the committee is working on another letter of "protest" to the state Department of Transportation lamenting the "extensive and unnecessary tree removal that was conducted with the expansion of Rt116." What most locals refer to as "The Notch."
And in other bad news Tree Warden Alan Snow reports three more mighty pin oaks will have to come down on Kellogg Avenue, due to age and disease. One healthy tree was taken down recently by the Unitarian Church renovation project as the tree's roots ran across the construction site and would not have survived extensive amputations.
Out of these 17 pin oaks lining Kellogg Ave two have already come down and three more soon will
At one point Ms. Crolius wondered aloud if it wouldn't be more efficient (and merciful) to simply remove all the remaining pin oaks in one fell swoop, and start a replanting effort from scratch.
Alan Snow replied that other than the three that need to come down those remaining -- with a little tender loving care -- will be just fine; although no doubt, after 100 years, the mighty oaks are coming to the end of their life cycle.
With the loss of Hope Crolius the seven member Amherst Public Shade Tree Committee will be down two members. Those who wish to speak for the trees are urged to contact the committee.