BHCA Tree Committee Discusses Ways to Improve Urban Canopy

The Beacon Hill Civic Association (BHCA) Tree and Civic Beautification Committee met to discuss ways to improve the urban canopy and enhance the beauty of the neighborhood on Oct. 15 at 74 Joy St.

A recently planted tree-pit.

The meeting agenda included notification that the city’s Parks Department would plant new trees this fall at 31 Charles St. and 19 Charles St. The committee will send neighbors a notice regarding the upcoming plantings, and asks them to “remove any guards that are too high or do not have a removable side panel on the street-side to avoid potential damage,” wrote Miguel Rosales, who co-chairs the committee with John Corey.

“We will not install any tree guards or remove damaged ones this winter, but will revisit the need at our spring meeting and also discuss a fundraising initiative,” Rosales added.

The 60 tree pits/guards along Charles Street, which were originally part of the BHCA’s 90th anniversary gift to the city, will also continue to be watered and cleaned during 2019.

“We have enough funds to continue with weekly cleaning and watering,” Rosales wrote. “In addition, we will continue to install both spring and fall plantings with grants provided by the Beacon Hill Garden Club.”

Committee members and volunteers installed a few fall plantings and cleaned selected tree pits along Charles Street on Saturday Oct. 27.

With the cost of tree guards rising considerably in the last few years and now costing between $1,600 and $2,000, the committee discussed the need to hold a fundraiser next spring to help support the installation and repair of new tree-guards.

“Going forward, the adjacent neighbors will be notified of any removals or installations prior to work being completed,” Rosales said. “We distributed dog signs to members in attendance.”

Rosales advised neighborhood residents to contact Patricia Tully of the Civic Association at 617-227-1922 to arrange to arrange to pick up one of the few remaining “dog signs,” which they can place in a tree-pit to remind dog owners to curb their dogs.

The committee is also organizing a group to help prune trees along Mount Vernon, Chestnut, Pinckney and West Cedar streets, which will meet at the corner of Chestnut and Charles Streets on Sunday, Nov. 4

“We will put in practice what we learned from a demonstration given by Max Ford-Diamond from the Parks Department on proper pruning techniques,” Rosales wrote. ”Please bring sheers and your work gloves.  We will have trash bags and disposable gloves.”

To volunteer for the event, contact the BHCA office at 617-227-1922.

In other news, Rosales said the committee worked successfully to treat Linden trees that became infected in the summer of 2017 with aphids, minute insects that feed on sap from plants.

“We are happy to report that through the efforts of the Tree Committee, we were able to secure funding to sustainably treat these trees and work with our City Councilor [Josh] Zakim to request the Public Works Department re-grade this area,” Rosales wrote.”

Both projects were successfully completed, and Rosales noted that the committee had “happy neighbors this summer enjoying the shade of beautiful, elegant Linden trees.”

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