Curbside Manners – Respecting the Roots

I arrived at the site in a tony section of town with some prior experience. Of all the towns in Massachusetts, Brookline has some of the toughest tree ordinances, which is why I was engaged. A town-owned Norway maple stood in close proximity to a planned driveway. In the vast majority of cases I have […]

I Can Move That – A Transplanting Triumph

I had scored an end-of-the-season deal on a specimen Japanese stewartia tree (Stewartia pseudocamellia) I’d had my eye on. I’m not sure what I was thinking when I planted it, but apparently did not consider tree growth. The neighboring juvenile littleleaf linden tree (Tilia cordata) was enjoying its undisturbed, wood-chipped root area and expressing itself […]

Plant That Tree Righteously!

A wise person once said (or said something to the effect of), “When people plant trees under which they may never sit, then you know that civilization has arrived.” Tree planting. I know. It’s not sexy. There are so many shiny new toys in the removal and pruning facets of tree care that the ole’ […]

Willow Top: When Is Extreme Pruning OK?

Flush cuts were still the norm when I began my arboricultural sojourn. In 1983, Dr. Alex Shigo spoke at my alma mater. He was just beginning to obtain notoriety for challenging the practices of the past with modern science. So now I present to you a technique I will call “extreme heading back.” OK, I […]

Tub Hubub: Bathing in a Neighboring Beech’s Critical Root Zone

In retrospect, the fact that the client answered the door in a Speedo gave credence to the whole case. In this well-heeled town, many hurdles were overcome to get permission to install the in-ground hot tub. A nifty design was introduced, slogged its way through innumerable boards and committees and was eventually approved. Mr. Speedo […]

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