Over winter break, Dartmouth will remove two declining sugar maples on the southeast corner of the Green across from the Hopkins Center for the Arts.
One of the trees has lost much of its canopy and the other, while still full, has a significant area of internal rot jeopardizing its structure says Tim McNamara, associate director of Facilities Operations and Management.
An outside contractor will bring in a crane to remove the trees on Dec. 30, temporarily blocking the sidewalk and parking spaces beside the trees. After the trees are removed, the stumps will be ground down and the space will be filled with soil, McNamara says.
The maples, prized for their orange and red fall colors, were planted in the early 1960s, a gift of the Class of 1950, says College Arborist Brian Beaty. Due to their location beside a road and in an area of steady foot traffic, the trees are nearing the end of their normal life cycle, he says.
“Trees in this type of environment, sugar maples in particular, are not going to last much more than 60 to 75 years,” Beaty says. “If these trees were in a forest, they would live a lot longer, but because of the compaction of foot traffic, snowplowing, and vehicles, they really have declined to the point where we have to take them down.”
Dartmouth will review landscaping options for the site in conjunction with overall master planning for the Green and surrounding areas.
William Platt can be reached at email@example.com.