Newton Tree Conservancy
News & Events
COMMUNITY TREE PLANTINGS: Projected Timeline
Late March (after ground thaws) - Testing for gas leaks at planting sites.
NSTAR Tree Work - Update June 2012
The Boston Globe report on June 6 was shocking: "NSTAR is planning to remove more than a thousand trees near major transmission lines in several communities west of Boston, as the utility works to prevent power outages that hit the region last year. Cutting had started in May and was halted earlier this week after some residents objected, saying they are worried about debris from the trees. The transmission lines provide power to tens of thousands of residents." See the full article at:
Shocking as this is, we can at least be comforted that it is highly unlikely this will happen in Newton. Marc Welch, Newton's Director of Urban Forestry, has explained that this tree removal work pertains to transmission lines, wires that bring power from the electric plants and substations to the wires on the streets. Transmission lines typically run through private property and/or property owned by NStar. Marc believes that we have few (if any) transmission wires in Newton, and so it is highly unlikely we will have to face this specific issue. The tree ordinances we have in place would also apply should NStar propose to remove a tree on city property or on its own property.
We do however continue to face the normal NStar line clearance work (not tree removals but tree trimming). This season's work began in May with pruning on Route 9; NStar contractors will work on circuits throughout the city over the summer. The agreement between NStar and the City, re-negotiated in 2011, requires adherence to standards outlined below and City permission for certain cuts. Since the time of that negotiated agreement, the pruning has gone pretty smoothly, with the able oversight of Marc Welch. While some work last year looked extreme and severe to Tree Commission members, upon review we saw that it was within the standards, and generally appropriate to the situation. This year, NStar did request a loosening of the requirements, which was denied by the City, showing that vigilance is always necessary. A potential future issue is that NStar's merger with Northeast Utilities may change its tree trimming policies and budgets - so far there is no impact.
NStar standards from 2011 and Homeowner Notice with high-level instructions follow. For future reference, detailed standards can be found at NewtonTreeConservancy.org.
NEGOTIATED CONDITIONS FOR WORK ON CITY "STREET" TREES INCLUDE:
IF YOU SEE PROBLEMS:
THESE CONDITIONS APPLY TO CITY TREES. PRUNING OF PRIVATE PROPERTY TREE (TRUNK 6-8 FT FROM THE STREET) IS BETWEEN NSTAR AND THE PROPERTY OWNER.
FOR MORE INFO VISIT www.newtontreeconservancy.org
"Garden City gas leaks could be killing Newton's trees"
See story in the Newton TAB about a study conducted by Gas Safety Inc., for the Massachusetts Public Shade Tree Trust. The report, submitted to Mayor Setti Warren's office in January 2011, states that the Garden City allegedly has more than 378 underground gas leaks that could be responsible for the death of Newton's greenery. (May 31, 2011)
"Gas leaks could link to death of Newton's trees"
See story in Newton TAB about alleged damage to trees due to gas leaks, according to Bob Ackley, owner of Gas Safety USA and co-founder of the Massachusetts Shade Tree Trust (Sept. 01, 2010).
Letter to the Newton TAB: Newton's trees are a priceless asset
Read Katherine Howard's letter regarding standards for tree pruning by NSTAR (Sept. 01, 2010).
Fall Tree Walk in Cold Spring Park
Saturday, October 27, 2012 10 am
Library Speaker series:
On Tuesday, December 4, 2012, at the Newton Free Library in Druker Auditorium, 7 pm. Marc Fournier of Lasell College.
Saturday October 29th, 2011, 10 am - 12 noon
TREE WALK IN NEWTON CEMETERY
Tree Walk - Saturday November 6th, 2010
Marc Welch and NTC Directors/members went for an informal first look at the Durant-Kenrick House, a historic property recently acquired by the City and surrounded by specimen trees planted by William Kenrick, one of the first horticulturists in the country. They scoped out the trees in preparation for perhaps a larger tree walk in the spring. Participants also tested their tree identification skills and also looked for the Asian Longhorned Beetle. See link below for info on the Durant-Kenrick property. http://www.ci.newton.ma.us/jackson/durant-kenrick/index.asp
The address is 286 Waverley Ave in Newtonville, corner of Waverley/Sargent/Kenrick.
Tree Pruning and Tree Identification
Tree Pruning: Tues 9/21 and Thurs 9/23, 6:30-8:30 pm, with field work Sat 9/25 9-11 am.
(Three classes required)
Tree Identification: Monday 9/27 6:30-8:30 pm, with field work Sat 10/2 9-11 am.
The History, Growth, and Future of Newton's Community Trees
Speaker: Marc Welch, Director of Newton's Division of Urban Forestry
Newton's Urban Forest is a broad and diverse resource that touches the lives of many people in Newton. The City's Urban Forest is the foundation and frame work of the City's nick name - The Garden City. Early on in Newton's history the City's trees were valued and cared for as a priority of the City's government. This program will provide a glimpse at how Newton built and managed its Urban Forest and how its managers were pioneers in the industry. We will look at the major historic impacts to our City's trees including insects, diseases, and human intervention. The future hold many new challenges for the City's trees; new and innovative approaches are being explored to meet those challenges.
Marc Welch is the Director of the City's Division of Urban Forestry and has been managing the City's Urban Forest since 2002. He holds a Bachelors Degree in Urban Forestry and has been a Massachusetts Certified Arborist for over ten years. He is a past president of the Massachusetts Tree Wardens and Foresters Association and is an active member of the organization's Executive Board. Prior to working for Newton he was the City Arborist for the City of Boston and an Arborist working for the USDA Forest Service.
Tree Steward Training program - Thursday evenings, at Albemarle Field House.
Thurs eve April 15, 2010, 7 pm - Planting instruction.
In this fun program run by the City and co-sponsored by the Newton Tree Conservancy, we learn from Marc Welch, the City's Forestry Director, all about trees. Future Tree Steward sessions will include tree identification and biology. Participants can use the training to care for their own trees, and if they choose can become part of the growing contingent of trained volunteers who gather once a month for a couple hours to care for young city trees - to give them a strong healthy structure before they become large. Our monthly pruning sessions (Saturday mornings) are fun and are a great way to directly contribute to our urban forest. To register, please email Marc Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org or you may contact the Newton Tree Conservancy at email@example.com.
Community Tree Planting
Volunteers will plant 50 trees at 6 sites across Newton. The neighborhood groups have agreed to water, and will also help plant. Additional volunteers will be very much needed those mornings to assist with the plantings! Your help those mornings would be VERY much appreciated!
Winter Moth: A New Invasion of New England
Speaker: Professor Joe Elkinton, University of Massachusetts Amherst Entomology Department
Handouts from the Program:
MAY 2, 2009 Community Tree Planting on Watertown Street
See more photos from our Community Tree Planting event, May 2nd, 2009 (opens in new window).
Homeowners at each of the locations have committed to watering their tree weekly for the first two years to help ensure its survival. Each location was reviewed by Newton's Director of Urban Forestry Marc Welch for suitability, i.e., not too close too driveways, manhole covers, or other trees. Tree lilacs were chosen as one of the species appropriate for planting under utility wires.
The plantings were done on a Saturday morning. Before planting began, Newton's Director of Urban Forestry Marc Welch gave a tutorial on how to plant a bare root tree. Bare root trees are less expensive to buy, and easier to plant than balled & burlap trees. They are much less heavy to lift and do not require the digging of deep holes.
After planting, each tree was equipped with a TreeGator bag to facilitate watering. The bag is filled with 20 gallons of water once a week from spring to fall (while the tree has leaves) to ensure adequate water. The water drains over a period of several hours, so it soaks the ground instead of running off.
Since this initial planting, we have received a generous grant from Newton Pride's Leo L. Levi Tree Endowment Fund which will enable us to do more plantings in spring of 2010.
Whether you are a formal neighborhood organization or a group of neighbors on a street or block who would like more trees, you are invited to apply for a 2010 Community Tree Planting. Applications should be submitted by October 26, 2009. Bare root trees have a longer lead time to order, and we must review applications and place our order by the beginning of December. For more information, see the Programs page.
"TREE PESTS AND TREE HEALTH: Woody Plant Pests and Diseases"
To a packed house of tree lovers in the Library's Druker Auditorium, on Monday May 18th the Arnold Arboretum's Julie Coop spoke to us about tree pests.
Julie is the Manager of Plant Health for the Arnold Arboretum and is a certified arborist. She began her career with Harvard on the grounds crew at Case Estates in Weston. She was refreshingly "down to earth", bringing many samples of tree twigs and pests with her to pass around the audience, and she seemed to really know and love all the trees and samples that she wanted to show us.
Read more about this event (PDF file, 72kb, opens in new window).
Asian Longhorned Beetle News
Anyone seeing anything suspicious should report it immediately at http://massnrc.org/pests/albreport.aspx or toll-free: 1-866-702-9938. Take photos if you can.
. . .
"[Boston] Common found free of beetle infestation, Boston Globe - June 24, 2010
Tree Restoration and Protection
See photos from our Citizen Pruner Training event, Spring 2009 (opens in new window).
In this fun program run by the City and co-sponsored by the Newton Tree Conservancy, we learned from Marc Welch, the City's Forestry Director, about trees and tree pruning and then we got to practice it. Participants can use the training to care for their own trees, and if they so choose they can become part of our growing contingent of trained volunteers who gather about once a month for a couple hours to care for young city trees - to give them a strong healthy structure before they become large. Our monthly pruning sessions (Saturday mornings) are fun and are a great way to directly contribute to our urban forest. To register, please email Marc Welch at firstname.lastname@example.org or you may respond to Contact Us on this website and we will forward.
See photos from our Fall kickoff event, Sunday October 26, 2008 (opens in new window).
The map and list have been provided by the Newton Cemetery Office, located at 791 Walnut Street, (617) 332-0047.
"Saving Newton's trees"
Read "Saving Newton's trees" by Julia Malakie, Newton TAB, October 7, 2008 (opens in new window).
The Newton Tree Conservancy is a new non-profit 501(c)(3) dedicated to better stewardship of our trees through community outreach and educational programs, and by raising funds for the preservation and planting of trees in Newton.
Copyright 2012. Newton Tree Conservancy. All Rights Reserved