Town Center Gets New Trees and a Watering Trough Refill

No filter. This is our Town Green, May 11, 2021

Yesterday (and the day before), the Owl took a little flap around the Town Green. While Monday evening’s visit was a little upsetting–the planting of Japanese knotweed is alternately shocking and hilarious–Tuesday afternoon’s walk was a bit more successful because TREES.

According to Lori Hess, Chair of the Tree Advisory Group and Planning Board member-elect, forty new trees are in the ground, and that is never a bad thing. In addition, the Owl noted the Garden Club hard at work at making the Watering Trough so spring-ready and gorgeous that you almost miss the entire growing field of Japanese knotweed behind it.

Yay, Garden Club!

While tempting to spend more time complaining about the knotweed issue, the Owl is going to give it a rest. An email yesterday from the Director of Operations for the Department of Public Works explains that they’re fully aware and ready to machete out the issue. A meeting tomorrow with the Town Center project team will decide the course of action which seems to now be leaning towards leaving the fill where it is and treating the knotweed in situ. The Owl will be covering the impending outcry over glyphosate on the Town Green. Rioting is expected.

Plantings on Monday evening, Owl-dragged cones protecting them.

Until that decision is made, Knox Park, hereafter known as Knotweed Park (yeah, the Owl is terrible about giving things a rest) will not be receiving its plantings which are currently hanging out on a sidewalk, protected by cones that the Owl dragged into place as trees hate being stepped on. That is actually true–stomping on branches, as well as soil compaction, is the kiss of death for trees. Commentary on this was also largely brushed aside (no pun attended) and the fact that the contractor is responsible for the health of the plantings was noted:

“The contractor is responsible and will be responsible for the trees for the project from plantings to watering to replacement if necessary.  From the contract page SP-13, “The Contractor is required to provide a 2-year warranty on all plantings.  The maintenance period (Section 771.72) for this Contract shall be for 90 days after all plantings area planted.  The established period (Section 771.73) for this Contract will be 2 years after planting.” 

In other news, the sweetgums and other trees, including a dawn redwood at the Brothers parking lot, look really good. The Owl looks forward to them being happily shading Weston for many years to come. The dawn redwood likes lots of water so hopefully the fire department hoses reach. And the best news is that the Burgoygne Elm, may it RIP, has a new little friend in its place–a Princeton elm that awaits signage and love.

A little new friend for the ghost of the Burgoygne Elm (plaque to come)

The Adirondack chairs are looking good there in the stone dust and a sculpture is reportedly in the works. One can hope that the power lines come down soon and carefully as some of the new trees are already reaching for the sky. The Owl is looking forward to the town center improvement being complete–though the Josiah Smith Tavern will need another year at least. If you know someone who can lead an update tour of the tavern for local media, the Owl is all ears. Until then, enjoy the Green!

“You know me, I think there ought to be a big old tree right there.

And let’s give him a friend. Everybody needs a friend.”

– Bob Ross

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