If you've driven along Francis Parkman Drive recently you may have seen a sizable forest area clearcut by the city to remove dead trees, some of which killed by an insect that feeds by sucking sap from hemlocks. The removed trees were between the Francis Parkman Drive and Prince Street, including a hemlock grove and individual trees that were dead or failing, said Margaret Dyson, Director of Historic Parks for the Boston Parks and Recreation Department. The area looks to be several hundred square feet and is visible from Francis Parkman Drive. The culprit was the hemlock woolly adelgid, which is native to east Asia, where's it not a problem because natural predators keep it in check. But on America's east coast it goes unchecked.
Tree by tree, sections of the Casey Arborway are being replanted. On Tuesday, resident Clay Harper noticed 21 plane trees being planted along the western section of the massive project. The plantings come two years after clearcutting of hundreds of trees around Forest Hills Station. By the time the road realignment project is completely done - current estimates put that at Spring 2018 - MassDOT says the area will have 400 more trees than when the project began. We've been following the Casey Arborway project's ups and down for years.
Remember the winter of 2015? If the 100-plus inches of snow didn't depress you, there was the chopping down of more than a hundred trees around Forest Hills for the Casey Arborway project. Now for the good news, nature lovers: The first trees of the mammoth project will soon be planted. The Department of Transportation announced Tuesday that week after next contractors plan to start planting trees in the area where the permanent median of the Arborway will be. It was just one line in MassDOT's latest "Three-week Look-ahead," but it should bring a smile to everyone who hated seeing those 160 trees cut down.
Jamaica Plain writer Rachel Lebeaux took in the magnificent cherry trees blossoming at Arnold Arboretum. Most of the cherries are located in the Bradley Rosaceous Collection. It's nearest the Forest Hills gate. Here's a simple map. However, there are cherry trees in other parts of the Arboretum as well, and they're all spectacular right now.
Toole Square, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. Credit: Chris Helms
Residents, especially those not clued in to the massive Casey Arborway project, are expressing sadness or even outrage over the removal of 160 trees from around Forest Hills Station. What planners haven't done very well is explain that by project's end, there will be about 400 more trees than before the crews started cutting them down. The devastation is easy to see. It's to make way for new streets and reconfigured facilities as part of the razing of the Casey Overpass and switch to a network of surface roads.