New tree on Larchmont, but how did it get here?

| December 2, 2021 | 0 Comments

STREET SERVICE crew digs hole for the newest tree on Larchmont Boulevard.

The Larchmont Boulevard sidewalk canopy coverage that trees provide is wonderful, but do you ever think about what it takes to get that tree into the ground? Because one recently was placed on the Boulevard for the 100th anniversary of the original Larchmont shopping district, we thought we’d tell you how it happened.

Resident gardener and horticulturist Helen Hartung of Windsor Square, also a board member of the Windsor Square Association (WSA), scouted for a city-approved African Fern Pine (Afrocarpus falcatus) at a nursery, tagged it and arranged for its delivery. Urban Forestry Division (a part of the Bureau of Street Services of the city’s Public Works Department), the agency that oversees street tree installation, had been contacted about this project by local resident Heather Duffy Boylston, who also acts as co-director of the Larchmont landlord group, the Larchmont Village Business Improvement District. Urban Forestry’s Stephen DuPrey said the city was unable to provide a tree as substantial as the one sourced by Hartung, so DuPrey said the city was happy to accept WSA’s generous donation.

Placement of the tree at 141 N. Larchmont Blvd., near Tailwaggers, required a lot of ground preparation. Four workers from Urban Forestry arrived at 7:30 a.m. on Wed., Oct. 20. Checking out the dry, hard soil where a previous tree had languished and had been removed, the workers realized this was going to be a difficult endeavor. They needed a very big hole.

MEASURING THE AREA to make sure the hole is big enough.

The crew attacked the dirt. Each worker took his turn with a different instrument. There were shovels, pick axes and digging bars, coupled with sweat and grunts.

The tree arrived and waited patiently on the side in its wooden box.

After hours of digging and shoveling, the workers measured the hole. It wasn’t big enough. Because the dirt was so compacted, the workers determined that they needed to fill the hole with water. A Bureau of Street Services truck that accompanied the team was equipped to do just that. The crew waited a few hours for the water to be absorbed. This made the soil softer and easier to remove.

WATER TRUCK fills the hole to make digging deeper possible.

Again, digging, pick-axing and shoveling began, and it continued for another couple of hours. Measuring the hole a second time yielded success. The hole was big enough.

Using the strength of all four men, the tree’s root ball was eased down into the hole. They shimmied the tree until it was centered.

Back to the shovels, they filled the hole with the old dirt, then new dirt with nutrients.

Voilà! A new tree on Larchmont, ready for its official dedication four days later. Enjoy its shade.

TREE ADVOCATES Helen Hartung, Windsor Square, and Stephen DuPrey, Urban Forestry Division, give the new tree a ceremonial drink.

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Category: Real Estate

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