History of Fort Hill, Part 2 (2008). Mural by: Loray McDuffie, Taylor Saintable, Edwin Perez-Clancy, Christine O'Connell, Julia Andreasson, Jorge Benitez, Divah Payne, Lucy Saintcyr, Laua Dedonato, Gregg Bernstein.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Caring for Street Trees: Kudos to Boston Interiors

It's tough being a street-side tree in the city. So few make it to maturity. Drought, dog urine & feces, rough handling prior to and during planting, pollution, bicyclists securing their rides, and truck drivers in a hurry breaking off low branches. [Vehicular arson also belongs on this list. BostonPOPS via UniversalHub]

Especially the truck drivers: UPS, NStar, National Grid, Boston Water & Sewer Commission, and the countless unnamed contractors with trucks too big for them to handle all take their turn roughing up the street-side trees on Fort Hill.

Occasionally, however a truck driver comes to the neighborhood who deserves positive comment.

Kudos, then to the driver of the Boston Interiors delivery truck this afternoon who took care to slip his high truck carefully beneath a mature sycamore tree on Centre Street opposite his delivery address.

I'm sure he thought he was getting set up by a neighborhood crank, for even after I spoke with him to thank him for his care, he drove by, stopped, and took a picture of my house after I had taken these two of his truck. It's a suspicious world we live in.

Despite the risk of being taken for a crank, commending careful delivery truck drivers makes all the more sense as Fort Hill neighbors volunteer their time to plot locations for new trees.

Working with the city they have identified a first round of planting sites on Fort Hill. Taking into account size, color, fragrance, and hardiness, they are seeking to enhance the country feel of Highland Park.


  1. Hi

    I live in fort hill, can you tell me more about the tree plantings? I think thats great.

  2. There's been a bit of email traffic on the neighborhood mailing lists about the plantings.

    I've sent email to the folk doing the work, asking for more information.

    As one of the great things about Fort Hill, I'll post more about trees as soon as I can.

    —Jonas Prang

  3. As a member of the tree group, I can tell you that our intent was NOT at all "to enhance the country feel of Highland Park"! At no point during the course of several meetings did anyone mention the "country feel of Highland Park" - and the minutes can confirm that.

    You did get fragrance right as far as one intention. Others were shade and, quite simply, beauty.

  4. Ouch. Perhaps you will accept an apology for the choice of words.

    Maybe gracious would have been a better adjective to choose. For a certainty there is no country feel to a sapling plunked down into a streetside urban tree pit.

    We each project our aspirations on the circumstances around us. The challenge in writing that paragraph was to provide enough and appropriate details, without overstepping the facts gleened from a few emails.

    Whether Fort Hill tends increasingly toward acquiring the urban character of the city that surrounds it, or whether it is more of an arboreal redoubt remaining somewhat isolated from its city is an issue of perspective.

    Iseut, it's a neuralgic issue for you, and a point of disagreement for us. In the future, we'll try to leave the facts unembelished and label the opinions as such.

    Thanks for pointing this out.