Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Funeral home owner, others at odds over large elm with roots pushing up sidewalk - Fall River, MA

Funeral home owner, others at odds over large elm with roots pushing up sidewalk - Fall River, MA - The Herald News

Overtures to cut down the regal American elm at Broadway and Osborn over the past decade never flew, and there’s no expectation that the tree, pulling at the sidewalk, is going anywhere.
About 75 feet tall — twice the height of the three-story Boule Funeral Home at its side — the thick trunk of the famous elm variety nears the 4-foot diameter they have been known to reach.

The American elm became the most dominant shade tree east of the Rockies a half-century ago. The large numbers of them led to Elm Street being regarded as the most common street name in the country.

Mary Ann Wordell, president of the Fall River Street Planting Program, said she’s heard of another such elm in a resident’s yard on Hood Street, but she has never seen it. And there could be a few other elms of this stature in the city.

But, like New Haven, Conn., and Portland, Maine — both dubbed “City of Elms," nicknames no longer applicable — Fall River bid adieu to these upright canopies when the infamous Dutch elm disease blanketed the eastern half of the country. The deadly fungus covered a swath from southern Maine to Florida, North Dakota to Texas, and a ribbon along the Canadian border.

The city’s desire to protect the trees, foster new ones and grow their green canopies has become clear in recent months, as proposals for a tree ordinance have been debated publicly and will continue.

Last week, Wordell and her group joined Community Maintenance Director Kenneth Pacheco in refining proposal requests they plan to distribute to hire a qualified tree warden with a $30,000 matching state grant.

The two of them, along with Boule Funeral co-owner Thomas Wilkinson, offered comments about Wilkinson’s bid years ago to remove the American elm because of its safety infringement upon his business.

Read more: http://www.heraldnews.com/archive/x1608498771/Funeral-home-owner-others-at-odds-over-large-elm-with-roots-pushing-up-sidewalk#ixzz1HzOuqobo

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