Arlington residents are invited to contribute to this online gallery
We hope to fill this page with images and writings about trees. Email jpeg or tiff images of your photographs, drawings, or paintings, accompanied by identification, to gallery (at) arlingtontrees (dot) org. Tree-related prose, poetry, or nonfiction writing can be sent to the same address. At this time we can only accept work in digital format.
Arlington’s Favorite Trees
Below is a list of some of Arlington’s favorite trees. If you don’t see your favorite tree here, please send us the species name, location and -if you can- a photo. We plan to add pictures of all of the trees below, and they are not yet up.
American Elm Rte 16 and Mass A Brantwood Rd
Beech Several on Winter St near Mass Av At Dearborn Academy Several on Broadway/Warren Academy St by Senior Ctr Several in Mt Pleasant Cemetary
Cherry Inside the entrances to Waldo Park
Conifer 169 Charlton St
Gingkos In front of the High School
Horse Chestnut Corner of Walnut Terrace / Walnut Street
Katsura Tree Walnut Street (in a yard)
London Plane Mill St by Mill Brook
Red Bud Mass Av, near the Arlington Diner
Red Oak Maple St/behind Library (in a yard)
Sassafras Forest Street (in a yard)
Silver Maple Two gigantic ones lining Teel Street
Sourwood Appleton St./Mass Av.
Sugar Maple Corner of Mass Av/ Pleasant St 70 Cutter Hill Road
Sycamores Mass Av/ Bates Wyman Terrace Corner of Gray & Jason
Tulip Tree Corner of Park Av and Rte 2 Service Rd (in a backyard)
Walnut Behind Town Hall
Willows Surrounding Spy Pond
On this page:
By Sally Rogers
An exceptionally large Eastern Redbud tree (Cercis Canadensis) on the west side of Town Hall is appropriately dressed for New England’s rainy spring days and cool nights. Although its leaves won’t appear for several more weeks, right now its branches are sheathed in tight clusters of blossoms that resemble a bright, pinkish red boucle sweater. The tree peeks through the windows of the Town Treasurer’s office, providing enjoyment for the folks who work there.
[Town Hall Redbud, ~300K JPG]
This species is more common in Southern woodlands than in New England, and most redbuds are smaller than this notable Arlington specimen. The leaves are large and heart-shaped and turn yellow in the fall, when long, flattened seed pods will also dangle from its limbs. Make an effort to visit it in the spring, however, if you want to see its pink sweater.
Text by Clarissa Rowe
Photography by Walter Phillips
The American Elm, Ulmus Americana, used to be the preferred street tree all over New England. As Donald Wyman said: “No tree has the desirable wave-shaped form of the American Elm”. Because of Dutch Elm disease, few of these beautiful trees exist today. Many of the historic photographs of Arlington’s Town Center show an abundance of Elms on the streets of the center. We need to take special care of the remaining elms that grace our town, such as this magnificent tree on Brantwood Road.
Arlington is fortunate to have a wonderful specimen of the American Elm right on the grounds of Town Hall. This venerable tree needs more care than our limited town budget can supply, however, and interested citizens are taking steps to establish a fund for its long-term maintenance. This tree is an important feature of the historic Town Hall and its gardens, and we want it to be around for future generations to enjoy.
Many public and private groups have been working hard to identify and develop American Elms that are resistant to Dutch Elm Disease (DED). New Jersey-based Princeton Nurseries sells three varieties of DED-resistant trees: Ulmus americana “New Harmony and U. americana “Valley Forge” were developed at the U.S. National Arboretum; U. americana ” Princeton” is a disease-resistant elm developed by the nursery itself. You can learn more about these trees at www.princetonnurseries.com. In New Hampshire, the Elm Research Institute (www.libertyelm.com or 1-800-FOR ELMS) sells their DED-resistant American Liberty Elms to public and private customers. ERI has a “matching tree grant program” that provides small elms, for planting on public lands, at no cost to municipalities designated by private purchasers of larger trees. Programs like these offer hope that the American Elm, one of the noblest shade trees, is indeed making a comeback.
Text and movies by John Pickle
This past year, I made two movies of the maple tree outside our garden window in Arlington. The first movie shows how the maple tree quickly “greened up” during March of 2004. In less than two weeks, the tree went from being nearly bare to being fully leafed out. This movie also shows the environment the tree depends on – the sun traveling across the sky, the wind, and the rain. I made it for the Museum of Science in Boston to demonstrate how relatively simple technology can be used to capture the dynamic life of a large plant.
Download the first movie [6.5 MB Quicktime]
The second movie features the same maple tree in the fall, when I set out to capture how the maple tree changed color and lost its leaves. Unfortunately the shift in colors took so long that there was too much data for my digital camera to store. What is shown here took place over a few days in November, when strong gusty winds brought down most of the leaves this year.
Download the second movie [24 MB Quicktime]
Scientists who have seen these movies respond in the same way as everyone else, with “oohs” and “aahs.”
I hope to make annual movies of this tree to find out whether the timing and patterns of leaf growth and shedding change and, if so, what environmental factors determine this. Because the date is displayed in each image, it should be easy to compare these movies as we make more.
The movies were made with a Kodak DC-290 digital camera with a 128 mb compact flash memory card. What makes this camera so nice to use is its time lapse option, allowing you to set a time interval of 1 minute or longer. The tree movies used a 5 minute time interval. If there is adequate memory available, 1000 pictures can be collected when the camera is plugged into an electrical outlet. This camera has been discontinued by Kodak, but you can find used ones for sale on e-Bay.
Once the pictures have been downloaded to a computer, the professional version of Apple’s QuickTime (runs on PCs and Macs) allows you to make a movie very quickly – even selecting how many frames per second should be shown.
Here’s a very nice website describing how to make time lapse movies.
By Sally Rogers
That June day in 1966 when the realtor walked me through this house and then out into the back yard, I was stunned by the sight of this immensely tall maple tree covering nearly the whole yard. If I bought this house would that tree be mine, all of it?
There were many other appealing aspects of this first-time house purchase, but the tree was by far the most compelling. And so we bought the house, and have lived happily here for nearly 40 years.
About ten years ago I succumbed to the urge to have a party under the sugar maple tree sometime in October, when its colors are at their most glorious. We live in a friendly neighborhood and I also thought it would be a good time to welcome folks who had moved here during the past year. We have done just this, and the Rogers’ Tree Party has become a much-anticipated celebration of autumn. Children remember it from year to year and ask their parents when it is each time. Ours is a large, level lot and the party is accessible to two neighbors in wheel chairs, too.
Folks bring food or drinks, children rake leaves, neighbors help set up the tables. Someone creates the flyer and others deliver it to front doors in the Bartlett-Windermere area. The festivities usually start about 2 PM on the second or third Sunday in October, depending on the intensity of color change. By 4 PM the day begins to turn into a cool October evening and folks stroll on home.
We feel we are stewards of this magnificent sugar maple while we live here, and we contact the Bartlett Tree people each year to help keep it healthy. An incredible amount of leaves go into our compost pile.
Long may this tree live!
Catalpa Tree on Walnut Street
Large catalpa tree in Sally Parker’s back yard.