I read with interest Peter Alden’s article about the holiday season bird count in the January 20, 2023 issue “Birders of a feather count Concord’s birds together”. I suspect many more Concordians participated in the Great Backyard Bird Count over Presidents Day weekend.
Now, what if we were to count Concord’s interesting, ancient and/or unusual trees? As fascinating as birds are, trees have a lot going for them, too.
For one thing, trees stay put. With birds, you hear one, you look for it, it’s gone; then you hear it again in a different tree, but again, it’s gone. Drives me crazy. Trees don’t do that. They stay in one place, so you can watch them through their seasonal changes, year after year. Like birds, they give us beauty; also like birds, they give us enormous variety, in shapes, foliage, flowers, and fruits, all variations on the theme of Tree.
Brian Rosborough’s “250 Liberty Trees” piece in The Concord Bridge, Dec. 16, 2022, had excellent suggestions for preserving and celebrating Concord’s sylvan heritage. Brian touched on the myriad benefits trees provide us, particularly in an age of climate change; and he honored our forebears, the group of 48 men who comprised the Concord Ornamental Tree Society from 1833 to 1837, planting, according to their annual reports, 187 trees in and around Concord Center, some few of which, I believe, shade us to this day.
Recognizing the threat of climate change, we have an obligation to steward the trees we have inherited and supplement them by judicious and generous plantings. We need also to recognize how our trees, in all their variety, create habitat for myriad other species. And beyond those civic obligations, we might also come to appreciate our trees in a more personal vein.
My wish, then, is to document and celebrate the trees we have now. Readers of The Concord Bridge who value particular trees in their neighborhoods or across the town can help us compile a Registry of Concord’s “Notable Trees.” With that information in hand, we could put together a series of Concord Tree Tours, along the lines of the very worthy tree tour created by our neighbors in Lincoln, https://LincolnTreeTour.lincolngardenclub.org. Tree Tours in several areas of the town could be easily accessed via online maps, with the identities, locations and features of interest of each notable tree. For “notable,” think broadly: whether your tree is notable for its age, its size, its beauty, its rarity, its pattern of growth; whatever attribute makes it notable to you.
Tree-loving readers of The Concord Bridge, please send your Notable Tree nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include detailed location notes; tell whether your tree is on publicly accessible land or is viewable from the public right of way; add whatever other information about the tree(s) you choose to provide. If you can attach a picture, so much the better. We will acknowledge every submission, and keep you posted as the Registry progresses.