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Boston begins cutting 20 diseased trees at Copley Square

Posted by Johanna Kaiser  May 16, 2012 05:19 PM

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(Photos courtesy Lana Tkachenko)

The city begins cutting 20 diseased trees in Copley Square Wednesday. The dead and dying trees are set to be replaced with new species of trees.

Copley Square looked a bit barer Wednesday as the city began removing 20 trees infected with a canker stain fungus.

The trees -- all London planes -- were already dead or dying, according to the city, and will be replaced with three new species of trees.

Before the removal project began, 63 trees stood in the park, including 51 London planes, eight lindens, and four maples.

The Boston Parks and Recreation Department and the Friends of Copley Square plan to plant 12 red maples, four ginkgo biloba trees, and four seedless sweet gums to replace the removed trees.

trees2.jpgThe city hopes that by diversifying the species of trees in the square, the park is less likely to be devastated by a particular disease or pest in the future.

The new trees, which will be 2 to 2.5 inches in diameter at breast height, will also be planted in new a coarse, dark brown sand to that attracts and holds water.

While the trees being removed are located throughout the square, the section of the park closest to Boylston Street is losing the most trees.

A total of 16 trees will be removed near Boylston Street and another four will be removed in area closest to St. James Avenue.

All the trees will be replaced except for two. The two that will not be replaced are near St. James Avenue and city officials say those two trees have never done well and are located in an area of high foot traffic and activity.

The branches of remaining London planes will also be pruned to remove diseased limbs and encourage growth. The city also plans to inoculate the trees to prevent infection. The tools used to cut branches will also be disinfected between uses to prevent the fungal infection from spreading.

City officials said at a public meeting last week that they expect the trees to be removed this week and the new trees to be planted starting next week.

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