Historic Linden Pruning Project Begins in Back Bay

Standing near the placard of the Garden Club of the Back Bay, Inc, Bob Loree observes that “It’s a little remarkable that these trees grow here (in Back Bay) at all.” Loree, Arborist for Boston Tree Company, continues, “They’re under tremendous stress in what is a very unnatural environment; they’re surrounded by pavement; subjected to salty water; and damaged by trucks and cars all the time.” In a natural forest there is no asphalt, there are no four thousand pound vehicles compacting the living soil and reducing aeration to the roots. Loree says “without effort, these trees would die.” Loree has been pruning in the Back Bay for over 20 years, since working with Margaret Pokorny (our local doyenne of trees) on a small project. That meeting has led to a recurring partnership funded by The Garden Club of the Back Bay, Inc., together with a grant from Beautify Boston, that brings much needed pruning to the beautiful canopy of green that graces the Back Bay. The current project is focused on pruning the historic Linden trees along Beacon Street. Pruning is needed about every five years, according to Loree. He pulls out a six foot scroll prepared by Pokorny when asked about the number of Lindens he’ll prune. The long document is a diagram of Beacon Street with green arrows at 67 Linden tree locations. Loree loves his work, but understands that there is a “disconnect, for many people, from the environment.” He tells a story about pruning several magnificent trees at a private home without ever meeting the owners, who stayed inside the whole time. In fact, magnificent trees are being pruned right outside Back Bay homes this month. Lindens can grow up to 80 feet tall. “We prune them in summer because there are fewer students, people [are] on vacation and [there are] fewer cars.” The cost of the pruning project, expected to take 10+ days, will be $1400 per day. It will be paid with a $5000 grant from Beautify Boston to The Garden Club of the Back Bay, with the difference to be made up by a Garden Club contribution. The club provides care for Back Bay neighborhood street trees, and works closely with the Boston Parks Department to plant new trees in the Back Bay.

Linden Pruning