Committees: Shade Tree Committee
About Your Shade Tree Committee
Since our commission by the Selectmen in 2012, the Shade Tree Committee of Hingham has endeavored to focus on the preservation, protection and promotion of Hingham's shade tree canopy. Shade trees offer invaluable environmental, aesthetic and economic benefits to our community. To this end the committee acts in an advisory capacity to the Department of Public Works in recommending the appropriate tree species and cultivars along with possible site selections and proper tree care in our public areas. The committee also fosters and promotes through advocacy, education, and awareness good stewardship for the benefit and longevity of our shade trees. The shade tree committee keeps records of its meetings and makes an annual report to the Selectmen.
It is no longer necessary to know which trees make the best building material or firewood or even produce the best fruit, for the most part those decisions are made for us. We may live on a tree lined street and not be able to name the tree(s). Today, however, we are becoming more aware that trees have a health and economic value beyond those known by our grandparents. We invite you to explore our site, with the hope that you will join us in making the Town of Hingham a greener place to live and work.
"The wonder is that we can see these trees and not wonder more." Ralph Waldo Emerson
2014 Annual Report
A primary purpose of the Shade Tree Committee is to foster and promote the preservation and planting of shade trees and to support the DPW in the appropriate selection of shade tree species, site selections, and the care of shade trees. In keeping with the committee's purpose 99 shade trees were planted consisting of 13 tree species as part of the current years tree planting plan. In 2014 the town lost 250 roadside trees due to various storm and stress factors. A number of these trees will be replaced in 2015. Unfortunately, the town will always lose trees for the reasons just mentioned but the objective is to minimize losses where possible. We have been looking carefully at a number of triggers that support good tree health to include environmental factors such as drought and salt tolerance, disease resistant species, and carefully selecting the appropriate shade tree for specific planting site.
In 2014 there were two major celebrations: Earth Day and Arbor Day. On Earth Day, April 22 an American Elm, Ulmus Americana, was planted at the historic Cushing Elm site on East Street on what was called "Rocky Nook". Present at the planting ceremony were members of the Shade Tree Committee, DPW Tree and Parks personnel and Selectman Irma Lauter. Ms. Lauter read a commemorative piece addressing the history of the original Cushing Elm (American Elm) planted in 1729.
The Arbor Day Celebration was held at the Foster Elementary School on Tuesday, April 29. The Garden Club of Hingham and the Town of Hingham donated Ginkgo trees for the ceremonial tree plantings. Dr. Deborah Stella, Principal of Foster School, officiated at the ceremony which included members of the Shade Tree Committee, The Garden Club of Hingham, Hingham DPW and Selectman Irma Lauter who read the official Arbor Day proclamation. The entire Foster School student body also participated in the Arbor Day program. Four fifth grade students assisted in the actual planting of the two Ginkgo trees.
The reconstruction of selected traffic islands and parks commenced in 2013 and will be an ongoing project with the DPW.