Transformative Trees

Thanks to a generous donation to the Friends from a local donor, dozens of young trees were planted this spring in the North Bridge Unit landscape by NPS staff and interns. The trees replace the magnificent specimens lost due to old age, wind storms, and various types of wood boring pests.

Using the Buttrick estate 1911 planting plan as a guide, the team replanted white pines, hemlocks, white and river birches, elms, larch, and more along Liberty Street. They also replanted the historic orchards along Liberty Street near the Mjr John Buttrick house, Buttrick caretaker’s cottage, and carriage house maintenance building. The orchards consist of apple, peach, pear, and cherry. The pear variety, ‘Endicott’ is one of the oldest named colonial fruit varieties.

Lucy Bergeron, a National Council for Preservation Education intern notes, “planting trees is always a joy, but especially in a national park where the community will be able to enjoy them. Minute Man NHP tells a story about the natural and historical past, not only through cultural landmarks, but also through the ancient trees that punctuate the landscape. Not many plants have the same character as a weathered apple tree or a solitary mature American elm; both species among the many saplings we planted this spring. Our new trees may be small now, but in the future they too will carry this legacy.”

Noel Mac Neil, a seasonal Biological Science Technician explains,“ trees do not judge. They do not care about what is going on in your life. They are there providing shade when it’s hot and peace when It is needed. Because of this I believe many of our visitors come here not just for the historic nature of the park but also to distract themselves from the problems of the world. In this day and age, this alone is enough reason to continue planting more trees while continuing with the historic nature of this park.”

We hope replanting efforts will continue next spring. Many visitors asked if we will be replanting the enormous beech that died about a decade ago that was visible from the North Bridge. “Yes!” exclaims the team. The park’s trees are loved by every visitor and we want to make sure they are here for the next generation.

Article by Margie Coffin Brown, Integrated Resources Program Manager at Minute Man National Historical Park

Image above: National Park Service interns at work! Latino Heritage Intern Patsy Herrera makes sure that a sapling is protected from nibbling deer. Intern Luis Berrizbeitia helps reestablish an historic orchard next to the Buttrick caretaker’s cottage.

Image below: Trees are planted to replace those lost to disease and old age along Liberty Street at Minute Man National Park.

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