When Trees Stand for a Nation

Bartlett Tree Experts and the 9/11 Memorial

There are few symbols of life more powerful than a tree, and we are honored to manage the health and care of the 396 swamp white oaks that stand strong at the 9/11 Memorial.

Photo gallery of the 396 Swamp White Oaks that stand strong at the 9/11 Memorial.
Photo gallery: Trees under Bartlett’s care at the 9/11 Memorial.

Even before they arrived at the Memorial, we cared for the trees at our special New Jersey holding facility. To ensure success, we assigned this project to our South Plainfield, NJ team of Arborists, who provided a full spectrum of care with a zero tolerance for mortality or injury. This involved:

  • The entire site was GPS mapped and all trees were inventoried.
  • A relationship was established with a leading local supplier of irrigation systems/designers.
  • Local New Jersey support staff were trained to complete future repairs and build much of the above ground portion of the irrigation.
  • A highly trained, credentialed technician was assigned to be the primary plant health care technician for the project, working on-site for three+ days a week during the growing season (April-November) and one day a week during winter months.
  • We partnered with the University of Georgia to develop an online reporting system for the technician’s activity, allowing all authorized personnel involved with the project to log on and monitor the activity and progress.

Every detail of the special 396 trees now living at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum is managed by our Elmsford office. That includes:

  • Weekly inspections and documentation of conditions and treatments.
  • Insect and disease management.
  • Root collar inspections and excavations as needed. Every tree, every year.
  • Inspections and treatments on a regular basis and after every major weather event.
  • Arborist Rep walk-through and inspection of site 30-40 visits annually.
  • Lab staff PHDs 6-8 visits to the site annually.
  • Site and camera clearance pruning, as needed.
  • Crown cleaning of trees 1-2x per year, based on need.
  • Regular monitoring of moisture conditions and the proper watering schedule based on weather conditions.
  • Full treatment program on the ivy beds: cultural practices, insect and disease management, and prescription soil care and fertilization.
  • Annual crown reduction pruning and fruit harvesting of Survivor Tree.

The Survivor Tree

A single Callery Pear tree was discovered in the rubble of the World Trade Center in 2001. Known today as the “Survivor Tree” it has been nurtured with the greatest of care, creating over 400 new saplings from it seeds. This remarkable tree and all of its saplings are proudly cared for by Bartlett Tree Experts. The saplings are tended and stored at the John Bowne Agricultural High School in Flushing, Queens, N.Y., with whom we have a long partnership teaching students about arboriculture.


Related: Caring for the Trees of the National September 11 Memorial Plaza


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