Emerald Necklace Conservancy To Start A New Seven-Year Tree Pruning Cycle Across Entire Park System

Boston, MA January 18, 2024 – This month, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy is working with Bartlett Tree Experts to care for over 500 trees throughout Olmsted Park, beginning the second seven-year tree pruning cycle across the entire Emerald Necklace park system. The work will take place through March, while trees are dormant in the winter, and will improve their structure and overall health while also removing dead branches to keep park users safe. 

The Emerald Necklace, designed by landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, is one of only a few remaining intact linear parks in the U.S., and boasts more than 30,000 mature trees in its seven miles and 1,100 acres. The Emerald Necklace Conservancy’s tree care program, the Olmsted Tree Society, was founded in 2013 to preserve and maintain the Necklace’s tree canopy. Together with public partners Boston Parks and Recreation, Brookline Parks and Open Space and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the Society preserves and maintains trees with pruning, soil enhancement, watering and more year-round. 

“This 7-year pruning cycle is a way to systematically invest back into the trees that provide so much for our communities all along the Emerald Necklace,” shared Jack Schleifer, Field Operations Manager at the Emerald Necklace Conservancy. “Neighborhoods around the Emerald Necklace, such as Roxbury, Mattapan and Dorchester, have some of the poorest air quality and highest childhood asthma rates in the area, and these trees clean our air while also mitigating stormwater, sequestering carbon and reducing urban heat. There are ways that we can help the trees while they continue their unsung work, and this project is designed to do just that!” 

“Healthy, beautiful trees are a vital component of thriving communities,” said Jack Ingram, Division Manager of Bartlett Tree Experts’ Central New England Division. “Trees breathe life into our communities to keep the environment healthy and this philosophy has guided Bartlett Tree Experts for 117 years. Proper species-specific pruning is important to promote individual tree health and growth while protecting the trees from insect pests, disease and long-term damage. I applaud the Emerald Necklace Conservancy and its public partners for their visionary stewardship of the Emerald Necklace system's tree canopy. Amidst Boston's evolving landscape, their dedication to preserving their historic green spaces and enhancing the resilience of the urban forest significantly benefits our entire community. It's a privilege to support their impactful work within our urban environment. 
Designated and cherished as a Historic Landmark with the City of Boston, the Emerald Necklace weaves in and out of the city streetscapes to connect 15+ neigborhoods through shared space and urban nature. The Emerald Necklace Conservancy works with the public agencies to assess, inventory and prune all major trees throughout the 1,100-acre park network. All this work is conducted by certified arborists, and the data is collected in the Conservancy’s digital records (an inventory which currently comprises over 10,000 trees) to conduct long-term assessments and follow up on projects.

Pruning trees is an important effort in keeping trees healthy and encouraging their longevity. The process helps them to develop stronger structure and more aesthetic forms while allowing clearances to be maintained for roads, paths and park accessibility. Other benefits of pruning include reducing the occurrence of leaf disease by allowing better airflow through the canopy, preparing trees for winter storms and changing climate conditions and allowing trees to coexist more easily with understory plants. 

This tree pruning project at Olmsted Park is made possible by the generous support of Liberty Mutual Insurance. To find out ways to support the Olmsted Tree Society, please visit: www.emeraldnecklace.org/olmsted-tree-society 

For more information, contact:

Jay Stapleton

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