Green-Wood Cemetery is celebrating the removal and pruning of more than 80 trees from around the storied site’s perimeter that had been deemed hazardous to visitors, cyclists and motorists alike.
The trees, many of which were Norway maples – a notably invasive and aggressive species – grew along the Sunset cemetery’s fence line.
“Norway maples have very shallow roots, which outcompete other vegetation and damage pavement,” explained Joseph Charap, director of horticulture and curator at Green-Wood. “They also have a very tight root mass which weakens the tree as it ages. Doing preventive maintenance like this is not only good for the trees, it’s good for our neighbors.”
Stakeholders are now working to replace the removed Norway maples with native trees, to be planted at a greater distance from the cemetery’s fences.
“Visitors to Green-Wood have enjoyed our magnificent trees since 1838, and we are committed to carefully managing our tree collection so they can be enjoyed by many generations to come,” said Richard Moylan, president of Green-Wood, thanking the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Urban and Community Forestry Project for its support of the tree management program.
Green-Wood is located at 500 25th Street.