Archive 2008 - 2019

Garden Club to Celebrate Arbor Day 2011

by Carol Holly

 Mark your calendar, because the Holliston Garden Club will celebrate Arbor Day 2011 on April 29, by continuing our 55-year tradition of planting a tree in a Holliston public place, this time in front of our Town Hall.

Our organization recently surveyed all seventy trees the Garden Club has planted in public areas in Holliston since the club’s inception. The survey included an evaluation of the trees’ health. We found that the dogwood trees in front of the Burial Ground and Town Hall were planted in 1953, and are failing. Thus, we hope to eventually replace these six trees. We consulted Holliston’s Mark Ahronian of Ahronian Landscaping and Rolf and Barbara Briggs of Tree Specialists, horticulture experts, who surveyed these particular trees at our request and who agreed they should be replaced.

Mr. Briggs said public trees are generally planted with a thirty-year cycle and are expected to be replaced after that time, so we have gotten double our worth from 58 years of beauty. We are grateful to Paul LeBeau and the Highway Department, especially Tom Smith, for cooperating with us on this project, removing the dying trees and preparing the holes for the new trees.

We chose the ‘Stellar Pink’ dogwood. This vigorous, erect, low-branching tree is a beautiful hybrid of the Stellar Series developed from a kousa dogwood and the native flowering dogwood 'Sweetwater'. Dr. Elwin Orton from Rutgers University in New Jersey, bred and patented the trees in 1988, in response to the decline of our native trees from the dogwood anthracnose epidemic.

The 'Stellar Series' dogwoods are a sturdy, healthy, fast-growing choice; and while not completely native, the trees will maintain the historical aspect of flowering dogwoods along Washington Street. ‘Stellar Pink’ is extremely disease resistant, clean, strong and gorgeous. We expect the trees to flourish and grace the area well into the future.
‘Stellar Pink’ begins flowering after its third or fourth year, with a delicate creamy-colored bract (not technically a flower) edged in pink, resembling a cloud of cotton candy when in full flower. No fruits are produced from this sterile tree, which blooms profusely for a few weeks from the end of May into June. It is deciduous, with dark green ovate leaves that turn vivid red to burgundy in autumn. In winter, the bare form is pronounced and attractive, making it a four-season delight.

All the Stellar trees are a good design choice for the home garden, as they add an elegant touch to the lawn, as a focal tree in the front or back yard, or to supply midlevel interest beneath tall trees. Yakushimanum rhododendrons, dwarf conifers, and/or evergreen groundcovers complement the Stellars. They fit just as easily into the cityscape along Washington Street. Watch the two new Town Hall trees grow and flower – you may soon be ordering your own.

Meanwhile, plan to attend our Arbor Day ceremony that begins at 1:00 P.M. in front of Town Hall on Friday, April 29. All are welcome.