Residents passing through the downtown area may have noticed a number of new trees were recently planted downtown along the Boulevard.
Last Wednesday, a number of Hawthorn trees were replaced with seven Fort McNair Red Horsechestnut Trees.
"The trees were replaced because they were apparently a poor choice of species for that location," said Clythera Hornung, secretary/treasurer of the Shade Tree Commission. "The soil base at that location is shallow because the Elk Creek runs in a concrete encasement under portions of the Boulevard. Those trees [the Hawthorns] were a species that lose their leaves early in the fall, so while other trees are sporting lovely fall foliage, those trees were bare and appeared to be dead. These two main factors made the trees appear as though they were in poor or declining health."
According to Hornung, Fort McNair Horsechestnuts are relatively slow-growing trees that flower in May and grow best in soil that is well-drained and has adequate moisture.
"This species was selected because it will not grow into a large tree that could block the line of sight in this high-traffic area and it should thrive in this location," Hornung said.
One of the trees was planted as a memorial tree and was dedicated to the late Carl R. Salter. The memorial tree was a birthday gift for his wife from the couple's children and their spouses.
"Planting was delayed because it is not wise to plant trees in the heat of the summer. The standards for memorial plaques were put in place as each of the seven trees were planted this week. Each plaque for a memorial tree includes the name of the species of tree. As each of the remaining trees becomes a memorial tree, that plaque will be prepared with the memorial name, the donor(s), the species and the date," Hornung said.
Individuals interested in having a memorial tree dedicated can contact St. Marys City Hall for more information about the program. All of the remaining trees on the boulevard are also available to be dedicated as memorial trees, as are trees in other locations throughout the city.
Hornung noted that there are currently memorial trees in Benzinger Park, Memorial Park and along Depot Street.