Diamond tree replacement project moving ahead

The city's Shade Tree Commission is moving ahead with the tree replacement project on the Diamond in downtown St. Marys. Two large trees located there, a Norway maple and a Red maple, were removed earlier this week due to safety reasons. The commission has selected a Bloodgood London Plane and a Red Sunset Red maple to replace the trees that were removed. According to Clythera Hornung, secretary/treasurer of the Shade Tree Commission, the Bloodgood London Plane is a hybrid of the American sycamore and Oriental planetree, and is well-suited to a location like the Diamond. "We do not have any sycamore-type species in the city - that is, any that is a city tree," she said. Trees under the commission's jurisdiction are those situated between the curb and the sidewalk, as well as the trees on the Boulevard and in the city's five parks. Hornung noted that the Red Sunset Red maple is a variety that will provide interest throughout the four seasons, particularly when the leaves turn crimson-orange in the fall, and will reach a height of 40 to 60 feet when fully mature. "It does seem an excellent choice for such a visible location," Hornung said. The commission has contracted with local excavator Ryan Vollmer to remove the roots and stumps beginning Monday. Tentative planting will take place on March 17. "We will make the city more 'green' on St. Patrick's Day," Hornung said.