LETTER: Resident Wants Tree to be Saved, Provides Cooling in Summer

To whom it may concern:

I’m writing to add my voice in support of preservation of the public shade tree at 142 Forest Street, which by Mass. State law is receiving a public hearing today.  

I’ve heard from multiple concerned Watertown residents about the risk to this tree. All reports indicate that this is a vigorous, healthy pin oak which is providing significant benefits to the neighborhood and if preserved and protected should have decades of healthy service ahead.  

In sweltering hot weather, large-canopy urban trees like this oak play a critical role in cooling city neighborhoods.

LETTER: Full Time Forestry Supervisor Key to Protecting Watertown’s Tree Canopy

On behalf of Trees for Watertown, I want to publicly thank our DPW, and in particular Bob DiRico — who is Acting Forestry Supervisor on top of his already-full-time job as Supervisor of Parks and Cemeteries — for the care they’re taking of our town trees during this extended period both without a full-time Forestry Supervisor/Tree Warden and now with reduced DPW staffing because of the pandemic. As we all know we had a very severe windstorm yesterday. Watertown’s tree canopy took a real beating. Our DPW did a tremendous job responding to this. Bob DiRico and his support team were up until 11:30 last night working on clearing the worst of the damage and already were at it again early this morning.

Plan Calls for Planting Hundreds of Trees in Watertown

Town officials seek to plant 250 trees a year in Watertown, some of which will be done by the Town, but others will be done by non-municipal groups. Those groups include Trees for Watertown. Pictured here, Watertown resident David Jay of Trees for Watertown plants a tree outside Hosmer Elementary School in honor of Arbor Day. Hundreds of trees will be planted in Watertown each year as part of an effort to increase the number of street trees and tree canopy in town. The Tree Planting Program calls for planting 2,500 trees over 10 years.

Teens for Trees Hosting Fundraiser at Branch Line

The following announcement was provided by Trees for Watertown:

On Saturday, June 8th, from 1-3 p.m., Trees for Watertown will be holding a fundraiser for Teens for Trees on the patio at Branch Line at 321 Arsenal Street. There will be light snacks, raffle items from local businesses, and auction items, including art, tickets to a show at Mosesian Center, and more. And, of course, bocce ball! “We’re thrilled to be running Teens for Trees for the third summer in a row,” said David Meshoulam, Program Director. “Over the past 2 years we have worked with nearly 20 teens in learning about the importance of our urban forest.

Residents Wanted for Teens for Trees Summer Program

A group advocating for the care of street trees in Watertown seeks teens to take part in a summer program. The program director of Teens for Trees, David Meshoulam provided the following information:

We’re looking forward to an exciting TFW Teens for Trees program this summer.  In this third year of the program, we’ll be hiring 6 to 10 Watertown youth to learn about and advocate for the health of our community and its trees. Know a teen who may be interested? They can find out more and apply at our website: https://tfwteensfortrees.org/t4t2019/

Got program questions?

Group Discusses How Climate Change Will Impact Area, Importance of Trees

Several local groups came together to host an event called “The Latest News in Climate—and How Trees Help” at the Watertown Free Public Library. The following information was provided by the event organizers:

Jennifer Shakun, an Applied Forest Scientist, and featured speaker at the well-attended “Trees for Climate Change in Watertown” symposium on March 23, brought dramatic news about climate changes in the Northeast. Local leaders, whose talks followed hers, described in-town, tree-related resources and activities available to Watertown residents. Climate Changes in the Northeast

Shakun told attendees that the Northeast has been warming faster than many parts of the world. Since 1895, the average NE temperature has climbed 2.9 degrees Fahrenheit, (1.6 degrees Celsius), which is higher than the average global rise during that time.

Find Out About Trees and Climate Change at Program in Watertown

The following information was provided by the event organizers:

Is planting trees in city streets and backyards a good way to help manage the damaging effects of climate change? The answer is an emphatic “Yes!,” according to organizers of “Trees and Climate Change in Watertown,” a free informational program that will be held on Saturday, March 23, 10 a.m.-12 noon, at the Watertown Public Library. Sponsored by the Watertown Environment and Energy Efficiency Committee and co-sponsored by Trees for Watertown and Watertown Faces Climate Change, this community event will focus on the important role trees play in keeping a city healthy, and how citizens and Watertown can work together to improve Watertown’s urban forest. Topics will include:

How trees reduce the effects of heat and severe weather and protect our health and environmentWhat trees to plant: tree species that will do best in our changing climateThe state of Watertown’s urban forest, and city plans for its growth and careAdvice on tree-planting and care, including how to get help in organizing a neighborhood tree-planting party, how to join the Citizens Pruning Corps, and how to request a new street tree to be planted by Watertown

Speakers will include:

Chris Hayward, Watertown’s Forestry Supervisor and Tree WardenJennifer Hushaw Shakun, Applied Forestry Scientist at Manomet: “Our Urban Forests in a Warming World”David Meshoulam and teen participants from Trees for Watertown’s Teens for Trees ProgramLibby Shaw, President of Trees for Watertown

There will also be information tables where community members can connect with a variety of groups working on enhancing, protecting and enjoying Watertown’s natural environment. This program will take place in the Watertown Savings Bank Room, Watertown Public Library, 123 Main St, Watertown.