Natick Common’s Christmas and Hanukkah decorations distract the eye from the emptiness resulting from 10 ash trees removed along Park Street over the summer due to a beetle infestation. Now as a holiday gift, the town is previewing what will replace those fallen trees come next spring.
Tree Warden Art Goodhind has informed the Natick Select Board that town’s Department of Public Works has teamed with Steven Cosmos, the original landscape architect for the Common trees back in the mid-1980s, on the new plan.
Key to the strategy is diversifying the tree species, and taking shade, tree structure, and fall colors and winter interests into consideration.
“This plan was developed with careful consideration to complement the existing Town Common planting design, to provide shade where shade was lost, and to provide a new experience with specimen trees,” Goodhind wrote in a memo to the Select Board.
Among the species you can expect to see include Wildfire Tupelo, which is fast growing and lights up with two long flushes of red per year, and Cherokee Sweetgum, which boasts cork-like textured bark, sheds little “litter,” and turns burgundy and red in the fall.