On March 10, eight Bradford pear trees were removed from locations on South and North Washington Street. The trees were removed as part of a Demonstration City Grant received by the Town of Bath Tree Board.
Several years ago Autumn Glory maples, a more suitable species, were planted between the three pear trees located in front of City National Bank on North Washington Street. In the fall, four Winter Hawthorne trees will be planted in the remaining spaces between the five trees removed in front of St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church. The Winter Hawthorne trees will be large enough to make an immediate and positive visual impact for motorists on US Route 522.
Since the Bradford pear trees were planted in town more than 20 years ago, arborists have discovered there are several liabilities to this species. Large limbs of these trees are prone to break away from the trunk in windy weather. The loss of limbs weakens the trunk of the tree; it is not uncommon for the trunk to split spontaneously into two or more pieces. The trees have been further weakened by pruning to allow for overhead wires, and to prevent passing trucks from brushing up against the limbs overhanging the street. Finally, the trees have a natural life of 20-25 years.
All in all, there are financial and legal liabilities involved in leaving in place trees that could endanger passersby.
The trees planted to replace the Bradford Pears are compact trees that will not grow as high as the overhead wires or wide enough to brush against street traffic.
The Town would like to thank Mike Keefer of Tree Works who provided an extra large crew to complete the project with the least disruption to traffic on 522. And also to the Towns Street Crew of Rodney, Lauren, Sam and Alex who helped with traffic control.