New Trees Grace EG Cemetery
By Bob Beausoleil
Anyone who travels on First Avenue past the East Greenwich Cemetery is treated every autumn to a spectacular foliage display by the ancient sugar maple trees that glow in glorious yellows, oranges and reds. These giants likely date to the early days of the cemetery. Like all living things, though, these trees will eventually age out and will need to be replaced.
Enter Danny Moone, manager and caretaker of the cemetery, who proactively requested advice from the East Greenwich Tree Council, which for several years has been planting trees on public spaces and along streets in town to increase the tree canopy coverage. The council developed a planting plan of recommended mostly native trees and locations for them within the cemetery. As a result, next spring, passersby along the wall on First Avenue will be treated to some new flowering tree species. Closest to the brick maintenance buildings at the entrance is a native eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis
) which will be covered with unique pink flowers all along the bare branches. On the other side of the steps(recently revealed with the removal of overgrown shrubs) is a Kousa dogwood (Cornus kousa
), a small to medium sized tree covered with white or pink bracts
in late spring. Next to that is a Franklin tree (Franklinia alatamaha
) which has camellia-like flowers in late summer. A short segment away is a native eastern dogwood (Cornus florida
), another spring flowering small tree that produces red berries in the fall. In the far corner is a beautiful native sugar maple (Acer saccharum
) which will in time rival its ancient relatives in the older sections of the cemetery. And last, but not least, on the curve to the right upon entering the cemetery, is a black tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica
) which puts on a scarlet fall foliage display.
An unexpected bonus in the form of three crab apple trees came the cemetery’s way recently when these trees, which were planted several years ago in front of the East Greenwich Police Department headquarters, needed to be removed to make way for a new police memorial being developed. The trees were hand dug by some very hard working employees of New Leaf Landscaping, which is creating the new memorial, and transported by bobcat to their new homes selected by Mr. Moone within the cemetery. There is every hope they will survive the move and thrive, providing even more color in the old cemetery next spring.
Maple trees have graced EG Cemetery for many decades. Credit: Bob Beausoleil
Bob Beausoleil is a member of the EG Tree Council.
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