Dead but Still Standing
On Wednesday, I made a point of passing by Washington's Tree near Broad Street in Military Park, when walking from City Hall, where I had paid my water bill, to the HQ of the Newark Public Library for a lecture from the Newark History Society. That Society is not to be confused with the New JERSEY Historical Society, within whose building the NHS has held various events.
I wanted to see if any shoots had magically sprouted from what seemed in May 2010 to be a completely dead historic tree, or, in the alternative, if the City had cut down the tall (30-foot?) stump.
On September 17, 2009, I suggested here that the City should not cut down this remnant of a once-magnificent tree until it had found good uses for the wood. I have not, however, heard anything about anyone seeking suggestions as to what to do with the wood if and when the stump is removed.
The foto above shows the stump under an arch formed by branches of a living "plane tree" (also called "sycamore" or "buttonwood", "having palmately lobed leaves and bark that sheds", which may account for the term "plane tree", since sections of bark appear to have been smoothed by removal of rough patches as if by a carpenter's plane; or because the bark sheds in thin slices along a single plane).
If/once the stump (hopefully including the major roots) is removed and turned to some public purpose, what will be done with this DAR plak?
Note the Latin version of "New Jersey", "Nova Caesarea" (sèe.za.rée.ya). The year of the plak, partially obscured, is 1938. The tree did not die completely until around 2008. In that it was already a sturdy tree by 1776 (a minimum of 30 years old?), it probably lived at least 262 years. That's a nice long run. Attempts to grow scions from it, alas, failed. Even trees get too old to have kids.