Dogwood Trees Relocated From Back Bay to East Boston: Donated Trees Add to Local Canopy

Special to the Sun

Thanks to a generous donor and the efforts of open space advocates, the Boston Parks and Recreation Department’s Urban Forestry Division recently oversaw the relocation of three dogwood trees that had been growing on a rooftop deck in Back Bay to East Boston. 

The Parks Department learned about the availability of the three trees from longtime community partner Margaret Pokorny, Co-Chair of the Tree Committee of the Garden Club of the Back Bay. The owner of the trees had to do a roof repair and in doing so the rooftop deck and landscaping needed to be removed, including the flowering dogwoods that had been growing in large containers on the roof for approximately 10 years. The Back Bay resident, who asked to remain anonymous, paid not only for the removal but the relocation as well. 

“The Forestry Division was thrilled to learn that a Boston resident who had larger diameter, healthy dogwood trees growing on their rooftop deck was interested in donating them to an appropriate location in need of more tree canopy,” explained Todd Mistor, Boston’s Director of Urban Forestry. 

Analysis done during the planning process for Boston’s Urban Forest Plan showed that East Boston has the lowest tree canopy coverage of any neighborhood in the city. Thanks to the proximity to the tree’s original location in Back Bay and a partnership with the non-profit Tree Eastie, a suitable location was found in East Boston Memorial Park, not far from the East Boston Greenway.

“With the help of the donors and their landscape contractor and a network of ‘tree people’ in the city an agreement was easily reached to gratefully accept these trees and put them into one of Boston’s most tree-needy neighborhoods,” Mistor noted.  “This was a win-win for everyone.”

According to Bill Masterson, Founder and Executive Director of Tree Eastie, after being removed from the Back Bay rooftop by crane and transported to East Boston, the replanting went well and the trees have been watered regularly by Eastie Farm’s Climate Corp, an environmental stewardship program of high school students.

“We found the perfect location at Memorial Park in East Boston, adjacent to Logan Airport and along a walking path to the Airport T station,” Masterson noted. “These trees will provide years of noise and air pollution mitigation as well as add beauty, shade, and wildlife habitat to our community. East Boston residents are very grateful to the donor for their generous gift and for making Eastie a bit more greener and cleaner.”

Thanks to the collaborative efforts of the Urban Forestry Division, the Garden Club of the Back Bay, and Tree Eastie the dogwood trees have a new lease on life in East Boston.

“We knew we needed a good location and a good partner,” said Mistor. “It was exciting to watch the trees being lifted off the roof with a crane, but it was even more exciting to see them neatly planted in the new location where thousands of people will pass by them and enjoy the display of flowers each spring for years to come” 

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