Gone but never forgotten . . . .

We all know trees don’t live forever, but it is always a sad day when a grand old one we have known for so long reaches the end of its life. That’s why we are sorry to announce that the large sugar maple tree in front of the Ronald McDonald House Charities on 16 South Winooski Ave, in Burlington will be removed soon. It has a major split in the trunk and internal rot that weakens its structure. It is dying and poses a serious health and safety risk to all those who play under it. Two other trees on the property are also in decline and must be cut down. The good news is with help from Branch Out Burlington! and the Burlington Department of Parks, Recreation and Waterfront, two trees will be planted this spring to replace them. One will be an American sycamore, which will grow quickly into a tall spreading tree to provide shade for those who play under it. It has beautiful, mottled bark and leaves as large as a dinner plate!

The maple we are losing is estimated to be at least 120 years old. It was most likely planted soon after the house was built in 1877 as a parsonage for the First Congregational Church. It has seen a lot over those years. In 1884 Susan B. Anthony argued for an amendment to the constitution granting women the right to vote. It took 34 more years before the 19th amendment was passed, granting women voting rights. The tree must have shuddered during the Great White Hurricane in March 1888. That is considered the worst blizzard ever recorded in Vermont (40 inches of snow fell in two days!). This grand old maple also survived the ice storm of 1998, which many of us can still remember! It saw two World Wars and many other lesser but equally tragic national and international conflicts.  But still this towering maple lived on, offering cooling shade and brilliant fall foliage, year after year.

The Ronald McDonald House Charities took over the home in 1984, and ever since has provided a refuge for family members supporting a sick child receiving services from the UVM Children’s Hospital. Thousands of children and their families have played around this maple tree, and hopefully the young sycamore we plant will soon replace the shade and comfort we received from the cherished maple.

EAB reaches Chittenden County

As of Friday, October 23rd:

There have been new detections of EAB in VT: one in Richmond, VT, the first confirmed detection in Chittenden County and another detection in Shaftsbury VT, expanding the infested area in Bennington County.

The mapped area in Vermont to which “Slow-the-Spread” recommendations apply now extends to include the towns listed below in the following Confirmed Infested Area and High Risk Area.

Confirmed Infested Areas are within 5 miles of a known infestation. While symptoms may not be obvious, EAB is likely to be present in much of this area. High Risk Areas extend 5 miles from the outer edge of a Confirmed Infested Area. EAB is likely expanding into and present in some of this area.

New Towns in the Confirmed Infested Area

  • Arlington
  • Bolton
  • Essex
  • Glastenbury
  • Hinesburg
  • Huntington
  • Jericho
  • Richmond
  • Shaftsbury
  • Shelburne
  • South Burlington
  • Sunderland
  • Williston

 New Towns in the High Risk Area

  • Charlotte
  • Manchester
  • Sandgate
  • St. George
  • Stowe
  • Underhill

Forest landowners, homeowners, logging contractors, municipalities, and utilities in the infested area should evaluate the options available to them to protect their ash trees and immediately implement Vermont’s “Slow the Spread” recommendations.

 Non-flight Season Started October 1st

October 1st was the beginning of EAB’s non-flight season and the start of the least risky time to move ash materials from the infested area according to the “Slow the Spread” recommendations. Follow “Slow the Spread” recommendations to help protect uninfested forests and to give time to landowners, communities, and businesses to plan and budget for the arrival of EAB. Visit VTinvasives.org to learn more about EAB and what you can do to “Slow the Spread.”


BOB donates generously after annual Tree Sale

This year’s tree sale was especially challenging navigating through new guidelines in place from the COVID-19 pandemic.  Many trees were delivered to individuals, the pick up date was changed and the pick up  hours were extended to allow for social distancing guidelines.  In spite of all the challenges, the BOB  Tree Sale was a great success and we were able to donate generously to three local organizations.  We gave $2500 to Feeding Chittenden, who has seen a 30% increase in visits due to the COVID-19 crisis.  We gave $2000 to Spectrum whose youth and families face great challenges during this pandemic  and we gave $500 to Front Porch Forum who helps neighbors connect throughout our community.  Our thanks goes to these organizations which help our community succeed in these trying times.