May 21, 2013. The Town of Boone will be replacing the remaining Bradford Pear trees along King Street within the next couple of weeks. These trees were planted in the late 1980s as a downtown project and have provided valuable environmental and aesthetic benefits for the downtown area. Sadly, over the past four to five years, the trees have experienced a decline in health due to the built urban environment. The Bradford Pears have thrived for 25 years, which considering the planting environment and conditions has been a fairly successful tree-planting project.
Over the past six to eight months, the Town of Boone Tree Board and Town staff, in conjunction with the most recent studies from the North Carolina State University Urban Tree Evaluation Program, have researched the best street trees for urban conditions. After selecting the most appropriate species for the downtown area, recommendations were forwarded to Town Council for approval. The Bradford Pear trees will be replaced with Acer buergerianum “Trident Maple” which best met the criteria needed for our downtown area. The Trident Maple is a compact species of the Maple family and tolerates harsh urban conditions and has brilliant fall color as it matures.
Also included in this project will be the addition of new sidewalk tree plantings on the south side of King Street between Water and Straight streets. This area was identified for plantings to help provide much needed tree canopy and shade as well as to provide aesthetics along this area of King Street. Utilizing the same selection process as with the Trident Maple, the tree selected for the new plantings is the Gleditsia triacanthus inermis “Thornless Honeylocust Shademaster.” The Honeylocust was also chosen for this area due to the overhead power lines present.