First Street foliage replaced, revamped in Marcellus

Residents of First Street in the village of Marcellus mourned the street-lining Silver Maple trees in October, when the village removed the trees due to potential and some evidential rotting.

One homeowner, who grew up on the street and now lives there with her family, remembered a letter the village had sent to residents in 1993 regarding the trees and how they may need to be taken down. And although another flyer went out to residents a few days before the trees were removed last month, the move still came as a surprise to many.

That was partly due to the fact that Silver maples, which provided the canopy effect all along First Street, are prone to rotting from the inside out, said Mayor Mike Plochocki.

So while on the surface the trees seemed healthy and thriving, some were literally hollowed out -- and there was no way to tell which trees were rotted, and which were not.

Factor in the inherent brittleness of the Silver maple and their shallow-rooted nature, and the village had no other choice, Plochocki said.

And so the trees were removed, all along the street, much to the dismay of residents and the mayor himself.

But this week the village began replacing those beloved trees with a variety of native trees.

Plochocki said the incoming trees, which were purchased from Manlius Shade Tree Farm for less than $100 per tree, are all species that would have thrived in the First Street area of the village prior to development.

Around 40 trees will be planted on First Street. On the eastern side, one row of Freeman and Red maples and Red and Scarlet oak trees will replace the silver maples. On the western side of the street, two rows of trees will be planted -- a row of shorter variety, including crab apple, hawthorne, flowering dogwoods, witch hazel, arborvitae, choke cherry and service berry will be planted between the curb and the sidewalk to prevent the plants from interfering with the power lines overhead.

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