Asbury Woods to Fell Failing Silver Maple Tree
The original benefactor of Asbury Woods, Otto Behrend, planted the silver maple tree which graces the front lawn of the Nature Center over 100 years ago. As co-owner of Hammermill Paper Company, Otto Behrend was known to plant a large variety of trees on his Asbury Farm property which he donated upon his death and became the original parcel of land that grew to become Asbury Woods. The silver maple tree is native to our region and is prized due to its rapid rate of growth, often allowing the person who planted it to enjoy seeing the tree reach maturity. That same rapid growth pattern, unfortunately also leaves the tree prone to a weaker branch system and is a much more fragile tree with a shorter lifespan than other varieties of maple trees.
A silver maple tree may live to be 100-150 years old, but in typical urban settings, the average lifespan is closer to 35-65 years. Asbury Woods has made the difficult decision to fell this iconic silver maple after monitoring it for several years. Certified arborist, Mark Spitulski of MKS Arborist Services, has been monitoring this tree for more than five years due to its age and a fungal disease present in the tree, Ganoderma, which is a degenerative root disease. Jennifer Farrar, Executive Director of Asbury Woods, commented, “Our staff, board members, and tree professionals are in agreement that the time has come to take this tree down. The degenerative nature of the root disease, coupled with the age and fragility of the tree, make it a hazard. Its proximity to the Nature Center along the main walkway presents concerns for the safety of visitors and the building. After keeping an eye on the tree for several years, we determined it was time to take action. While we mourn the loss of a tree which has grown in tandem with Asbury Woods and stood watch over the Nature Center for all these years, we will replace it with another tree that can grow and thrive for the next century and beyond.”
The tree work will take place on Thursday, August 25, and Friday, August 26, and will be done by J. Thomas Tree Service. Please note that visitors may experience closures of walkways, and access to the Nature Center may be limited on these days.