On April 26, NYSDEC and the NYS Office of General Services (OGS) hosted a ceremony in honor of Arbor Day 2019. The gathering included members of the State Arbor Day Committee and state and local officials, including Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan. A London planetree (Platanus x acerifolia) was planted on the State Street side of East Capitol Park, near the corner of the Capitol Building, to replace one that was lost during a storm. (Each year, a tree is planted ceremonially on the Capitol grounds).
Intro and photos by Michelle Sutton
The tree collections in cemeteries and memorial parks are key contributors to the beauty, diversity, and ecological services of the urban forest. Since I was a teenager, I’ve loved wandering cemeteries and memorial parks to appreciate the mature trees, beautiful open-grown specimens, and unusual species. In New York cemeteries I’ve seen glorious open-grown cucumber magnolia (Magnolia acuminata), Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus), and Katsura tree (Cercidiphyllum japonicum), to name a few.
Thanks to an article by Davey Resource Group Senior Consulting Urban Forester Jenny Gulick, I have another level of appreciation when I explore cemeteries and memorial parks—now I look for treestones and am thrilled when I find them. It’s like a reverential treasure hunt, as the “treasures” can tell such profound stories. In New York, I often will find one treestone in a cemetery—two or three if I am lucky. Here are some highlights from Gulick’s fascinating piece on the history of treestones and how their symbolism can be interpreted.