There will be a ceremonial Arbor Day planting of three Serviceberry trees on the Davis property near the corner of South Central and Rt. 116.
The planting will begin at 10AM on May 16th and will not be open to the public, but livestreamed on facebook. You can also drive by or watch from across the street.
The Alliance has bought three 10 foot saplings to replace maples that have died and been removed during the past few years. In order to respect social distancing because of Covid 19, each tree will be planted by two people from the same family: Dario & Rebecca Coletta; Pleun Bouricius & Tee O’Sullivan; Mike Melle & his daughter Eliza Healy. The event is closed to the public although you are welcome to drive by and take photos or watch from across the street as we’re planting.
The new trees are single stem Serviceberry or Shadbush (Amelanchier x grandiflora ‘Autumn Brilliance’ ) which grow to only about 25 feet, short enough to fit under power lines. These small trees feature attractive grey bark and showy white flowers. Their red berries, which attract birds, ripen into blue-black edible fruit looking and tasting rather like blueberries. Their subtle display of colors turns brilliant in the fall. They are salt tolerant, pollinator friendly, one of the first trees to bloom in the spring, and part of our landscape and lore.
Story has it that the first settlers in the New England area often planned funeral services at the same time that this tree bloomed. Its blooming was a sign that the ground had thawed sufficiently to be able to dig graves. So the tree became known as the “serviceberry tree.” The name “shadbush” or “shadblow” came from the tree’s early bloom time, coinciding with the massive spring shad fish run up the big rivers (including the Connecticut) to spawn.
This planting is a collaboration with the Davis family, and we thank Heather and Bruce for their participation. We also thank our donors who have made it possible to buy large trees for this important location. Look for the stakes, marked in orange. On May 10th, look for our signs as you drive by this corner to the transfer station or watch the planting as you pick up your mail.
The event will be streamed live on our Facebook page, fb.me/PlainfieldTrees.
“A celebration of this kind results in good to all…” said J. Sterling Morton of the first Arbor Day plantings in 1872, and we hope these trees will benefit our town as well.