Green planning and tree removals at Frances M. Maguire Hall

by William R. Valerio
Posted 10/5/23

At Frances M. Maguire Hall, Woodmere’s unchanged, ongoing commitment to preserving one of the property’s great assets -- its mature estate trees -- continues.

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Green planning and tree removals at Frances M. Maguire Hall


A year ago, I wrote an article for the Chestnut Hill Local about the removal of dead and dangerous trees at Frances M. Maguire Hall. At the same time, I described Woodmere’s unchanged, ongoing commitment to preserving one of the property’s great assets, which is its many mature estate trees. 

These include a majestic European beech (which is the oldest tree on the property, dating to the 19th century), an amazing American elm that somehow survived Dutch elm disease, an exceptional stand of large white pines, two large sugar maples that are about to turn their flaming autumn colors, and the list goes on. In our planning, we have worked around these important trees as we proceed with the renovation of the building and the ecosystem of our four acres.

As stated above, Woodmere has already removed the dead trees around the periphery of the property deemed by professionals to be hazardous to pedestrians, power lines, and traffic. Now, it’s time for the next step, which is the removal of trees in poor condition or with less than five years of life expectancy, as well as those we have determined are reasonable and necessary to remove. 

With the guidance of our longstanding partners and friends – the expert consulting arborists at the Morris Arboretum and the visionary landscape architects at Andropogon Associates – Woodmere has developed a landscape plan for Maguire Hall. 

Again, 100% of the large trees that our professionals consider significant are preserved in our plan for the property. Moreover, for each tree that will be taken down, a substantial number of new trees will be planted, with an eye toward creating a diverse balance of age, size, and local species that makes for a healthy tree canopy and ecosystem. 

Trees cool the environment, sustain the life cycles of birds, creatures, and insects, sequester carbon from the air we breathe, and help control the flow of stormwater. An embrace of nature’s splendor and importance to our lives is part of our DNA at Woodmere. 

I can’t help myself, and must encourage you to come to Woodmere’s main building and check out the astounding “Pollinator Power” installation made by children over the summer who were inspired by biodiversity and the Museum’s commitment to combining the creativity of the arts with a love of nature. 

The saws at Maguire Hall will be active from Thursday, Oct. 5, to Friday, Oct. 6. If you hear the annoying buzz of the machinery, please think ahead with us to the spring of 2025 and a revitalized community greenspace at Maguire Hall. With thanks to everyone, especially our nearest neighbors.