Friday, May 28, 2010

A Tree Blooms in Hudson

In 2006, Eric Galloway made a gift of trees to the City of Hudson. Landscape designer Tim Legg selected the trees--two varieties of tree lilac. Galloway paid for the trees. The Department of Public Works prepared the holes and planted the trees, along both sides of Second Street, from Allen Street to State Street: the shorter species where there were utility lines; the taller species where there were none.

Needless to say, the trees have not had an easy time of it. In the stretch from Allen to Warren streets, where I walk with William at least once a day, the trees along the east side of the street between Allen and Partition have been the victims of abuse by passers-by, who have snapped off branches. Three of the taller trees between Partition and Union, though suffering no visible abuse, appear to be completely dead, and another, between Partition and Allen, is nearly so.

But the good news in this sad tale of how tough it is to be a street tree in Hudson is that one of the taller trees is now in bloom--for the first time, I believe, since they were planted--and the two abused trees along the side of the Irv Schroeder & Sons building and another near Cherry Alley are also blooming. That's surely cause for celebration.

Author's Note: At one time I knew the names of the two species of tree planted along Second Street, but I don't anymore. I called them tree lilacs because their blossoms resemble lilac blossoms. If someone could enlighten me--and everyone else who reads this blog--by identifying the species, I would be most grateful.


  1. They could be "Japanese lilacs" or "Japanese tree lilacs" like the ones on my property. The blossoms are cone shaped, like lilacs, and have a beautiful scent. My trees are very large and are not yet in bloom, however. I hope they do well. --Ellen

  2. Abuse of plants is a problem. I planted a bunch of flowers in the barrel in front of my shop. About half of them were stolen and someone keeps uprooting the ones that are still there. I replant and water them, a few days later they are torn out again. I never thought of venting anger on potted plants myself, maybe it's therapeutic.

  3. Hello Carol,

    As you and the estimable Ellen Thurston have pointed out they are Japanese tree lilacs, and botanically speaking Syringa Reticulata 'Ivory Silk'. The other trees in this stretch of 2nd Street are Zelkova serrata, which has a form and texture similar to the American elm. Other trees planted around town have included oaks, red maples, lindens, purple-leaf plums, two different species of flowering cherry, locust, red bud, dogwoods and even a bunch of gingkos. And as you have pointed out they are all still small enough to be quite vulnerable to abuse by passersby and the other issue I suspect is the lack of water. As you can imagine being planted surrounded by cement and asphalt and relying on the rain that falls on that small square around them for water leaves quite a bit to be desired. I would have preferred to have 4' x 4' or larger openings but the city wouldn't allow it, so hopefully most of them make it. And if you happen to be a property owner with a tree out front think about giving it a drink from time to time - running a slow trickling hose over its roots for a half hour or so will do wonders, of course if you want to get fancy and add some fertilizer to the water go for it, just be sure to read the directions and give it the right amount.


  4. Thank you, Tim! I was hoping that word of this post would get 'round to you, and you would provide the species names. Thank you for doing so.