Saturday, August 27, 2011

An Idea Whose Time Keeps Coming

The following article appeared in the Hudson Evening Register on April 16, 1914--almost a hundred years ago.


Civic Improvement League Asks
Property Owners to Set Out Trees.

One of the best advertisements for a city is its beauty. It is a well recognized fact that shade trees tend more to the beautifying of a city than any other one thing. Warren street, in summer, is the warmest place in town. The sun heats one side in the morning, the other side in the afternoon, and the center all day. This makes it a place to be shunned by all who are not obliged to walk through it. The result is seriously detrimental to all business places, and unhealthful for all residents.

If suitable shade trees lined both sides of this fine street all our citizens would be benefited physically as well as financially.

The tree committee of the Civic Improvement league therefore most earnestly requests each property owner or tenant on Warren and South Front street to plant shade trees in front of his respective property this month. Arrangements have been made with the Commission of Public Works by which any property owner upon paying the sum of $5, can have a suitable shade tree set out this month in front of his lot on Warren street. The variety recommended is the Oriental Plane tree, which many writers of the best authority state from experience comes more nearly [to] filling all the requirements necessary for city planting than any other shade tree. Grows in a great variety of soils, and withstands the smoky atmosphere of cities. Is hardy, thrives near the seashore and is remarkably free from disease and insect attacks. Its rapid growth also adds to its value, making [it] a most popular and satisfactory tree for avenue planting.

In order to make a good beginning of this wise work, property owners should notify and pay said sum to the Superintendent of Public Works at once in order that trees may be secured during this month as May will be too late for successful planting. If it is found that the cost is less than $5 the balance will be refunded.

While the greatest need at present is to shade Warren street, residents on other streets are urged to plant trees in places at present unshaded.

It's curious that given this earnest request to plant trees on Warren Street--and specifically to plant Oriental plane trees--there are no Oriental plane trees on Warren Street today. Did no one respond to the Civic Improvement League's appeal? Unlikely. Were the Oriental plane trees that were planted in 1914 removed and replaced with the locusts that were planted during Urban Renewal which were in turn removed on some blocks of Warren Street and replaced with Bradford pears in the late 1990s? 


  1. The Bradford Pear should be banned from all Hudsons streets.

    it doesn't provide shade
    grows in a dense clump like a bush
    50 year max lifespan

    great barrington just took all their bradford pear trees down - fire dept couldn't access buildings through the thick foliage

    so now they have to start over again - as will Hudson - but if proper trees were planted they would be 50 years ahead of the game

  2. London Planes for Hudson!! What a fantastic discovery, we need a Civic Improvement League Tree Committee!

  3. I'm all for plane trees. They give wonderful shade and in the winter if cropped properly are an art form to look at. They adorn most city squares and many avenues in Denmark and France