Mark Hayward's City Matters: A tree once grew on Blodget St....well, into it
Squirrels frolick in lawns and parks, where acorns and birdseed abound. But they can't be crawling into basements and houses to birth and raise their young.
Meadows — with all sorts of weeds, wildflowers and critters — don't do well here. But a lawn gets all the fertilizer, water and care it needs, as long as it surrenders any hopes of height and diversity.
So it's not surprising — some would say it's a long time overdue — that a wayward silver maple on Blodget Street felt the sting of a chain saw earlier this month.
To say the tree was "on Blodget Street" is no exaggeration. Decades ago, it was obviously planted in the right of way — the grassy 4-foot-wide strip located between sidewalk and roadway.
O'Brien said he was happy to see it go, given the stormwater backups.
Then on May 3, Boisvert Brothers showed up and the tree was history.
Blodget Street does get its share of traffic. Smyth Road runs into Blodget, so traffic associated with the VA Medical Center, Smyth Road School and McIntyre Ski Area all ply the street. Hooksett teenagers use it to get to Central High School in the morning.
It's tough to pinpoint the exact age of the tree. Counting rings sounds easy. That's until you look at them, and they resemble contour lines on a White Mountain map rather than neat concentric circles found in botany textbooks. And the rot in the middle of the tree makes it nearly impossible to count the early years.
Meanwhile, another errant silver maple remains standing, just a few hundred feet up from O'Brien's tree. It too barks its presence on Blodget Street, preferring the roadway to the right of way. (What is it about Blodget Street? sweet tar?).
Mark Hayward's City Matters runs Thursdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader and UnionLeader.com. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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