Notable Trees of Maplewood

Jun 9, 2002

A Closer Look at Maplewood’s Rich “Treescape”

A Self-Guided Tour

An Arborist with the Maplewood Department of Public Works, Todd Lamm has lived in Maplewood for 30 years, and has studied arboriculture, entomology and plant pathology at The New York Botanical Garden and Rutgers’ Cook College. His tour list describes his personal favorites of this community’s vast array of native and introduced trees that he feels are notable for their age, size or species.

All trees are visible from the street so please do not enter the homeowner’s property without permission.

  1. Box Elder – West corner of the bridge over the stream on Baker St.  Also called Ash Leaf Maple. Probably the oldest and largest Box Elder in town.
  2. Catalpa - Burnett Ave. opposite Florida St.  In the spring the tree is covered with white flowers.  Note the large leaves and “string bean”- like seedpods.
  3. Northern Red Oak - In front of Burgdorff Realtor’s at Maplewood Ave. and Durand Rd.  Note the large root buttress and spreading crown.
  4. White Oak – Next to the residence at 2 St. Lawrence Ave., corner of Kendal Ave. Wood from this type of tree is used for wine casks.  Note the magnificent spreading crown.  This tree is probably about 150 years old.
  5. Swamp White Oak – Adjacent to the “Dragon Pit” play area on Oakview Rd. in Memorial Park.  Note the difference in the leaves from the White Oak.  This double-trunk tree is another centurion.
  6. Black Oak – Behind the house at 234 Hilton Ave.  A Tall, stately example. 
  7. Pin Oaks – Throughout Maplecrest Park.  Good, durable wood used for shipbuilding and other construction in the 18th century.
  8. Sassafras – In front of the residence at 557 Summit Ave.  Note the three types of leaves on the tree.
  9. Ailanthus – Corner of Ridgewood Rd. and Hoffman St.  Tallest tree at this corner.  Also called the Tree of Heaven or “The tree that grows in Brooklyn” because it will literally grow anywhere.
  10. Black Walnut – In front of the Timothy Ball House, 425 Ridgewood Rd.  Take a moment to read the historical plaque on the back of this great old tree, where George Washington is said to have tied his horse when visiting the Ball family.
  11. American Elm – On the front lawn of Town Hall.  Beautiful spreading tree.  Unfortunately, most of the elms in North America succumbed to Dutch Elm disease in the past century.
  12. American Beech – In front of the residence at 693 Prospect St.  Not much is left of this old-timer.  Try to imagine this tree with its entire crown.  It must have been spectacular.
  13. Tulip – Brook Lane, inbound, halfway down on the left.  Tall double-tree.
  14. Sycamore – West of the Civic House across from Police Headquarters.  The sycamores in this area are massive.  They thrive on moisture from the stream.
  15. White Ash – Top of the amphitheater in Memorial Park opposite the train station. A beautiful spreading tree, whose durable wood is used for snowshoes and baseball bats.  Look for another at the entrance to the Durand-Hedden House driveway.
  16. Horse Chestnut – Near the street at 455 Ridgewood Rd.  White upright flowers in the spring and a full dense crown.
  17. Zelkova – Heading up Baker St. near Ridgewood Rd. the last tree on your right. Probably the oldest Zelkova in town. Zelkova trees were often used as replacements for American Elms.
  18. Metasequoia – South corner of Memorial Park by Baker St.  Fast growing deciduous tree (although it looks like an evergreen).  Note the tall straight trunk.
  19. Persimmons – Opposite Dehart Rd. on Ridgewood Rd.  Twin trees opposite Dehart Rd.  They bear fruit in late summer.
  20. Sawtooth Oak – At the East corner of Highland Ave. and Midland Blvd.  Quite a handsome tree.
  21. Ginkgo – Behind the main library.  Also, called the Maidenhair Tree.  This tree produces massive amounts of odiferous fruit in the fall.
  22. Cedar – 9 Mountain Ave.  Note the “witch’s broom” or “tree-within-a-tree” at the top-- an example of excessive growth caused by fungus or insects.

This guide is provided by the Durand-Hedden House and Garden Association, whose mission is to educate people about and to preserve the historic and natural environment of our community.

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Maplewood History The Natural Environment

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