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Madison Square Park Conservancy is responsible for the maintenance of the park’s lawns which are in the process of spring reseeding. While the grass is establishing now, visitors should expect the majority of lawns to be ready for use in late May.  Lawns are open daily for public use starting at 10 AM through 5 PM, weather permitting. Lawns are closed on Parade Days.  Learn more about park hours and rules by visiting our FAQ page.

The Trees of Madison Square Park

Jan 11, 2023 | Horticulture

The Trees of Madison Square Park

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Measuring Tree Health

At Madison Square Park Conservancy, we make every effort to save our trees, if possible, and to increase tree diversity in new plantings within the park to ensure a healthy canopy for generations to come. All trees are inspected at least twice a year by a certified arborist, and each tree has its own care and succession plan.

Qualified arborists perform assessments, reviewing soil conditions, tree health, wind exposure, nearby structures, and other factors to evaluate tree risk. This process includes a combination of visual assessments and other tests, including static load tests, digital surveys, resistograph tests, and sound tests. The arborist will compile data from these assessments and then utilize a matrix that considers different scenarios, including the likelihood of trees falling and doing damage to people or property.

All trees pose some level of risk. The goal of the assessment is to maintain a reasonable level of risk and to conduct mitigation measures before conditions require tree removal or become dangerous to people and property. Mitigation strategies may include pruning or removal of branches that can help reduce the load on structural defects, maintenance or treatment to improve the health of the tree and help it to recover from damage, bracing or staking to provide additional structural support, and even long-term monitoring plans to ensure that tree diseases or hallows do not progress to unsafe levels.

 

State of the Trees 2022

Spring

  • 43 trees pruned
  • 7 tree risk assessments
  • 2 Dutch elm disease (Ophiostoma ulmi

Fall

  • 41 trees pruned
  • 8 trees treated with root stimulants
  • 5 tree risk assessments
  • 1 Dutch elm disease (Ophiostoma ulmi)

Removals

  • Red oak (Quercus rubra): One red oak declined suddenly at the start of spring and died. The tree was inspected for oak wilt, but no pathogen was found.
  • Japanese stewartia (Stewartia pseudocamellia): One Japanese stewartia died at 23rd Street. These trees are incredibly susceptible to drought death, requiring consistent moisture throughout the growing season.

Plantings

6 trees were planted in 2022 as part of the Redbud Collection program, dog run construction and memorial tree program. 

    • Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’
    • Cercis canadensis ‘NC2015-12’
    • Cercis canadensis ‘JN-15’
    • Prunus x yedonensis
    • Amelanchier canadensis
    • Tilia americana ‘Redmond’

 

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