2014-02-07 / Front Page

Time to Vote for the Tree of the Year

Star magnolia at the Newport Art Museum. Star magnolia at the Newport Art Museum. It is once again time to celebrate the city’s historic urban forest and vote for your favorite Newport tree. The Newport Tree and Open Space Commission and the Newport Tree Society have identified 10 spectacular specimens, including varieties of beech, sycamore, and flowering trees, and the public is invited to view the contenders and cast their ballots. For the first time since the contest’s founding in 2008, groupings of trees have been nominated.

In each case, the tree selected is considered to be an excellent example of its type.

. European beech at The Newport Daily News, 101 Malbone Rd.

. Twin sycamore trees on Thurston Avenue.

. Sugar maple at 665 Bellevue Ave.
. Tulip tree at the corner of
Warner Street and Bayview Avenue. . Weeping beech behind the
Salve Regina University library at
Lawrence Avenue.
. European beech and two
sycamores behind the Audrain
Building, Bellevue Avenue.
. The Liberty Tree - European
beech at Thames and Farewell
. Star magnolia at the Newport Art Museum.
. American elm at the Common Burying Ground, Farewell
. Flowering cherries grouping at Morton Park.

Tulip tree. Tulip tree. Photographs of nominees are on display in the lower lobby of the Newport Public Library. The public is encouraged to view the exhibit at the library, find the trees, and vote for their favorites. These trees are all on property that is public or visible from the street. Voting may be done at the library or online at newportarboretum.org.

Rob Currier, board member of the Newport Tree Society and cochair of the Tree and Open Space Commission, noted that the library has lost three large European beeches that were over 100 years old, one of which was determined to be upwards of 170. “The oldest ones are the most sensitive, and the weather extremes over the past few years have taken quite a toll,” he said, adding that they also fall prey to organisms and fungi more easily.

Sugar maple at 665 Bellevue Ave. (Photo by Jack Kelly) Sugar maple at 665 Bellevue Ave. (Photo by Jack Kelly) The continuing widespread loss of European beeches and other species across the city is part of a worrying phenomenon that is being studied by plant pathologists throughout the Northeast. The loss of these majestic specimens is a reminder that the trees of Newport provide a rich heritage and valuable resource which must be actively preserved and renewed.

The contest runs through Feb. 28, after which the winning tree will be announced. For more information, visit the Newport Tree Society’s website, newportarboretum.org.

The Tree and Open Space Commission meets on the last Tuesday of the month at the library at 7 p.m.

Weeping beech at Salve Regina University. Weeping beech at Salve Regina University.

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