Newport Road at Riverwood

Stopped. Watched. icon

A giant of Newport Road in the early 1970s. [photo 1] The very top had mostly broken off as it died so it was much shorter in the end. [photo 2 ] With a shove [photo 3] late in the afternoon [photo 4] [photo 5 ], it made a mighty mess, taking part of the tree across the road with it [photo 6]. We’re still working on an exact age, but a neighbor identified the black lines as spalting [photo 7].

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  1. June 18, 2014 at 7:52 am | permalink

    Deanna, both of the maples in front of this (your) home had heavy spalting in them. this is the first stages of decay where a fungus begins to attack the tree. In the case of the smaller maple, it was too far into the decaying process to salvage any of the wood. The larger maple may be salvageable but we will not know for sure until it is cut into slabs. If it is salvageable, some will definitely make it back to the house on Newport where it lived for decades. I will check with our mill person to see what his take is on the age of the tree.

  2. By Deanna Owen
    June 18, 2014 at 9:07 am | permalink

    Thanks Paul. The larger tree didn’t show any issues until after the previous roadwork, so I wondered if that had opened the door for the fungus to start. There was a maple tree blight previously which took out 2 other roadside trees, and possibly the smaller one was already weak from that as well. Its a chicken or the egg type dilemma, I’m just glad your group was able to try and salvage it.

  3. June 18, 2014 at 12:56 pm | permalink

    We estimate the age of the larger Maple to have been 40/45 years old. The summer 2 summers ago, was brutal on all the maples in general. They do not fair so well with severe heat and drought, which we had both that summer. It is also my understanding that Sugar Maples, which this was, do not do so well with compacted soil, salt and exhaust, all of which had increased a good deal in the past decade or so on Newport.

  4. June 18, 2014 at 1:07 pm | permalink

    Oh… and I do have a very high resolution photo of Newport from 1949, and that tree was not there at that time. In fact there were no trees on the West side of Newport between Sunset and the then brand new Alexandria Blvd. except on the properties of the houses now just North of M14. I have seen a drawing that showed Alexandria Blvd. to be the access road into a major development that never happened, until the very recent developments now tucked in behind Alexandria but accessed elsewhere.