Not Everything Grows Overnight


Each month I spend time reviewing all Town minutes and agendas “gleaning” what I should share with you in the Clarion. A couple of sentences in the Selectboard minutes of January 9 stated that trees by the Library, on the Common and by the Town Hall need replacing. Mr. Dalessio said he would prefer larger trees. No decisions were made. But I came to a decision. A “new project” to work on because trees do not grow overnight.

Guy Bemis planted a sugar maple in front of my home in 1969. That twig grew, but sadly, as a large tree, it passed in 2016 – it was huge and prominent. I needed to do something to replace it. Looking over my collection of images of my home and the Common dating from the 1870s, it became evident that “Only the Trees are Different.” I wrote a story woven with images of how trees have come and gone around the Common – but basically everything else remained the same. You can find a link to my story from the home page of the Clarion website. My “new” 12 year old tree was planted July 26, 2017.

In 1853, the Town voted to give permission to individuals, clubs or companies to set out shade and ornamental trees upon the borders of the Common, the sides of streets and vacant public spots of land in Walpole Village. Currently, at both the south and north ends of the Common, substantial trees, planted by civic groups, stand tall. There are probably many other plantings in the village, on town property, that others may be aware of.

Main Street Walpole has always been known for its tree lined pathway. Both the Common and surrounding properties are proudly green in summer, with changing colors as winter approaches. The library needs replacement trees, and when I went to the post office just moments ago, a large tree was being removed just south of the library. It would bE appropriate for a knowledgeable group to step forward to advise and assist the Selectboard in preparing a logical tree replacement plan.

This is an Old Home Days year. Wouldn’t it be nice to dedicate a number of trees during the festivities? I challenge you to step forward and help. Let’s form a tree replacement advisory board, see what is needed, and take the necessary steps for tree selection, planting, and fund-raising to lessen tax payers’ burden. Donations to the town, specified for such a purpose, are tax deductible. If enough people like the idea, let’s get going. And, if this project and donations take off, the Clarion pledges $500 for a start.

– Ray Boas


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the sweet earth’s flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.

Joyce Kilmer – 1886-1918

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  1. Holly says:

    Please consider contacting the Cheshire County Forester, Steve Roberge. He can be reached at the UNH Cooperative Extension Office in Keene. He would be a great local resource for this sort of project.

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