So I wasn’t sure what to expect in response to my curiosities about the new Connective Corridor plan taking place around the Syracuse University campus, and what I got was pretty cool and a heavy dose of awesome!
The City of Syracuse, namely Stephen (City Arborist) and Owen (Deputy Director, Bureau of Planning & Sustainability) basically gang tackled my questions going way above and beyond the call of duty and making me a very happy – and well informed – camper. A big thanks goes out to those gentlemen and also to Robbi Farschman, Director of the Connective Corridor project, for getting the ball rolling.
In addition to the interview questions we also shared a few emails and phone calls. This project is in very good hands and I’m glad I’ll still be here to see its completion.
Please read on for the answers to the interview questions:
- Is there a map of where all the trees being cut down are?
- What types (species) of trees will be cut down?
Honey locust, London plan, Crab apple, Littleleaf linden and Caller pear
- When were these trees originally planted?
They were planted at varied times throughout the late 70s. They’re all between 30-40 years old.
- Are there any plans for use of the cut down trees?
No. There are untapped opportunities to utilize urban wood but one of the main barriers is the pieces of metal that get hammered into the first 10-20 feet over the years. Millers don’t want to risk breaking their saws. That said Zeke Leonard, a professor in SUs VPA program, is working with Greg Michels at Jubilee Homes and Jessi Lyons at Cornell Cooperative Extension to make use of some trees taken down at an urban farm off of Bellevue. Zeke is working with a miller down in Jamesville and at SUs workshop to make some tables.
- When will the new trees be planted?
Construction is supposed to begin this year. Trees are typically (preferably) planted at the end of the construction process. So it depends on how well construction goes. The first step, obviously, is to remove the existing trees by the end of March. After that we have to wait until several phases of construction (tearing up and regarding and paving the road) are complete before we can plant the new trees. The overall plan is to be substantially complete by the end of this year. When the construction has been completed to a point where we can plant the trees, we need to have the weather cooperate. If it’s too cold we just can’t plant the trees. Ideally we’ll have them all planted by the end of this year but if, due to cold or construction setbacks, we can’t plant them this year, the absolute latest they’ll be planted would be May of 2012.
- How big will the newly planted trees be?
I believe 2.5 to 3″ caliper (that is the diameter of tree 6″ off the ground). They will be about 12 to 16′ tall.
- What types (species) of trees will be planted?
The new trees to be planted will include Goldenrain, English Oak, Black Locust, Coffee Tree, Ginko, and Serviceberry.
- Is there a map of where the new trees will go?
There is but it can’t be released as it hasn’t been released for contractors to bid on. Once the City awards the bids, all the plans will be available for public review. This will likely be late May for University Avenue and late June or early July for East Genesee Street. (Syracuse City Hall: 233 East Washington Street Syracuse, NY 13202 (315) 448-8005)
- Whose responsibility will it be to care for the new trees?
The city has full responsibility for those trees that are to be cut down and the upkeep of the newly planted trees. There may be some kickoff-type events where community organizations will be participate, but those are strictly ceremonial purposes.
The tree maintenance strategy is entirely the city’s responsibility. Around Forman Park there will be some community influence, but in the greater scope of things, the trees are the city’s responsibility.
- When will this project be finished?
Early 2012 spring at the latest. We’re aiming for a fully operable complete project by the end of this 2011. The tree planting is the last thing done and the temperature has to be fairly warm to plant.