By Myra Klockenbrink
Residents are noticing that a group of white pines has been dug in the meadow of Pomerance Park. The Department of Parks and Recreation is moving the trees to another section of the Park and to Greenwich Point.
The larger pines will be transplanted to areas at the edge of the meadow that are vulnerable to erosion. A grove of smaller saplings on the east side of the meadow are to be transplanted to Greenwich Point where they will replace white pines that have died or been destroyed by storms. The white pines at Greenwich Point provide important habitat for Great Horned owls.
Darrin Wigglesworth, Parks Operation Manager, says, “Replanting the trees nearby is so much better for their chances of survival. About 30 trees will be moved in all, with about 35 percent going to Greenwich Point. The remainder will be reestablished in Pomerance Park.”
“White pines are typically an edge species in open areas like meadow. They move in and regenerate the forest. If you notice undisturbed forests don’t have much pine in them because the gums, maples, oaks and beeches take over from the pines to become mature forests,” says Greg Kramer, the Town Tree Warden.
The eastern white pine is a beautiful towering native tree that likes to colonize wet open areas where its seedlings can take hold and get plenty of light.
Unfortunately in Pomerance Park, white pines threaten to take over the meadow on the Park’s southern end.
“There are not many meadow ecosystems left,” says Kramer. “Development has moved in and water courses have been changed making meadows relatively rare.”
The meadow provides important habitat for pollinating insects. The vast majority of flowering plants depend on insects for pollination as do most of our food crops.
Everyone is familiar with honey bees as insect pollinators, but there are thousands of different kinds of bees, beetles, flies, ants, moths and butterflies that do the important work of moving pollen around to fertilize flowers so that plants can reproduce and set seed.
Upcoming volunteer work days to help dig up the smaller pines are being scheduled and the park welcomes adults, scouts and high school students.
Email [email protected] to sign up!