Natural Lansing: Parks, Foresty and Nature
Since a few of us here, including myself, often like to talk about city foresty in the area, I thought it'd be good to seperate that from the general development thread and give it its own discussion. To start this off, I'd like to post an update on something I brought up in the general development thread: The removal of the century-old copper beech tree on the grounds of the Turner Dodge House in North Lansing. The city pulse has an in-depth story of what happened and what's planned:
The towering copper beech tree that has sheltered Lansing’s historic Turner Dodge mansion for over 100 years will be taken down this fall. No date has been set for the operation.
Take a last look, but Lansing’s parks director, Brett Kaschinske, warned not to get too close. The tree has dropped some serious tonnage in recent years, owing to heart rot in the trunk.
The beech’s wine-red leaves, its elephantine trunk (59 inches in diameter) and expansive, peacock-like spread — wider and taller than the house itself — have sheltered passers-by, wedding guests, concert goers and many other visitors to the Turner Dodge mansion for at least 100 years.
On a windless day in late July, the tree dropped a major limb that weighed nearly a ton. No one was hurt, but it was a wakeup call for the city. An even larger limb fell two years ago. Several years before that, almost half the double-trunked tree came down. What’s left of the rotted second trunk can still be seen, spiking about 20 feet into the air.
Potential plans for replacement:
“It brings out a lot of emotion,” Kaschinske said. “We don’t put out a press release on a tree, but we did for this tree. That tells you where this tree stands.”
Taking down the tree will be a formidable job, but the openness of the area will make it easier than taking down trees near grave markers in cemeteries or near electrical lines or buildings.
The parks board is already discussing what will go in the tree’s place.
Kaschinske said he wants to try to rear a seedling from the old tree, but it’s a tricky proposition.
“It’s not like starting a silver maple,” Kaschinske said.
Fucciolo said the seed crop needs to be at a constant temperature of 40-41 degrees for about 90 days to germinate.
“It would be much easier to put in another copper beech,” Kaschinskie said. “But we’re going to try.”
Given that these trees - because of how they grow and mature - are prone to this, I'd personally like them to find a tree not prone to this kind of particular aging. More than that, I'd like to see them go local and pick a native tree to replace it with. Apparently, the copper beech is native to Europe. Apparently, cities in the past picked the European beech over the American beech because the former grows faster. I kind of like the idea of the silver maple, or any kind of native maple, to be honest.