The Sycamore Allée

Planting trees where there are gaps

One of New England’s most iconic landscapes is the beloved sycamore (London Plane) allée located along Memorial Drive immediately to the west of JFK Street. The initial plantings went in over 120 years ago; several of the remaining original trees have trunks that measure up to 5 feet in diameter. A citizens’ tree inventory, performed in 2018, revealed that, as part of the original planting scheme, trees were spaced at forty feet on center

As recently as 1999, the sycamore allée remained relatively intact. However, over the past 20 years, close to 40 trees, primarily located along the south side of Memorial Drive, have not survived. Soil dredged from the Charles River and deposited around the trees’ root zones is the likely cause. Prior to introducing new trees along this corridor, a thorough soils analysis is recommended, along with the preparation of specifications for soil replacement and amendments in the planting zone.

Tree Inventory conducted in 2018 - light green symbols indicate gaps in the tree canopy .

Note: Each tree has been tagged, numbered and keyed to a DCR data base

Sycamore allée at Ash Street – facing east

Sycamore allée - facing west