The stately London planetrees in Heritage Park are getting some needed TLC after a fungus appeared to attack about third of the trees lining the popular walkway. A first treatment with fungicide was carried out early Friday and another is due April 29.
The state-owned expanse next to Capitol Lake has long been a beautiful extension of the Capitol Campus into the city’s downtown.
Brent Chapman, who oversees the Capitol Campus landscape for the Department of Enterprise Services, is taking a methodical approach to revive the trees, rather than replace them.
The spraying was done to counter Sycamore anthracnose fungal disease, one suspected cause of leaves dropping prematurely on about a dozen of the 34 trees. But there may be other contributors.
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“About two-thirds of them are quite healthy and thriving,” Chapman said last week, noting that spading soil around tree is being done, too. “We’re (also) investigating whether the drains are blocked.’’
It may be months or even next spring before the trees are out of the woods, so to speak.
State government hasn’t always showed its greenest thumb along the lake shores. One time, grass died because the former General Administration agency spread inert soil and failed to water. A few years later, moist soils and drainage issues helped kill birch trees.
The birch were planted on the advice of a landscape architectural firm that saw its contract ended. The planetrees replaced the birches in 2005.
The park is in better hands now with Chapman and his crew. We look forward to the trees’ recovery.