An Elm for Arbor Day
The Washington Road Elms
On Friday, April 24, 2009, in recognition of Arbor Day, a group of representatives from the Washington Road Elms Preservation Trust, the West Windsor Bicycle and Pedestrian Alliance, the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, and Princeton University came together to plant a Princeton American elm. Located in West Windsor Township on Washington Road, the historic elm-lined roadway between Route One and the D&R Canal was planted around 1925 as a part of the Roadway Beautiful Movement. Known as an “allee” - trees intentionally planted to line a path or roadway - this area of Washington Road is listed on both the New Jersey and National Register of Historic Places.
The extensive, elm-lined roadway is familiar to generations of Princeton area residents and alumni, and may be the only one to survive that serves as scenic entrance to a town. The elms also have a vital horticultural significance in that more than half of them have survived the Dutch elm disease that has destroyed 100 million trees since 1930. Over the years, some of the trees have been replaced with maples or elms of lesser quality, some of which have not survived. The elm that was planted on Friday was descended from the same line of disease-resistant trees that were originally planted there. Over the past few years, Roger Holloway of Riveredge Farms has donated ten of his Princeton American elms as part of the project to restore the original character of the allee.
Princeton Grounds Manager Jim Consolloy and Kristen Appelget from the University Office of Community and Regional Affairs were on hand to commemorate the arrival of the new tree on Washington Road. Members of the Princeton Facilities grounds crew worked to help the tree get a great start in its new location.
"We are delighted that Mr. Holloway has donated his trees to keep the allee alive," said Jean Mahoney, president of the Washington Road Elms Preservation Trust. "The roadway is more than a simple connection to several local communities. It is an essential part of the unique character of the area and nationally recognized as an historic landmark.”
Sandy Shapiro, Richard Barrett, Sarah Hollister, Jean Mahoney, Grace Sinden, Kristen Appelget, Roger Holloway, Amy Weaver, Jim Consolloy, and Candace Preston admire the newest addition to the elms on Washington Road.