Now that the fear of freezing temperatures is over, the contractor will resume the sidewalk replacement work in the hamlet of Bedford Hills by the second week of June. As sections of the sidewalk are completed, the new trees will go in.  Fortunately, DPW ordered the trees early to ensure we have the supply ready, so the trees are already here and being cared for by the DPW over at the Crusher Road highway yard.

Please note, while not part of the sidewalk replacement, the pine tree in the train station drop off circle will also be replaced this year, well before the holidays!

Thank you for your patience as we had to get through the winter to finish this major sidewalk and tree replacement project.

AUGUST 22, 2022

The Town will be replacing the majority of the sidewalks in the Bedford Hills business district, along with all of the street trees. The existing sidewalk and street trees were installed in the early 1990s and tree roots had caused the sidewalks to heave in many areas, causing uneven walking surfaces and safety concerns. Safety is a high priority, and replacing the sidewalks to eliminate trip hazards. The street trees have been removed and will be replaced with a mix of species selected by the Town’s Tree Planting Committee.

It was not easy to see the honey locust trees removed in downtown Bedford Hills but their removal was necessary and was an important step in infrastructure improvement efforts in the hamlet.

The trees were removed for two reasons:

(1) their roots had pulled up many of the sidewalks to the point where they were unsafe, causing significant hazards to pedestrians and liability to the Town.

(2) the monoculture of honey locust trees were all planted in the 1980s and were near the end of their lives. Street trees face multiple stresses, all of which reduce their lifespans – little water and nutrients, impacted soils and little room for root growth, and the reflected heat of the pavement. 30-40 years is the average lifespan of a street tree and the honey locust, and according to urban tree experts, including Nina Bassuk, Professor of Urban Horticulture at Cornell, were not worth saving. Nina has spent the last 40 years researching ways to enhance plant health in urban settings.

The plan for tree replacement and longevity

We appreciate the help from Professor Bassuk and local volunteers to design a new treescape that will be healthier and better able to adapt to the changing climate. Twenty-five new trees will be planted in the hamlet, five different species selected by Professor Bassuk at Cornell for size, suitability to our urban location and ability to thrive in CU-Structural Soil. This medium includes large stones that create openings in the soil for roots to grow and thrive. It also includes micronutrients to feed the plants as they mature. Cornell developed CU- Structural Soil and has promoted and studied its benefits over the last 20 years.

We are giving the new trees the best possible planting conditions and choosing the trees that are most likely to grow strong and healthy. We have also chosen five different species to improve biodiversity and visual impact. New trees will be planted once the sidewalks are constructed in spring 2023. A rough sketch of the plan is pictured here and listed below:

Maple, Acer x freemanii ‘Armstrong’                       7

Syringa Reticulata – ‘Ivory Silk Lilac’                      5

Hawthorn Crataegus viridis, ‘Winter King’              4

Pear Prunus x Tripoldei ‘Chastity’                           4

Tupelo Nyssa sylvatica ‘Tupelo wildfire‘                 6

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