Reprieve sought for imperiled maple tree

Tree in peril: After nearly 300 years of providing shade to a Millerton Road home, this venerable sugar maple tree has been slated for removal by the state Department of Transportation. The tree was planted in 1739, the year that Sharon was founded. Both the tree and the town would celebrate their tricentennials in 15 years.

Leila Hawken

Reprieve sought for imperiled maple tree

Update Feb. 1
As scheduled, tree crews removed the nearly 300-year-old maple tree in front of the Millerton Road home of Barbara Bartram on Thursday, Feb. 1.
In August, 2023, the tree had been “tagged” by Eversource who had determined that it presented a hazard to nearby power lines. “I did my best,” said Barbara Bartram’s nephew, Peter, of his efforts to preserve the old tree.

SHARON — As a very young tree in 1739, a sturdy sugar maple saw the founding of Sharon that same year, and has stood ever since, shading the front of an historic local home.

Now approaching 300 years in age, the tree grows in front of 60 Millerton Road, the home of 94-year-old resident Barbara Bartram, but the state Department of Transportation (DOT) has indicated that the tree is slated for removal due to its proximity to power lines.

In a recent statement, Barbara Bartram’s nephew, Peter Bartram, indicated that two professional arborists have inspected the tree recently, finding no disease and anticipating that the tree could last for another 15 to 20 years, long enough to see the town’s tricentennial celebration. Bartram said that Sharon tree warden Jeffrey Perotti planned to assess the tree this week.

“I would like to have a reprieve but so far, DOT has not relented. The tree provides valuable shade for the house. We will miss it if they succeed in removing it. It is a part of Sharon history and our family history,” Bartram said in a statement Monday, Jan. 29.

“They (DOT) are scheduled to start removing it on Thursday, Feb. 1, at 8 a.m. I would prefer they merely trim off one dead branch at the very top and one that is growing near the house,” Bartram added, as a suggestion.

Bartram said that he installed a plexiglass shield in the fall of 2023 to waterproof and birdproof a major cavity, protecting the tree from further damage.

“The tree is old and requires care, which I have been doing since August,” Bartram said.

Leila Hawken

Crews removed the nearly 300-year-old maple tree on Millerton Road Thursday, Feb. 1.

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