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Decline of Norway maple stand behind the Little League field at McLaughlin

Behind the Little League outfield fence is part of the McLaughlin woodlands that was once overgrown with Norway maples. Norways were part of the original landscaping when the field was constructed in the 1960‘s, and arched behind the outfield fence from center to right field.

Old Norway maple was part original Little League field landscaping from the 1960's

True to their invasive nature these trees had many hundreds of descendants . Some of them were thinned out to enable reforestation with native trees and shrubs by Earthworks in the 2000‘s. Many of the old remaining Norways have been victims of the severe windstorms of the last several years. One of the most massive lost more than half of its canopy in 2021. This was a fortuitous event, opening a hole in the canopy that allows sun light in. Eleven oaks, and a Butternut were planted in the fall of 2021. More will follow.

Norway maple greatly diminished by windstorm with American elm in foreground

Limbs of fallen Norways have been used to outline a walking path through the area. They also provide makeshift places to sit and pause.

Fungal fruiting bodies on fallen limbs

A section of woodland that extends down to the back of the abutting Bulfinch apartments is almost completely occupied by Norway maple. Here too, however, there have been blow downs of several large trees. Also, the smaller maple undergrowth is dying back leaving only the larger trees. With the canopy is opening native trees can now begin to be planted.


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