Cobleskill looks at replacing Centre Park spruce


By Jim Poole

Cobleskill residents will decide whether a new tree replaces the large, cut-down blue spruce in Veterans’ Memorial Centre Park.
As promised by Mayor Becky Terk in January, village officials included a tree survey in water bills that went out last week.
The blue spruce was removed last year after wind took off its top. Since then, some residents like the park open, while others miss the tree. Hence, the survey.
“We’re doing what we said we would do,” Mayor Terk said Saturday, adding that the village will adhere to survey results even if the response is light.
The survey, which must be returned to the village office by May 11, simply asks whether residents want a tree or prefer the openness of the park instead.
If residents want a tree, they can vote for one of five: white fir, balsam fir, douglas fir, fraser fir or blue spruce, with white fir recommended by the village Tree Committee.
Committee Chair Jonathan DiCesare said a white fir is most suitable for the park because of its appearance and ability to survive.
“I think a tree should be planted, but it’s not a must,” Mr. DiCesare said Saturday. “Honestly, it depends on what the people want.”
A tree at the spot––near the clock and main intersection––is in the Tree Committee’s master plan for the park, he added.
In its recommendation about tree replacement to the village board, the committee wrote:
“The tree committee recommends planting a White Fire because of its superior ornamental qualities. We believe that damage from salt spray will be minimal due to the site conditions.”
Mr. DiCesare also suggested not buying a huge tree because it would be expensive and take longer to get acclimated. Also, a large tree would have more of its root system cut off, so it would have less chance of survival than a smaller tree.
A six-to-eight-foot tree would be best, Mr. DiCesare said.
Replacing the blue spruce became an issue at Cobleskill’s January meeting because several people offered to pay for one. Those included Donna Bartholomew, in memory of her mother, June Biggs; Dick Frank, representing veterans; Bruce Tryon for Marathon for a Better Life; and A.J. Fletcher, who runs a tree service and offered to care for a new tree.
If residents vote for a new tree, Mayor Terk said she’ll contact those people about their offers “and see if they want to collaborate on a new tree.”