Japanese Maples transplanted to Asa Gray Garden

December 7, 2011

After a large snowstorm in 1997, which caused the destruction of several large ornamental trees as well as damaging other trees and shrubs, Asa Gray Garden needed refurbishment.  An unexpected opportunity, seized by former Mount Auburn president Bill Clendaniel in the summer of 1999, led to a new landscape in the Garden.

Renovations to the courtyard of the Boston Public Library required the removal of four 27- year old Japanese Maple trees planted there by the ladies of the Garden Club of the Back Bay.  President Bernard Margolis of the Library offered the trees to the Cemetery, but the cost to remove them was $40,000. 

Clendaniel initiated a fund raising campaign that, in a few short weeks, raised the necessary funds thanks to the generosity of over 300 contributors, including many members of both the Friends of Mount Auburn Cemetery and the Garden Club of the Back Bay. 

On November 12, 1999 the four trees, each weighing five tons, were hoisted six stories over the roof of the Library to waiting trucks. On November 18, 1999, serendipitously the birthday of Asa Gray, the trees were placed in Asa Gray Garden.  Eleven years later those trees are still healthy and are a focal point in the garden.   View photos of the tree move.

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