Heritage Elm Tree at Hancock Street

Site of new Central Middle School Parking Lot


Fact Sheet


  • A heritage elm tree is located at the site of former Winfield House at 853 Hancock Street in Quincy, MA and is slated to be razed for the construction of a parking lot for the new middle school. The tree was determined to be “in decline” by the city arborist and a landscape design firm hired by the architect/developer of the school.
  • Lab results of a sample tree twig were sent by the Wollaston Garden Club to the UMASS Extension – Landscape, Nursery, & Urban Forestry Diagnostic Lab in Amherst. Test results received on 12/7/2011 indicate the tree is not diseased, but is a healthy tree and recommends mulching, irrigation, and pruning.
  • This elm tree fits the definition of a “heritage” tree because of its size, species, age and historical significance; as well as its ecological value, aesthetics and location.
  • The Winfield House was built in 1880; a 112 year old Victorian house in the Queen Anne style, made of weatherboard, and shingle. The Winfield House was added to the National Register of Historic Place in 1989; ID Number: 89001347
  • Winfield House served as a restaurant for 50 years. The house was demolished in 1998 by its then owners, Eastern Nazarene College to enable the school to proceed with campus expansion plans; all that is left now is stairs leading up to an empty house lot and the elm tree.
  • In the demolition, the elm tree was saved. (ENC hosts an impressive arboretum on their college campus.)
  • Massachusetts designated the American elm (Ulmus Americana) as the official state tree in 1941, commemorating the fact that George Washington took command of the Continental Army beneath an American elm on Cambridge Common in 1775. The American Elm has been severely afflicted by Elm Disease.
  • The elm tree at the Winfield House survived the parasitic fungus known as Elm Disease that afflicted trees throughout Massachusetts during the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s, as well as hurricanes, storms, and blizzards.
  • The elm tree is a large tree, with gray flaky bark. When growing in the forest it often attains a height of 120 feet, but in the open it is wide spreading and of lesser height. The leaves are oval and dark green, turning into a clear yellow in the autumn.
  • Some cities have designated their trees over 100 years as Century Trees; the elm at 853 Hancock Street is over 100 years old.
  • Quincy is one of 3400 communities, that has been designated a TREE CITY USA by the Arbor Day Foundation and the USDA Forest Service and National Association of State Foresters.


Photo Archive:








Quincy’s plan to replace popular eatery with school leaves bad taste for Lori Anne’s customers - Quincy, MA - Wicked Local Quincy http://www.wickedlocal.com/quincy/archive/x1671985976/Quincy-s-plan-to-replace-popular-eatery-with-school-leaves-bad-taste-for-Lori-Anne-s-customers#ixzz1b8z6eJHB










http://www.ci.oswego.or.us/search/departments.htm (a century tree project)








To: Bob Bosworth, The Quincy Sun


On Jun 23, 2011, at 4:52 PM, Millicent Broderick wrote:


To: Mr. Robert Bosworth Could you kindly give some attention to this - it is time sensitive.


At the top of Memorial Park at the juncture of Hancock Street and Merrymount Parkway there is an old elm tree majestically blooming and bringing, shade, oxygen, a home for birds and a sense of beauty to that neighborhood. This area is slated for demolition before September and that includes the historic tree which the mayor tells me is "in decline". Who is not? More unfortunately for the elm it is in the way of the projected middle school's parking lot. It seems ironic that more isn't being done to preserve and protect that elm which being free standing has weathered much including wild weather and Dutch elm disease. Hugh Sidey, noted historian, wrote in Time magazine some years back of an elm shoot brought from Quincy's Adams family's property to be planted and nurtured on grounds of the White House. That was over 100 years ago and that elm is still there and cared for. The Hancock St. elm is likely a cousin of that historic elm and probably has a lovely history of its own. Where are the grass roots organizations when you need them?

What better monument atop Memorial Park than this living history of the Quincy area.


This Fact Sheet was prepared by members of the Wollaston Garden Club’s Conservation Committee (Elaine McGrail and Pat Artis). Up-dated 12/15/2011


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