Post Office Square is located in the heart of Boston’s financial district at the intersection of Milk, Congress, Pearl, and Water Streets. It was named in 1874 after the post office which fronted it, but was dramatically transformed in 1990 when the parking garage formerly occupying the space was relocated 80 ft underground giving birth to a 1.7 acre green space which opened to the public in 1992. Named after its’ developer, the Norman B. Leventhal Park is a magnet for tourists discovering the city and for locals who yearn for a break from their concrete surrounds.
Hartney Greymont is proud to maintain the wide variety of trees and shrubs within a park that is so special to all who visit. It’s a role that arborists Ed Pamerleau and Jim Palmer take very seriously. When asked what they enjoyed most about working at Post Office Square they answered in unison, “The people!” Jim continues, “Everyone is so emotional about the park. ‘Thank you,’ they say, ‘thank you for your great work.’ It’s really an intimate experience.”
With so much positive feedback from the staff and park-goers it would be easy to get complacent, but Ed and Jim are persistent about quality as well as safety. They both agree that a unique set of challenges exist when working in a public space which generates such a high volume of traffic. “You are constantly dealing with foot traffic and road traffic,” says Ed, “so you have to be prepared to stop or start work at any moment.” They also believe that properly scheduling which work gets done at what time goes a long way towards not disrupting habits and routines that involve the park. “People respect us when we are working in the park so we like to respect them. We don’t want anyone to have to eat lunch somewhere else just because we have to prune the pin oaks that day.”
Whether they are pruning, fertilizing, aerating the lawn, vertical mulching, replacing or removing plants, Hartney Greymont has performed an extensive list of services over the years that have achieved a high level of results. In addition, working in Post Office Square also allows Hartney Greymont’s arborists to participate in some truly unique tasks.
When our arborists started noticing yellow-bellied sapsucker damage we devised a plan to wrap the trunks of its’ favorite trees in burlap as an alternative to applying pesticides. Every spring we wrap the oaks, rubber trees, and japanese pagoda trees with burlap to deter the birds from feeding, and when they migrate south in the fall we return to take the burlap off.
In 2010 when a film crew for the movie What’s Your Number? contacted Post Office Square management about shooting in the park they were required to have a team of Hartney Greymont’s finest hang all the lights in the trees for the dramatic wedding scene, and to have at least one arborist remain for the duration of the shoot to ensure the health of all the plants in the park.
Norman B. Leventhal Park is a unique space that presents a unique set of challenges, both logistical and horticultural. The plants must be pruned in order to coexist in their limited space, not detracting from any plant above, below, or beside, and they must still remain natural to the eye and free of hazardous limbs that could pose a safety threat to pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Jim says that he can see the value in returning year after year, gently tweaking pruning techniques and auxiliary services in order to realize these specific results. Hartney Greymont takes great pride in its work at Post Office Square, because we are aware of the parks’ importance to the city of Boston. When a client loves your work it is satisfying, but when a city loves your work it is special.