One of the first things you encounter when you walk on the grounds of Glen Magna Farms is carriage road. A beautiful stone dust road lined with over thirty mature pin oaks that leads to a magnificent iron gate.
Pin oaks- Quercus palustris is a native tree to Massachusetts growing 60’-70’ in height. Pin oaks are pyramidal and usually have a central leader with beautiful fall foliage. Pin oaks are a widely used landscape tree due to its ability to tolerate pollution, drought and soil compaction. Pin oak acorns are eaten by many native animal species such as wild turkeys, white-tailed deer, squirrels and certain species of ducks.
But the pin oak was not the first species of tree planted along this road. The pin oak was planted in 1975 to replace the stately American elm tree. In 1817, an avenue of elms was planted by Joseph Augustus Peabody. The American elm tree- Ulmus americana, is a large tree growing to 80’ and the national champion was 112’ in Copemish ,MI. The American elm was at one time the most common street tree in America. Unfortunately a disease called Dutch elm disease has killed many of them, including the avenue of elms at Glen Magna Farms.
In 1859, George Peabody, son of Joseph, agreed to relocate the Newburyport Turnpike (route 1) to the west, if the town would discontinue the use of carriage road as a public road.
I hope the next time you visit Glen Magna Farms you stop to appreciate the history and beauty of this cherished carriage road.
|Avenue of elms, facing south.|