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McGraw Square: Three Months In


Accolade Elm and Streetcar

Leaves are expanding, a natural drainage area is planted, the Seattle Streetcar is stopping and people are enjoying McGraw Square, an SDOT construction project that officially opened in February 2011.  SDOT Urban Forestry crews planted a specimen Accolade Elm in a circular planter and four Greencolumn Maples in curbside tree pits.  The species were chosen for their form, leaf size, color, density, and the quality of the shade they will cast.  At maturity, the Accolade Elm will match the grand scale of the Square, with a vase-shape form and height of seventy feet under optimum growing conditions.  It is a hybrid (Ulmus japonica x wilsoniana ‘Morton’), and is resistant to Dutch Elm Disease, a widespread disease that is fatal to many elm varieties. The Greencolumn Maple (Acer nigrum ‘Greencolumn’) has a narrow form and can grow fifty feet tall and twenty feet wide under optimum conditions. In autumn, the elm will turn yellow, contrasting with the apricot-orange fall color of the maples.  The trees were planted with Bridging the Gap funds.