Photo: Bemont’s Pine Allée
An allée, according to the home design platform Houzz, is a pastoral walkway through evenly planted trees … that bring travelers to their destination in style. (The word “allée” is French for “way to go.”) Traversing an allée “reinforces the feeling that one has arrived.”
You don’t have to travel far to visit a truly unique example of this landscape: The Grand Allée at the Castle Hill on the Crane Estate in Ipswich is a half-mile of manicured lawn between evergreens that descends to the ocean.
While most notable samples are finely sculptured vistas, a unique example lies between Lone Tree Hill Conservation Land and Concord Avenue just beyond Highland Meadow Cemetery heading toward Lexington. Shortly after the land was purchased by McLean Hospital in 1906, pines were planted, either as a windbreak or as an artistic creation.
Today, Belmont’s Pine Allée runs east to west for nearly 1,000 feet, 165 mature pines reach 100 feet tall, joining white pine saplings planted recently to form a strikingly natural topography, producing a haunting, Gothic take on the form.
“If you walk there now, it’s very green along the lower parts of the allée from the young saplings, and up above you’ve got the older trees so it’s quite a nice sight,” said Roger Wrubel, executive director of the Fund.
On Monday, Aug. 28, Belmont’s pine allée became the beneficiary of a $40,000 donation from the Judy Record Conservation Fund that will be used to maintain the nearly 300 trees.
“The trees are big and have heavy limbs … so a lot of the money will be used for pruning up those trees as well as other maintenance and invasive weed control,” said Wrubel before the Select Board. “The ones we planted recently are getting pretty large right now,” he said.