The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, July 30, 2004


Progress at This Old House: tree-cutting and "panellisation"

As work on This Old House at 698 Concord Street progessed, local residents inquired about the very visible removal of several large trees along Concord Street, a designated scenic road, on July 15 (see box). DPW Superintendent and Carlisle Tree Warden Gary Davis responded by measuring the distance from the stumps to the road.

"The tree was 18 feet off the street pavement," said Davis of the elm closest to the road. He measured the tree distance upon hearing that, in fact, all removed trees were not only under the jurisdiction of the property owner but diseased as well.

"We had a certified arborist here this morning who evaluated them," said Deborah Hood, the This Old House producer. "Both of the ashes were stricken with 'ash yellow' which is fatal; there's no known cure or treatment. The Dutch elm was already dead from Dutch elm disease. The crab apple was diagnosed with 'apple scab,' but we are going to try to treat and save it."

As the construction continues, This Old House will bring in mature tree plantings in the 20- to 30-foot range. The team wants to restore the character of the site, adding and improving wherever possible.


After removing the ailing trees at the site, the crew turned its attention to the removed ell section of the house. Onlookers may have found the presence of a crane and the lack of cement mixer surprising under the circumstances, but the crew installed a prefabricated foundation made of panels. The real story here is about panellisation: not only a panellised foundation, but also a panellised floor system and panellised wall and roof systems. The crew utilized the crane to install a prefabricated floor system of panels. Next week the crew will bring in the wall and roof panels.

"We hope to be water-tight by early August," said Hood. "Everything is coming together. It was a little slow getting rolling but everything was in the planning that was happening in the factories and on paper."

Watch the webcam

Programs of the 25th-anniversary season of This Old House will begin airing this October. To see what's going on before then, go to our web site at for the link to the This Old House web-camera (or and click on the link to the live webcam photographing the site live. You can view the history of the project through the time-lapse archive.

2004 The Carlisle Mosquito