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How Large, Storied Trees Add Instant History to Hamptons Homes

By Paula De La Cruz | June 1, 2017 | Home & Real Estate

As Hamptons homes grow in scale, so do the trees surrounding them.


For homes in the Hamptons, the road to respectability— in terms of size or age—is often lined with mature trees transplanted using innovative methods by companies like Marders.

Over the past few decades, much of the Hamptons landscape has changed from flat agricultural to country pastoral. Furrowed fields have given way to rolling expanses of bright green turf, peppered with specimen trees and shrubs that bloom all summer long. Our idea of the bucolic beach house has evolved, too, from cedar shingles and gable roofs to mammoth glass palaces capable of hosting hundreds of donors at the drop of a fascinator. But East End homes aren’t the only things increasing in size.

“We plant large trees so that they’re in scale with today’s architecture,” says Edmund Hollander of Hollander Design (200 Park Ave. S., Ste. 1200, New York, 212- 473-0620).

And naturally, the passage of time only makes them larger. “Planting specimen trees helps reproduce age and give properties an instant sense of history,” explains Charles Marder of Marders (120 Snake Hollow Road, Bridgehampton, 537-3700). While his landscape design and management company has been moving and planting specimen trees for 41 years, “the definition of a large tree keeps getting bigger,” Marder says.

His method of planting mature trees is a quiet operation involving a crew of four to six men who communicate seamlessly. The process is slow and methodical, like transporting a fragile antique. “The largest tree we ever moved is a 100- foot dawn redwood in 2001,” says Marder, whose firm has moved and planted an average of 400 trees per year. “Trees can tell us so much,” he adds. “They’re time capsules.”