Tennessee State University
Volume II, Issue
Hosts Area Elementary Students
The School Days Tours brought nine
classes of third, fourth and fifth grade students to the ETSU Arboretum
on March 13, 2003. The young visitors learned ways to measure the height
and diameter of large trees from Arboretum outreach coordinator Susan
Antkiewicz and volunteer Charlie Mattioli. Campus Horticulturalist Kathleen
Moore demonstrated proper tree planting techniques in the beds of the
new Veterans Memorial Dwarf Conifer Garden. Arboretum director Foster
Levy introduced some of the giant trees on campus, and co-director Tim
McDowell presented basic tree morphology to the many elementary school
students. Each of the classes was given trees to plant on their school
grounds, and each of the students received arboretum maps and walking
tour brochures. We thank the Forestry Division of the Tennessee Department
of Agriculture and the United States Department of Agriculture for their
support of the School Days Tours through a grant to the ETSU Arboretum.
Thanks also to the participating teachers at Fairmont Elementary School,
Lakeridge Elementary, and the Ashley Academy.
Campus Horticulturalist Kathleen Moore guides students
Fairmont Elementary School, Johnson City, in planting a tree in the new
Veterans Memorial Dwarf Conifer Garden in front of Brooks Gymnasium.
Kathy Glen and her fifth grade class plant the trees they
during their School Days Tour of the ETSU Arboretum
along the woods at Fairmont Elementary School.
Two-Day Teacher Workshop a Big Success
A workshop introducing school teachers to advanced
topics in plant biology through explorations of the tree collections of
the ETSU Arboretum was conducted on July 18th and 19th. Fourteen teachers
attended the workshop, which ran all day Friday and Saturday. The workshop
focused on the close evolutionary relationships between tree species of
the southeastern United States and their counterpart species in eastern
China, Japan and Korea. The Arboretum now features several pairs of closely
related American and Asian species, such as the Tulip Poplar and its Chinese
sister species (Liriodenron tulipifera and L. chinense), the Ironwood
and its Japanese cousin (Carpinus caroliniana and C. japonica), and closely
related pairs from the dogwoods (Cornus), magnolias (Magnolia), sycamores
(Platanus) and maples (Acer).
Participants used hands-on observations of campus trees to learn the characteristics
of major groups of conifers, finding similarities and differences in leaves,
cones, and bark which distinguish the families Pinaceae (pine, spruce,
fir, larch), Cupressaceae (cypress, arborvitae) and Taxodiaceae (balcypress,
dawn redwood). In another exercise, the workshop participants were presented
with a problem: which of four individual buckeye (Aesculus) trees were
distinct species, and which were interspecific hybrids (crosses) of those
parent species. Working in three groups, the teachers compared diverse
leaf, twig, bark and bud characteristics to select the parent species
and hybrid offspring trees. The exercise utilized four Aesculus specimens
(A. pavia, A. hippocastanum and two A. x carnea hybrid trees) planted
in the ETSU Arboretum during the past two years.
The tree workshop was sponsored by a grant from the Stanley Smith Horticultural
Trust, which also supports the purchase of many Asian and American tree
species pairs for planting at the ETSU Arboretum. Each participating teacher
received a notebook with in-depth information on Asian-American disjunct
plant groups, along with a hand lens and a copy of the classic book "Origin
and cultivation of shade and ornamental trees" by Hui-Lin Li.
Dr. Frosty Levy introduces the inquiry on Buckeyes
to the Teachers Workshop outside of Brown Hall.
Hundreds Attend Arbor Day Celebration
at ETSU Arboretum
An Arbor Day celebration hosted by the ETSU Arboretum
on March 14th was held at Borchuck Plaza in front of the new Sherrod Library.
The event included the presentation by state foresters Steve Roark and
Tom Simpson of a sign designating the ETSU campus as an officially certified
arboretum. Hundreds of people turned out for the big tree giveaway. Over
1200 tree saplings of four species (American Plum, Baldcypress, Persimmon,
and Sawtooth Oak) were given away to the audience of university students,
faculty, staff and local citizens. We look forward to seeing these distinctive
trees growing in our community for years to come!
Dr. Tim McDowell gives tree saplings to students, staff
and the public
at the ETSU Arboretum's Arbor Day celebration.
(Photo by Larry Smith)
State Forester Steve Roark presents the Arboretum Certification
sign at Arbor Day Celebration.
(Photo by Larry Smith)
Arboretum Awarded 2003 Urban Forestry
The Urban Forestry program of the Tennessee Department
of Agriculture Forestry Division has awarded a 2003-4 Urban Forestry Grant
of $19,750 to the ETSU Arboretum. The project, titled "Promoting
Community Awareness of Urban Trees" involves the development of a
web-accessible, illustrated database of the trees at the ETSU Arboretum.
The database will provide information for each tree on the main campus,
giving its location, size, estimated age, species, and (for newly planted
trees) the nursery source and time of planting. Digital images will show
the tree and details of its leaf, bark, flowers and fruits. The data-base
will be designed to be used by the general public as a source of information
on trees for urban use. It will also provide an up-to-date inventory of
campus plantings for use by the campus horticulturalist, to facilitate
maintenance and improvement of the Arboretum’s tree collections.
The electronic inventory will be developed as part of a Service Learning
credit course to be offered by the Department of Biological Sciences in
the spring 2004. Drs. Levy and McDowell and Ms. Fischman will serve as
The new grant also supports outreach activities, including publication
of Spanish translations of Arboretum tour brochures and additional newsletters.
It also facilitates a number of presentations on the Arboretum to area
school, civic groups and garden clubs. The Urban Forestry grants program
has been an indispensible supporter of the ETSU Arboretum over the past
three years. We appreciate the opportunity offered by these grants to
promote the value of trees in our urban landscape.
Tree Planting in 2003
Thanks to grants from the Stanley Smith Horticultural
Trust and the Harris Fund for Washington County, we have purchased and
planted over 75 new trees on campus this spring. Additional trees were
received as free distributions through cooperative agreements with the
U.S. National Arboretum and the J. C. Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina
State University. Several new and rare varieties were given to the Arboretum
by Brian Upchurch, a regional nurseryman who gave an excellent slide presentation
for the Arboretum last autumn.
Tree planting began this spring at the Veterans Memorial Dwarf Conifer
Garden, situated in front of Brooks Gym. We thank the Mountainview Garden
Club and the Northeast Tennessee Persian Gulf War Veterans for their support
of this new garden, which is still under development. This spring we also
planted in the dwarf conifer garden forty-three dwarf holly specimens
(Ilex species), many of which are quite ornamental and unusual. They are
a gift to the ETSU Arboretum from the collections of the late Harold Elmore
and the Holly Haven Nursery of Knoxville, Tennessee.
Our ongoing projects at the arboretum include the installation of identification
signs for the new acquisitions (and repair of existing signs), and planting
of new trees. Two large beds are now being prepared along State of Franklin
Road for the "Trees for Tomorrow" theme planting. We look forward
to a busy fall semester!
Magazine to Feature ETSU Arboretum
The September issue of the Tennessee Conservationist magazine will include
a pictoral feature story on the ETSU Arboretum. The article, by Arboretum
directors Tim McDowell and Foster Levy, is illustrated with many photos
of the bright colors of autumn leaves of many tree species found on the
ETSU campus. If you subscribe to the Tennessee Conservationist Magazine
keep a look out for this colorful story!
Animals in the Landscape Scheduled for September 18, 2003
The Southern Appalachian Plant Society is sponsoring
a presentation by University of Tennessee Wildlife Specialist Dr. Craig
Harper on September 18, 2003, 7:00 - 9:00 pm. Dr. Harper will present
a slide lecture on "Deer, Moles, Voles and Other Critters in the
Landscape" at the Northeast Tech Community College, in Blountville.
The talk will be in the Auditorium Building on the NE Tech campus, on
Highway 75, next to the Tri-Cities Airport. The talk is co-sponsored by
the ETSU Arboretum, the Northeast Tennessee Nursery Association, the Mountain
Empire Landscape Professionals Association, and the University of Tennessee
Agricultural Extension Service. There is a registration fee of $5.00 to
be collected at the door.
To join the Friends of the
ETSU Arboretum and receive further mailings, click
Tax exempt donations are
appreciated and can be sent to:
East Tennessee State University
Department of Biological Sciences
Johnson City TN 37614-1710