East Tennessee State University

Arboretum Newsletter

Volume II, Arbor Day Special
March 14, 2003


State Forestry Officials Present Arboretum Certification Plaque
The 2003 Arbor Day Celebration at the ETSU Arboretum features the presentation of a placard of certification by Steve Roark and Tom Simpson, State Foresters and members of the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council. ETSU Arboretum is now one of 15 certified arboreta in Tennessee. Our arboretum displays over 180 species of trees with label signs, map and self-guided tour brochures. Many new trees will be planted this spring!

Pruning Talk and Workshop March 15
A Tree Pruning Seminar and Workshop will be held at 10 a.m. on Saturday, March 15. This lecture and demonstration will be conducted by Dr. Bruce R. Fraedrich, a plant pathologist and vice president for research at Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories, Charlotte, N.C. He directs programs in shade tree disease management and arboriculture with an emphasis on pruning, hazardous tree evaluation and tree management plans. The group will meet in 261 Brown Hall for a talk on approaches and methods of pruning, and then go outdoors for a hands-on pruning demonstration. Participants should dress for the weather and bring their own pruning tools. Refreshments will be served.

New Map and Species List Available
Wonder what that unusual tree species looks like? Want to find the labeled specimen on the ETSU campus? The newly released ETSU Arboretum Map and Species List provides the names—both scientific and common—and location for over 180 tree species planted on campus. Use the grid locations to locate any specimen, and find the tree, with its label sign, using the map. This map is available for free at the Sherrod Library and the office of the Department of Biological Sciences.

Area School Classes Tour ETSU Arboretum
Nine classes of third, fourth, and fifth grade students from local schools toured the ETSU Arboretum on March 13. Tours included learning exercises on techniques for measurement, identification, and planting of trees. Students got an early look at the new “Tree Giants” walking tour and helped plant the new Dwarf Conifer Garden with Campus Horticulturalist Kathleen Moore. Additional school class visits are planned for later this spring.

Planting of Dwarf Conifer Garden Begins
Planting of the new Veterans Memorial Dwarf Conifer Garden has just begun in the quadrangle in front of Brooks Gymnasium. This garden will display the diverse range of color, texture, and shape found in these slow-growing evergreen plants. Support for this garden has been provided by the ETSU Veterans Assoociation, Northeast Tennessee Persian Gulf Veterans Association, Meadow View Garden Club, and by individual supporters of the ETSU Arboretum.

New Web Site For ETSU Arboretum Launched
The ETSU Arboretum is now on the World Wide Web, thanks to Arboretum web developer Nancy Fischman. The web site provides our newesletters, species list, current activities, and tree-related links, and is still being fortified with new information. Visit us online at: http://www.etsu.edu/arboretum/

Arboretum Work-Day for Volunteers
The Arboretum will be planting several new theme gardens this spring, and has work for volunteers willing to help with digging and bed preparation. Our fist Arboretum Work-Day is planned for Tuesday, March 18. Meet in the courtyard of Brown Hall at 8:00 a.m. (This is during ETSU spring break so parking is abundant.) Wear boots and workclothes, bring a shovel if you have one, and be prepared to dig! We will provide lunch. Work will continue into the afternoon.

Thanks for the Support!
We gratefully acknowledge the support of the Urban Forestry program of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture Forestry Division and the United States Department of Agriculture, which has underwritten publication of this newsletter and funded the ETSU Arboretum’s School Days Tours, map, web site development, label signs, and public talks. Additional funding from the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust and the Harris Fund for Washington County supports our new planting and other projects. We also thank all of our supporters, both individuals and groups, who have helped make the ETSU Arboretum’s activities possible. Comments, questions, and contributions may be sent to: ETSU Arboretum, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Box 70703, ETSU, Johnson City TN 37614.

 

 

Tree Species Distributed at the ETSU Arboretum, Arbor Day, March 14, 2003
American Plum (Prunus americana) - Rose Family (Rosaceae)
Develops into a small tree with stiff secondary branches that are almost spiny, so plant in an out-of-the-way site but one that receives full sun. Matures to bear fruit within three to five years. The edible plums are small (1.5” diameter) with reddish-purple skin, and they are tart but tasty. This native tree is well adapted to our area with a natural range that encompasses most of the eastern United States. It is often found growing along fencerows. Lovely white flowers bloom in early spring before leaves appear.

Baldcypress (Taxodium distichum) - Baldcypress Family (Taxodiaceae)
An unusual tree: it is a conifer (cone-bearing tree), yet is is deciduous, its leaves turning a rich russet color before dropping in autumn. Its needles are softer than those of evergreen conifers such as spruce, pine, or fir. Baldcypresses grow wild in swamps and wetlands, in coastal areas of the southeast and along the Mississippi River. Nevertheless, Baldcypress is fully hardy in northeast Tennessee, and though it prefers wet sites it will grow well on drier locations also. Large Baldcypresses can be viewed on the Veterans Administration campus at the intersection of Dogwood and Magnolia Avenues, and a small one (with sign) can be found by the SW corner of Sherrod Library at ETSU. Typical growth is about one to one and a half feet per year, attaining 20 - 30 feet over two decades.

Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana) - Ebony Family (Ebenaceae)
A deeply rooted native tree that is drought tolerant. Fruit production, which requires male and female trees, begins when trees are about 15 feet tall and approximately 10 years old. These fruits are smaller than the Asian persimmons found in supermarkets. They are very sweet when fully ripe (after some hard frosts) but they will pucker your mouth when unripe. Develops an attractive blackish, alligator patterned bark. The wood is traditionally used for golf club heads. A mature persimmon tree (with sign) can be seen near the SW corner of Sherrod Library.

Sawtooth Oak (Quercus acutissima) - Beech Family (Fagaceae)
A fast-growing oak from Asia. Give this tree plenty of room to spread. In five years with full sun, it will reach approximately 12 feet in height with a similar crown spread. Ten-year-old trees can reach 25 feet in height. Sawtooth oaks are drought and heat tolerant but its selfish roots outcompete lawn grasses so plant where you want shade with either mulch or a patio below. The brown leaves remain on the tree throughout the winter. Large acorns provide an abundant and nutritious wildlife food. A small Sawtooth Oak was planted last spring at the corner of Sherrod Drive and State of Franklin Road.

American Plum: Buds small, 1/8" long, pointed & flattened against stem. Bark shiny, dark brown, with numerous grayish spots.
Baldcypress: Bark shiny, golden, stringy; leaf scars round, with tiny buds <1/16" in center of scar.
Persimmon: Buds shiny black, pointed, broad at base, covered with two black scales. Bark grayish with conspicuous raised dots.
Sawtooth Oak: Buds conical with fine wooly hairs above prominent leaf scars. Bark dull yellow-green.

 

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