The Arboretum Report Nov. 5th 2015

The beauty of the Fall is peaking now. The early to color trees have dropped their leaves. This carpets the grounds with colors that are impossible to describe. About half of the deciduous trees are still in color but this lessens every day. Especially after storms. The Bald Cypresses are bronze. Soon they will be dropping their needles which provides a natural mulch around the knees.

Most of the leaves that fall we leave for nature to deal with. Some we do collect. Around the front gardens and building almost every nice day we fill the truck and take the leaves to the composting area. Sometimes we chop up the leaves with the bagging mower first. If the leaves are collected whole they are chopped up with the Bobcat mower before they go into the pile. This process improves the composting process.

We also use chopped leaves as a mulch around some of the specimen Dogwood trees. A ring around the base to about half the branch spread is cleared of weeds. After the dogwood leaves have fallen they are removed from under the tree. Then chopped leaves from another type of tree are laid in the ring about 4 inches thick. This treatment lessens the amount of anthracnose the tree exhibits. Anthracnose is a bacterial disease that afflicts especially older Dogwoods.

This fall is also bringing more new visitors to the grounds. The other day there we at least 60 guests including 20 Widener students with Professor Steve. So far there has been over 300 student hours logged since August. Founder J.C. Taylor would be pleased to see that educational part of his vision is being realized. He also hoped that the Beauty of Nature expressed here will inspire. Please visit and find out for yourself.

 

Tom Kirk

Arboretum Manager

p.s. this post’s picture is from the archives. I need to get a new memory card for the camera.