April 19, 2012
The Geneva Arboretum Association invites all Station staff to the annual Arbor Day tree ceremony on Friday April 27 at 3:30 pm.
This year’s Arbor Day planting is a grouping of three redbuds on the east side of the Stone Barn.The plantings we have done this year reflect a collection of Station expertise and cooperation among units.
The redbuds were raised in the Grounds Department nursery, by Tony Laquitara and his team, from seedlings of the large redbud near the Rock Garden. They prepared the site by removing a stump that had not been willing to give up earlier, allowing the planting to be arranged for excellent future growth.
The redbud trees are just coming into bloom, so the move was made with minimal disturbance by having FRUs Matt Christensen come over with the tree spade.
An additional important planting this spring is a row of crab apples lining Collier Drive on the West Lawn. The Dolgo crab apples make a bright white floral display. Go take a look this week for the first show!
These crab apples were raised by Todd Holleran, and are grafted onto Gennaro Fazio’s fire-blight resistant Geneva rootstocks that will produce healthy trees of the right size. The Station is known for breeding scab-resistant apples. Eventually, this row of scab-resistant crab apples will replace the scab-susceptible apples closer to the road.
The West Lawn has been compacted over the years, so the planting site was prepared using deep zone tillage technology that Station vegetable researchers are studying. Steve Gordner of FRU did the work, finding the right adjustment to crack soil that’s quite different from that on our vegetable fields. The grounds crew could then plant the large bare-root trees by hand.
All the digging was done without any power or communication outages thanks to Joe Freeland who worked with B&P and the utility companies to locate any vulnerable pipes and wires.
As you are out looking at the plantings, do pass by last year’s big horticultural installation in front of Hedrick Hall. It has a continuous display of flowers and interesting foliage.