The hot and lazy days of August are here so be sure your trees are hydrated. It's also a good time of year for fertilization. The arboretum is doing just that trying to improve the health of the spruce and pines located in the Millennium Grove and the small grove of trees just across the pathway from those Black Hills Spruce.
Not all news is good news. We've determined 21 spruce and pine trees infested with Pine Bark Beetle. Those trees are in the process of being pruned to rid the damaged branches and plans are in the works for spraying this coming Spring. The yearly blight problem exists for fruit trees located along Orchard Lane behind the homestead barn. Those will be pruned during cooler weather. Luckily, the Haralred apple tree (A# 2002-070) located in the children's playground has not been affected.
The arboretum is in the process of verifying some of the more "remote" specimens. Over 20 more trees and woody shrubs will be part of the spring signing project. Those include an Apricot tree (A# 2003-003) located behind the homestead barn, a Laciniata Smooth Sumac (A# 99-199) located in front of the Millennium Grove and more American Elderberries (A# 2000-085) located behind the homestead barn and the upper Tiger viewing area as well as some recent surprises seen below.
R E C E N T S U R P R I S E S
Located along the north ditch bank of the "Old Pond" collection we've discovered a large stand of American Plums. These specimens grow as a large shrub in Montana but in some parts of the south they grow as trees. The fruit is very enticing to deer, raccoons and fox and has a high level of Vitamin C and a sweetness that wildlife enjoy. We will follow it's progression this year to what quality of fruit it will bear. The arboretum has no record of these plantings.
Jerry Dalton gets the credit for identifying this specimen located near the Red Panda viewing station. It would probably never have been identified if not for the blooms that were discovered while looking at trees to be trimmed. As the accession number above shows, it was planted in 1999 and is located in a very shaded area.
Also located just to the east of the Red Panda viewing area and just up a small rise is "Morus alba var.tatarica"or Russian Mulberry. It can be determined by a distinct leaf pattern. These patterns can vary on different Mulberry species and the leaves on this specimen resemble a mitten shape. As of this writing no fruit has been observed. It is also located in a shady area and near a grouping of Robinia or Black Locust (A# 99-181)