I believe that it would be accurate to say that there are a lot of people out there that have no idea that there is a South Park Arboretum outside of The Botanical Gardens. It was Fredrick Law Olmsted who came up with the plan for the arboretum, which, over the years, lost its way. But today the Olmsted Parks Conservancy has a long-range South Park Arboretum Plan that pays tribute to Olmsted’s original vision for the park.
While planting trees is always a wonderful thing, removing trees is also important. Recently, a plan was hatched to remove a number of dead and diseased trees from the arboretum. That plan went into action earlier today, and is now completed. The trees that were removed – Blue Spruce, a Crab Apple, a White Ash and a Japanese Yew. Now that the trees are gone, there is a plan to replace them this fall with one of each of the following: China Snow™ Peking Lilacs, Syringa pekinensis ‘China Snow’; Tri-color European Beech, Fagus sylvatica ‘Roseomarginata’; Shingle Oak, Quercus imbricaria; American Hophornbeam, Ostrya virginiana and American Hornbeam, Carpinus caroliniana.
Thinking about all of these different types of trees puts it all into perspective. It reminds us that an arboretum is actually a collection like any other prized collection. But instead of art, for example, the collection consists of trees. Just as The Botanical Gardens watches over the plants on the inside of its buildings, there is also a renewed effort underway to restore and care for the historic collection of trees that grow on the park grounds.
“As a Level II Accredited Arboretum by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum, it is important to add new and interesting members to our collection and we are thrilled to welcome several new trees this fall,” said David Swarts, President/CEO of the Botanical Gardens.
The tree removals, conducted by Above & Beyond Tree Expert Company, were made possible thanks to supporters John and Carol Kociela.