Tree Walks at Highland.
As part of a new Tree Walk program, Tree Stewards led three 90-minute walks at James Monroe’s historic Highland property in September and October with attendance of about sixty people. Highland’s magnificent open spaces afford vistas of mature ash, black walnut, maples, oaks, and other native trees. Sharon Hiner, who is an interpreter at Highland as well as a Tree Steward, led the walk accompanied by Tim Maywalt and Penny Kaiserlian. Sharon pointed out the characteristics of a variety of native trees and explained how to identify them by their leaves, bark, nuts and many other features. Highlights of the walk were a towering hemlock and a massive oak tree, both dating to Monroe’s time. Sharon explained how Highland’s trees and tree-ring dating have contributed to historical interpretation at the site. We intend to offer further walks at Highland in 2018 at different seasons.
Forest Ecology Walk
David Powell, Senior Area Forester, led a Forest Ecology walk in Ivy Creek as part of the Training Class to become a Tree Steward. He pointed out how different tree species grow in a disturbed site over time with sun-tolerant species growing first on bare ground and gradually being replaced over the years by other species as the site begins to support the species typical of a mature forest. An old oak tree, now fallen, has been dated by doing tree ring counts from a cross section. Other old oaks showed by their branch structure that they were once in an open field, although they are now densely surrounded by other trees as Ivy Creek’s canopy evolves. Tom Dierauf’s study, The Forests of Ivy Creek: Past, Present, and Future, is the recommended reading for this class.
Tree Planting Class
On September 30, more than twenty people attended the free class, “Tree Selecting, Planting, and Care.” Tim Maywalt and Tom Wild gave a presentation, followed by the planting of a tupelo (nyssa sylvatica) at Ivy Creek. Tim will give a brief demonstration of bare-root planting technique on PBS’s Virginia Home Grown on October 3, 8 p.m.
We recommend the documents found here
to guide you on choosing the correct site for your tree, as well as information on over eighty types of trees with physical characteristics as well as growing conditions, habitat, habitat indicators, and suitable landscape conditions.