Plant of the Month
Location: Grid U12 north side of the chip path, south of the junction where one path goes up to the top and the other goes north above the Metasequoias.
This would be another entry in my collection of plants which I think should be far more popular than they are. This species of Fringe Tree is native to a broad swath of the Eastern United States from Texas to New York. It usually grows in most soils in part shade, and is reported to reach as large as 35’ in the wild. Most references seem to talk about it usually reaching more like 10 to 20’ tall in domestic yards.
That would agree with the plants we have in the Arboretum. They were planted in 1998, so they can be considered ‘mature size’ now, and they are probably about 15’ tall and wide, fairly similar to a mature lilac.
The Fringe Flower name refers to the lacy white flowers which appear in early summer (after lilacs and crabapples have finished their show). The leaves are a deep glossy green that stays attractive all summer. I am guessing that one of the reasons they are not more popular is they may be difficult to propagate. The plants in the Arboretum are actually grafted on Green Ash rootstock, which works because they are in the same botanical family, Oleaceae, the Olive family, along with the Ashes and Lilacs.
Life in the Arboretum seems to be returning to some semblance of ‘normal’, at least for the immediate future. As of June 15 I have a full crew of three seasonal workers. Since I was completely on my own until June 1 it has taken some adjustment to get used to keeping three other people productive, instead of it just being me deciding which grass got mowed today.
Between rain outs, equipment breakdowns and fallen tree emergencies we still have not managed to get the entire Arboretum mowed on schedule; but hopefully we are managing to fake it well enough that most visitors won’t notice.
Even with all the labor shortages and other distractions we have been able to install a respectable amount of new plantings this Spring. We have added 393 new plants so far this year, mostly herbaceous perennials in various spots along with some new trees and shrubs.
Arboretum Associates Annual Concert
The Annual Concert has been cancelled for 2020
We look forward to seeing you next year