This spring I embarked on the much needed (and daunting!) task of clearing the very abundant Amur honeysuckle along Indiana Creek. It had not been removed for 10 or more years, and was aggressively overcrowding the entrance to the arboretum on both sides of the foot bridge. With hand saws and help from my now retired husband, we cleared all honeysuckle and treated the stumps to prevent sprouting. We also removed a few young hackberry trees to allow more light to filter through the canopy.
Photo taken before clearing took place.
Photo taken after clearing took place.
Frost damage to trees.
I obtained a nice selection of native shrubs (and a few trees) and planted them in the cleared area on both sides of the bridge and both sides of Indian Creek. They will not only add beauty to the area, but will be great Dendro quizzes through the years!
Because of the severe drought, our crew at Martell Forest had to water all the newly planted shrubs and the arboretum several times a week, but nearly all plants have survived to date. The guys were very diligent, and it is much appreciated!
All who live in the Midwest know this year has been a strange one, weather-wise. The warm temperatures in March coerced most plants to burst bud and even begin flowering a month or more ahead of their normal schedules. Then the more typical frosty nights appeared in April and many tender leaves and flowers were “zapped!” The VanCamp is in a low flood plain and the frosts damaged many leaves and some flowers. The pecan trees, for example, lost all their half-emerged flowers. Pictured here is one of the many oak trees in the Arboretum, showing a common site this spring - tender leaves damaged by frost.
In mid-summer, several of our Martell crew (Stu and Michael) did some substantial repair/maintenance on the foot bridge that provides access to the Arboretum. Stu replaced warped and decaying boards on the decking. Then, Michael power washed the decking and railing and stained the decking with a solid, water-proofing stain. The bridge looks like new!
Foot bridge that provides access to the Arboretum received repair and maintenance.
Gazebo received fresh paint.
On a much more sober note, I learned of the unexpected passing of William (Bill) Wuestenfeld on August 8, 2012. I knew Bill for about 10 years, and he always struck me as an easy-going, jovial person who relished life. I will miss visiting with him; his warm, genuine smile always made me, relatively a stranger, feel included in his lucky circle of friends – the memories make me smile.
Please feel free to contact Sally with any questions regarding this ongoing project.
Manager of the Van Camp Arboretum