Hendersonville Tree Board Accomplishes Fall Projects in 2016 In Spite of Drought and Fires
October 1 – 19 volunteers from the Tree Board, Friends of the Oklawaha, and community residents spent several hours on a fine autumn day planting new pollinator beds along Oklawaha Greenway. 318 plants were installed in three beds. These plants – including Joe Pye weed, mountain mint, cardinal flower, black-eyed Susan, and coneflower -- will benefit pollinators and wildlife while providing beauty for travelers along the Greenway. “When finished, our volunteers stepped back to view our work … and we were all pleased,” Tree Board member Wes Burlingame said.
On October 8, a team of Tree Board volunteers planted 11 trees along Locust Street, adjacent to Bruce Drysdale Elementary and near Southern Appalachian Brewery. This planting is designed to provide shade for pedestrians along Locust Street and enhance the east entrance to the school. A variety of handsome saplings – including Redbud, Dogwood, Thornless Hawthorn, Crabapple, and Serviceberry -- will provide beauty, shade, and food and shelter for birds and other wildlife. “This project accomplished several good things,” said Tree Board Chair Mac Brackett “and continues our partnership with Bruce Drysdale administration, adding to the 35 trees we installed on the property two years ago”
October 30 – Four beds of perennial plants were installed on Bearcat Loop, near Hendersonville Elementary and Hendersonville Middle Schools. Before school is adjourned in spring, students and parents will be treated to flowering Phlox, Cardinal Flower, Boneset, Milkweed and other perennials. In all, 46 plants were tapped into the rich soil of raised beds constructed by volunteers and City of Hendersonville Public Works. These beds enhance the small arboretum of 70 trees planted along the entryway in 2015 by Tree Board volunteers.
Hendersonville became a Bee City USA in 2015, and the demonstration pollinator beds will serve as a friendly place for bees, butterflies, and other pollinators -- providing nectar, pollen, and host plants needed for their reproduction. Additionally, the beds show residents the sorts of plants that can be planted in their own gardens to attract and support pollinator species.
Also in Fall 2016 – A Neighborwoods Project (a joint project of the Tree Board and Hendersonville Food Co-op) expanded the already “blossoming” landscaping at the Co-op’s facility on Spartanburg Highway. Trees, shrubs, and perennials -- 233 perennials and 14 trees and shrubs – now enliven the open space behind the Co-op, making the outdoor eating area a delight. For this Neighborwoods Project, the Tree Board supplied the plants, mulch, and other planting materials, while volunteers from the Co-op installed the plants according to a landscape design created by Tree Board member and nurseryman Wes Burlingame.
A large Neighborwoods Project in Hyman Heights historic district was postponed due to the 2016 drought. But as soon as practical in 2017, homeowners will plant the 35 trees they have ordered from the Tree Board. More information on this exciting project to come.
Hendersonville Tree Board is a volunteer committee appointed by Hendersonville City Council. Its mission is to improve and maintain our urban forest, to educate citizens about trees and their economic and aesthetic importance, and to help implement the requirements of a registered Tree City USA.
Guided Tree Walk Along the Avenues
A guided tree walk along Third and Fourth Avenues in Hendersonville’s West Side Historic District neighborhood highlighted two registered Heritage Trees and a variety of large, mature trees that complement the historic homes. On a sunny Sunday, September 11, 25 people joined this 90-minute walk, asking questions and being impressed with the variety and size of these “historic” trees.
Mark Madsen, a member of the Tree Board and an ISA Certified Arborist, led the walk, describing the oaks, maples, apple trees, hemlocks and other urban trees, some of which are 100-plus years old. He identified the registered Heritage Trees on the route and discussed proper care to maintain health of older trees. Mark was assisted by Wes Burlingame, also a member of the Tree Board well versed in trees and tree-care.
“Large, mature trees give wonderful character to our historic neighborhoods,” Madsen said. “Hundreds of people a day drive along these two avenues on their way to somewhere else. This walk gave us a chance to really look at and appreciate the special beauty of these wonderful trees in this old-time neighborhood.”
Walks and Talks Along the Greenway
A new section of Hendersonville’s Oklawaha Greenway was recently opened, creating a three-mile-long paved walkway meandering through meadows, wetlands, and forests and linking Jackson Park, Patton Park, and Berkley Park. Over the next several months, the Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway will introduce “Oklawaha Greenway Walks and Talks,” a series of educational outings for the whole family.
The first in the series was on July 9 and focused on identifying and understanding native trees. The program was open to the public at no charge.
Wes Burlingame, a retired nurseryman and member of the Hendersonville Tree Board, led the walk, which was sponsored by Hendersonville Tree Board. The newest section of the Greenway, between Patton Park and Berkley Park, features 500 planted native trees as well as many mature trees.
“Friends of the Oklawaha Greenway is a group of people who see beauty and multiple values in our wonderful greenway and who want to use it as a tool to learn more about our natural environment,” said Suzanne Hale, a member of the group. “The Greenway is already popular for recreation, transportation, family outings, and it contributes handsomely to our economy. We will be offering future programs on wildflowers, birds, and other aspects of this community amenity.”
Greenway parking is available at Berkeley Mills Park, Patton Park, and Jackson Park, with smaller parking areas on Seventh Avenue East at Mud Creek and on North Main Street at Mud Creek.
The second in the series on August 20 focused on the glory of fall wildflowers growing along the Greenway.
Michele Skeele and Penny Longhurst led the hike. Skeele has taught wildflower identification at BRCC, and has led numerous wildflower walks in Jackson Park and Patton Park over the years. She earned a degree in Biology at UNC-Wilmington and has lived in North Carolina more than 50 years. Longhurst lives in Brevard and is president of the Western Carolina Botanical Club.
Photo to the left is the Carolina Lily.
Hendersonville Tree Board sponsored this event.