Requiem for Two Oaks and a Southern Beech

“So if you’re travelin’ in the north country fair
Where the winds hit heavy on the borderline
Remember me to one who lives there
She once was a true love of mine.”
– Bob Dylan

Three significant tree collections succumbed to frigid north winds this past weekend.  These cuttings pay homage to their past lives.

Selected cuttings from three significant tree collections in the Washington Park Arboretum, February 19, 2018 - March 5, 2018
David Zuckerman
Selected cuttings from three significant tree collections in the Washington Park Arboretum, (February 19, 2018 – March 5, 2018)

1)   Nothofagus pumilio                Lenga Beech in Mapuche language      (Grid 49-2E)

Photo of brown rot, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
David Zuckerman
Photo of brown rot, Laetiporus gilbertsonii
  • This Chilean deciduous tree from the Andes (accession 637-70*A) was received as a whole plant from Edinburgh Royal Botanic Garden in 1970.
  • Until now, it was the largest one in our collection.
  • It was mostly dead from brown rot, Laetiporus gilbertsonii and now is a total loss from uprooting in the windstorm.
  • The good news is we have recently planted another one along the new Arboretum Loop Trail.

 

2)  Quercus laurifolia                Laurel Oak      (Grid 44-B)

Photo of windstorm damage to tree collections

  • This evergreen oak native to the southeastern US was a beautiful specimen until the north wind blew it over.
  • Root plate is shallow sitting in heavy saturated soils. Had the wind come from the south, it would probably still be standing.
  • The good news is the “B” qualifier of accession 1404-46 is still standing and happens to be our state champion in size.

 

3)  Quercus x ludoviciana                St. Landry Oak/Louisiana Oak      (Grid 43-B)

Photo of windstorm damage to tree collections

  • Another oak species native to the eastern US, was unfortunately in harm’s way when the Laurel Oak uprooted. It failed at trunk when the weight of Laurel Oak fell on it.
  • Sadly, our only specimen was both rare and one of our oldest collections dating back to 1936, just two years older than Washington Park Arboretum itself!
  • It is a naturally-occurring hybrid found in St. Landry’s parish in Louisiana.