Shade Tree Exhibit
The Pillsbury Shade Tree Exhibit was given by Mrs. Eleanor (Jutie) Pillsbury to express her love of trees and the commitment was made on her 100th birthday! The setting is in the old Southern Tree Collection site, so in addition to the exhibit trees there are Anise Magnolia (Magnolia salicifolia), Sourgum (Nyssa sylvatica) and Yellowood (Cladrastus lutea) among others.
The exhibit is designed to give the user the questions they need to ask before planting a tree in their yard or along their street. There are 12 exhibits:
· Shade Quality- Sit in a chair under light shade or under a dark shade tree to decide what you like.
Growth. Note the “Birthday Pole” which marks the growth over 5-year increments of fast and slow growing trees. (Generally slower growing trees such as oaks and sugar maples produce longer lived and sturdier trees).
· Sensory Qualities- The rustle of the aspen leaves, the flowers of the catalpa, etc.
· Shape- All are best, rounded, conical, spreading, upright. It just depends on what you need.
· Shade and Temperature- The two playhouses, one in the shade and one in sun almost always demonstrate a 10o F difference in temperature.
· Alerts to Disease Damage- Some trees are more disease resistant, others need to be doctored, and then again one needs to give care not to damage your trees.
· Method of Planting. From bare root to balled and burlapped, containerized, and tree spade, there is little difference over time. A small bare root tree will catch up to a large tree-spaded tree as it revives from shock.
· Messiness- All trees “shed” and are messy to some degree but some are “messier” than others. Even humans “shed”.
· Where to Plant- The best place to plant for summer shade and winter warmth is west and southwest of your home.
· Color- What is the summer color – dark green, bluish green, etc. What of the fall color of leaves, winter bark texture and color and spring budbreak color. Also, consider blooms – even a maple can be quite stunning in bloom.
· Tree Identification- Test your knowledge of trees by looking at leaves.
· What Happened Here- In 2001 A severe lightening strike hit the old red oak (Quercus rubra) that housed the tree house. Since that tree was destroyed a circle of young red oaks was planted around the tree house. In 30 years or so the tree house will again be “in the trees”.
In all the exhibit contains 40 different species or cultivars of trees. It also has a delightful tree house around the trunk of an old red oak (Quercus rubra) which was struck by lightening on July 23rd 2001 and the trunk is all that remains. A new circle of red oak will one day enclose the space around the tree house and it will be well hidden in the tree branches.