Plant of the Month
Location: Several locations but most in Grids T-13 and U-13, east side of the east side gravel road, east of the lower pond
I get asked what trees have the best fall color, and like many questions involving plants, the answer is “that depends…” However, I think most people would agree that as a group, Maples are generally known for having nice color. Within the Maples, Red Maples might be the most dependable color, which is usually red (hence the name), and Norway Maples are probably pretty much just as dependable, but yellow. But, my personal opinion is that the Sugar Maples can have the most vivid colors of any of them.
In a good year, many of the Sugar Maples will show the entire range of fall colors, red, oranges and bright yellow, all on an individual tree.
The downsides of the Sugar Maples are that in my experience, they are not as well adapted to Moscow as either the Red or Norway Maples and their fall color tends to be less consistent, some years are outstanding others not so much. So far this has been kind of an average year, but if it gets as cold as it is supposed to this weekend the color may be done quite a bit earlier than normal.
October has been kind of unusual in that two fairly major projects were started this month—but, I didn’t have to do much work on either one!
The biggest project (actually the biggest single project ever funded with general Arboretum donations!) is re-siding the Arboretum barn. The original wood siding had deteriorated to the point that something had to be done to keep the weather out. The north side of the barn had been re-done in 2002 with steel siding, because snow was sliding off the new metal roof and piling up on the bottom of the north side wall and the boards were rotting away. That is not a problem on the other sides, and pretty much everyone involved wanted to retain the original ‘board and batten’ wood siding.
The other project is a research project. Dr. George Newcombe, professor in the College of Natural Resources and one of his graduate students, Abigail Ferson are working with North Dakota State University and 18 other Arboreta around the country. They are all planting 2 plots of 47 different poplar trees from two species, Populus trichocarpa and Populus balsamifera that were collected from five sites around North America. They will grow the trees for three years and collect data on growth and timing of bud break to compare how they do in different climates.
Find out about the new mini poplar garden program across the country.
No upcoming events