Why These Trees?

September 28, 2012
The trees we selected all have a long history at the Arboretum. Some, like the white oak, date back more than 150 years, well before the Arboretum’s opening in 1922. The flowering dogwood arrived at the Arboretum from a nursery in Tennessee in 1966.
In addition to their “standing” at the Arboretum, each of the handpicked trees has an especially playful or surprising feature. A few examples:
  • The bur oak is something of an underground real estate king; its extensive root system keeps other trees at bay.
  • Hardy white oaks are rot-resistant and have long, straight trunks, which made them ideal building material for cabins constructed by early settlers.
  • The white pine had a starring role in American History. During the Revolutionary War, the British, who had exhausted their tree stock to build and rebuild their armada, demanded white pine trunks for ship masts. A mini-rebellion broke out.