Ohio State and CFAES’s Chadwick Arboretum hosted the seventh annual ArboBlitz on Oct. 30. The event, a service learning event for students, faculty and staff, took place this year at two adjacent sites on the Columbus campus — on opposite corners of Millikin Road and the newly renamed Annie and John Glenn Avenue, formerly 17th Avenue.
“We work with the STEP program to recruit students to the tree planting,” Chadwick Arboretum Director Mary Maloney said in an email after the event. “This is usually their first time planting a tree.”
Growing a ‘Tree Campus USA’
The event “also fulfills one of the five criteria for receiving our prestigious Tree Campus USA certification from the Arbor Day Foundation,” she said.
Some 25 native trees were sourced from Dan Struve, professor emeritus, Department of Horticulture and Crop Science, for planting. Ohio State’s Facilities Operations and Development (FOD) department — specifically, Steve Volkmann, Steve Schneider and Andrew Neil — prepared the site, checked for utilities and brought compost; Neil also mapped the trees. Volunteers from the Friends of the Lower Olentangy Watershed group provided shovels. Chadwick Arboretum supplied shovels, too, and also bought watering bags for the trees.
The plantings add to the Columbus campus’s inventory of an estimated 50,000 trees, which Chadwick Arboretum volunteers are continuing to identify, measure and map.
Return of the natives
After the event, Steve Rissing, professor in Ohio State’s Department of Evolution, Ecology and Organismal Biology, in an email to FOD’s Volmann, said, “I noted with some trepidation the holes dug in the area in front of the PAES building when I walked by yesterday; that same area has been the site of a brief (thank goodness) population of (pioneer?) hybrid elms never before seen by any member of the local ecological community.
“So, imagine my surprise and joy to see the diverse array of native species there this morning, and such excellent choices at that! Butternut and even sassafras (one of my favorite trees, says one of the charter members of the Sassafras Audubon Society in Monroe County, Indiana!).
“The (temporary?) stakes even have common names — as in, ‘What a nice looking tree, I should get one of these in my yard.’
“If you are working on permanent signage, I would be happy to help. We could build an outside self-guided tour.”
“Bottom line: Very well done, indeed.”
(Photo: Young sassafras in fall by Dow Gardens via Bugwood.org.)