Trail expanding arboretum access

June 4, 2014

trail4smFrom a map of trees on campus to a trail through an undeveloped hillside, Bryan’s arboretum is taking its place as a major attraction on the campus.

Luke Lillard, left, and Jessica Tameler work on
the lower portion of the new arboretum trail. Director Roger Sanders said work this summer is expanding the arboretum from the developed area of campus, where some 30 species of trees have been identified, to a hillside by Landes Way. There, a trail has been cut through an undeveloped area giving access to plants in their natural setting.

“Our two assistants this summer have been working to eradicate poison ivy on the hillside and have cut a trail from Landes Way to Rudd Auditorium,” Dr. Sanders said. “We hope by the end of the summer to have the main trail completed, and some branch trails built from that.”

In constructing the trail, they have found an additional species of oak, American beech, and unusually large sumacs and Carolina buckthorns (normally shrubs) that had not been identified on campus. Dr. Sanders said certifying 60 species is part of the requirement for reaching a Level II certification for the arboretum.

In addition to their work on the trail, May graduates Jessica Tameler and Luke Lillard have been working with landscaping coordinator Karen Randen to ensure trees in the developed areas of campus are properly cared for. “We’re making sure we follow guidelines from the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council,” he said.

In addition to their field work, Jessica and Luke are developing a database of GPS locations and identifications of the several hundred trees on the Landes Way hillside, and a procedures manual for care of trees to comply with professional arboretum standards.

In addition to the outdoor and research work, Dr. Sanders is planning a public event for campus in the coming year, “probably a more elaborate Arbor Day celebration,” he said, looking into grant possibilities to help develop the arboretum and building relationships with the community to encourage use of the new facility.