The Prescott Journal - November 20, 2002
By Astrid Strader, Project Supervisor, Horticulturist, and Garden Designer
The waterfront traffic has visibly increased - what a happening place it is already! Our lives are so busy and stressed and I see that more people are coming to walk the trails, perhaps just to relax and dream. We are so lucky to have Parks Canada as a partner. When funding's being cut all around us - to see some of it coming back really gives people hope.
On the ground level, we have appreciated the help of the works staff at Fort Wellington, in particular, Dave Travis. Without Dave's 'little' tractor (Ed's got the big tractor) we would still be out there wheel-barrelling topsoil about. During the difficult weather, we will be working on descriptive write-ups of all the arboretum trees. During the better weather, we will continue on the trail work - and yes, I believe we will still get 'good' weather.
Christmas is around the corner and for the person who has everything - how about honouring them with a tree in the Prescott Heritage River Trail Arboretum? It's also a great way to recognize a special volunteer or group - a lasting memento of your appreciation. When you buy an arboretum tree or shrub, you will get a personalized letter from Prescott Blossoms with an interesting description of that particular plant.
Here's one to consider: the chinquapin oak (Quercus muehlenbergii), also known as yellow chestnut oak, rock oak, or yellow oak - it will outlast us all - it can live to 600 years! A handsome, towering shade tree making an excellent park specimen tree, grows up to 30 m (90 feet) tall. Its fruit, the sweetest and largest of all acorns, was highly prized as a food by native peoples. It is still an important food source for mammals and birds, in particular red headed woodpeckers, grouse, pheasant and waterfowl. It should do well here, as it likes dry, rocky, sandy and alkaline soil. The hardwood is often grouped in with white oak, although it is not nearly as abundant.
Call Melanie at the municipal office at 925-2812 for more information.