News

Arbor Day Behind-the-Scenes: Plants, Pots, People

Wed., May. 5, 2021

By Greg Wright, Nursery Manager

Spring at the Arboretum Nursery keeps us and our volunteers busy getting ready for Plant Sale and Arbor Day which culminate on the same weekend this year. Arbor Day was celebrated on April 30, and the pick-up day for our online plant sale was on May 1st. When we select a seedling we vary our selection from year to year to provide variety as well as trees appropriate to our area and typical residential properties.

This year the Nursery volunteers have been busy potting up some bare root Cercis canadensis (eastern redbud) seedlings for Arbor Day.  Redbud is a nice understory tree which is often multi-trunked and has a rounded crown.  The mature height is 20-30’ tall with a spread slightly wider. The tree is noted for its rose-purple flowers which are profuse and create a beautiful display before the leaves come out in the spring. It is native to eastern and central North America.

When I first started at the Nursery in 2005 we would place bare root Arbor Day seedlings in a plastic bags with some moistened peat to keep the roots from drying out.  We often wondered if these seedlings were ever planted and survived or if they were set down and forgotten somewhere.  A few years ago we started planting the seedlings in fiber pots with the hope that they would get a little more care and that if they didn’t get potted right away, that at least if they got watered, they had a fighting chance to survive.  The biodegradable fiber pot that we use is mostly made with Picea abies (Norway spruce) fiber and doesn’t contain glue or binders. The pots are also a taller which allows more room for root growth. The tree with pot can be planted directly in the ground.

Thank you to all who visited the Holden Arboretum and Cleveland Botanical Garden last Friday to pick up your redbud tree. Happy Planting!

Volunteers getting Arbor Day 2021 seedlings ready

Arbor day redbud seedlings 2021

Greg Wright

Greg Wright

Nursery Manager

Greg Wright is the Nursery Manager at the Arboretum campus. Greg has degrees in horticulture and landscape architecture. He started his career at the Arboretum in 1999 as a manager in the Education department after completing an education master plan for the USU Botanical Center as part of his Landscape Architecture degree. Within the education department, he managed our Intern Program and the Landscape Horticulture Certificate program that we had at the time. Greg transferred over to the nursery in fall of 2004 as a Nursery Technician and began managing the Nursery in 2007.

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