Exotic Landscape Trees At Montpelier

Research at the Montpelier - The James Madison Estate in Virginia

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gnmcmartin
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Exotic Landscape Trees At Montpelier

Post by gnmcmartin » Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:04 am

ENTS:

During my unfortunately too brief visit to Montpelier recently I did have time to take a few pics of some of the trees planted around the mansion. Here is a selection; First, for Will Blozan especially, who has expressed some love for this species, are three pics of Picea orientalis ("Oriental spruce").

This first is a nicely shaped tree:
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The next two pics are of another Oriental spruce from different sides. This tree is forked about 1/3rd up, and then one side forks again:
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The next two pics are for Larry (and everyone, of course). Probably the nicest of the exotics on the property were the Deodar cedars. Here are two nice examples, but I don't have pics of the best ones:
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There were also a number of cedar of Lebanon, but because the foliage on these was very thin--they seemed to have dropped most of their needles--I didn't take any pics of them. I have to agree with Larry that Deodar cedars are gorgeous trees. And I have heard one report that they are very tough and adaptable, and specifically have considerable drought resistance. They may be the best--or one of the best--exotic conifers for Virginia.

Next is a pic of a Nordmann fir:
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The structure of the top of this tree is interesting--it divides and "bushes out." There are nice Nordmanns growing at the VA Arboretum here near Winchester, but these don't bush out at the top. They are a bit younger, however.

I have some planted on my property here and at my timberland. They are doing well. The best fir at the VA Arboretum is A. holophylla, which grows with complete vigor and lushness, as if native. Fir trees are not planted nearly enough here in VA. I have about 8 different species growing here at my place in VA.

Another interesting fir at Montpelier is "Spanish fir,'" A. pinsapo. This tree was very unphotogenic and was not in a good position for a pic. But it was very vigorous and had a rather large trunk--maybe 30" in diameter. A. pinsapo is a very unusual looking fir with short and very thick, stiff, gray-green needles, looking almost cactus-like.

As for Norway spruce--there is nothing remarkable at Montpelier. There are a couple of fairly nice ones, one of which has a featured position next to the visitor center.

--Gaines

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edfrank
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Re: Exotic Landscape Trees At Montpelier

Post by edfrank » Thu Apr 29, 2010 4:41 pm

Gaines,

How far away is Montpelier from you? I was wondering about your particpation in the proposed Montpelier Project Bob has been talking about. It would seems a shame that if it is a an ENTS project, if Bob was the only participant. Anyway, I appreciate that you commented on the exotics on the site and not just the native trees. I am interested in all of them, even if we are a 'native' tree society. As Steve says, "Every Tree is Native Somewhere."

Ed
"I love science and it pains me to think that so many are terrified of the subject or feel that choosing science means you cannot also choose compassion, or the arts, or be awe by nature. Science is not meant to cure us of mystery, but to reinvent and revigorate it." by Robert M. Sapolsky

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gnmcmartin
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Re: Exotic Landscape Trees At Montpelier

Post by gnmcmartin » Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:25 pm

Ed:

I told Bob I would like to contribute, depending on my circumstances at the time. It is about two hours away from here. The forest there is fairly large, and I am finding out just how much work this tree measuring business is, so if i can help, I would love to.

--Gaines

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