Betty Brown Tree Trail | Volunteer Gardener

Betty Brown Tree Trail | Volunteer Gardener

August 3, 2019 1 By Kailee Schamberger



– With so much development
and construction in downtown Nashville, there's
so many things going on, and I'm here at a brand-new park that you may not
even know about. It's next to the amphitheater, and I'm walking around the
Betty Brown Tree Trail. I'm here with Vicki Turner,
and she's gonna show us around and tell us about
some of the trees. What is this one right here? – Okay, this is a
Persian ironwood. As the name indicates, it
is originally from Persia, which in modern-day
terms would be Iran, Armenia, and Turkey. It's a member of the
witch-hazel family, so in the late winter it has a witch-hazel-type
magenta blossom. – [Phillipe] Cool. – [Vicki] In the fall it also
has very, very pretty color, and when this tree gets
older, it will have an exfoliating bark
similar to a lacebark elm. – Yeah, very nice. So this is a really great
meeting location too. I see lots of
seating and benches. – Yes, you're right. When Kim Hawkins gave a tour for the Nashville Tree
Foundation of this site, she explained it as being
"Nashville's front porch"– – Yeah, it really is.
– Facing the river, and I think that just
is a perfect description of what this park is,
Nashville's front porch. – [Phillipe] a lot of
the seats are oriented to look at the
river to connect to. – [Vicki] Right. So this is a yellowwood. It is native to Kentucky,
and it gets its name from the fact that the
heartwood is actually yellow. It's one of the few trees
that has smooth bark, so similar to the
bark of a beech tree. – [Phillipe] Yeah. – [Vicki] And then it has very showy blossoms
in the springtime– – [Phillipe] Wonderful. – [Vicki] That resemble
white wisteria blossoms. – This looks like a magnolia. – You are absolutely right. This is called a
cucumber magnolia. It is native to the South. It's one of our
larger magnolias. This can get to be
about 75 feet tall, and it's very
fast-growing as well. What's unique to this tree
is it has yellow blossoms. We're used to white
blossoms with our magnolias, but these are yellow blossoms. – [Phillipe] Mm-hmm, and
it's also deciduous, right? – [Vicki] Yes. – [Phillipe] Which,
where we're used to the evergreen ones, yeah. – [Vicki] Exactly,
and it is deciduous. You're correct. – [Phillipe] Cool,
so you've got a lot of really interesting
species around. – [Vicki] There's
great diversity. – I love the mix of
different perennials and annuals that are
interplanted throughout
the whole park. That's really nice. – Yeah, yeah. It's great to have the
diversity of the trees, but then also with
the plant material. – Uh huh, yeah, so this
looks like quite a mighty oak in front of us right here. – You are right, Phillipe. This is an overcup oak. Just to give you a
little backstory, oaks are either of
the white oak family or the red oak family,
and if the leaf tip ends in a bristle tip, it's
in the red oak family. What's very distinctive
about this tree is when it forms its acorn, about
three-quarters of the acorn is enclosed by a lacy hull. – [Phillipe] Oh yeah. – [Vicki] That's very,
very easy to identify. – [Phillipe] And
this multi-trunk, is this another
magnolia right here? – [Vicki] Yes! Phillipe, you're great
with your magnolias. (Phillipe laughing) This is a sweet bay magnolia,
and as you pointed out, it generally does
have several trunks. What's interesting about this
tree is that in the South it is evergreen, and in
the North it's deciduous. And it has a tiny white
flower that has a lemon scent. And then lastly,
we have a blackgum. – [Phillipe] And this has those
red leaves in it right now? – [Vicki] Exactly. The blackgum is actually
in the dogwood family. It is also known
as a water tupelo, and the word tupelo is
Greek for swamp tree, so it also likes
wet, moist soil. – [Phillipe] And it's
a brilliant red too. It's not just a
dirt red, it's a– – [Vicki] And it ends up
being a brilliant red. When it gets a little bit older, the bark will sort of
resemble an alligator skin, but now, when it's young,
it's rather smooth. – Mm-hmm, I love that there's
a dog park downtown now. That's awesome. – [Vicki] Yeah, long overdue. – Yeah, very long overdue. So next to the entrance
of the dog park is this, is this another oak tree? – You're right, Phillipe. This is a white oak. We spoke earlier about
the two oak families. This is firmly in
the white oak family, and so rather than the
bristle tips on the leaves, these are rounded lobes. This is really, the
white oak is the royalty of the oak family. This is a tree that
will grow slowly, but will live for
several hundred years. – [Phillipe] Wow. – [Vicki] It can get to
be 100 to 120 feet tall and that wide as well. – [Phillipe] Wow. – [Vicki] So it is a really
magnificent, splendid tree when it is mature. Now the the timber is
also very valuable. The wood of the white oak
is impervious to liquid, so this is the
wood of preference for whiskey barrels
and wine barrels. You'll want to notice this
interesting sculpture. The bends in the
sculpture depict the bends in the Cumberland River
through Davidson County. – Sure. So running all along
1st Avenue right here, we've got a beautiful alley
of, what are these trees? – This is a London planetree,
and this is actually a hybrid from an American sycamore
and a Chinese sycamore. – Okay. – And actually, the hybrid
is hardier than the parents, and normally with hybrids
the seeds are not viable, but not the case with
the London planetree. – [Phillipe] Well yeah, I
mean, this alley is very grand. I love to see that. And these will eventually arch
over and touch at some point, and you'll get that nice shade. – Oh yes, these trees will
get to be a hundred feet tall. – Cool, very cool. So I've got a marker here with
our tulip poplar leaf on it. Is this your seal? – [Vicki] Yes, it's also the
Nashville Tree Foundation seal and highly appropriate
because it's also the Tennessee state
tree, tulip poplar. – Yeah, it's wonderful. Well, I just love the size
of this park and the trees. I can't wait to see them all
grow as our city is growing. – [Vicki] Right, and we can
all enjoy the seasons change on the Betty Brown Tree Trail. – [Phillipe] Yeah. The reason why we have
this new arboretum is because of the Nashville
Tree Foundation. I'm here with Pat Wallace,
the current president. So tell me a little bit
about the history of that and who she is. – Betty Brown was
the first president, founder of the Nashville
Tree Foundation in 1986. Well-known Nashvillian,
loved trees, loved her wildflower gardens,
and she also actually, with Sandra Fulton, they created
the first riverfront park, which was a very small park
at the end of Broadway, but overlooking the river, and
she had much grander ideas. And we are able to
participate in this because of the memorial gifts
that were made in her honor. – [Phillipe] What other projects does Nashville Tree
Foundation sponsor? – [Pat] Well, we have two,
what we consider big ones. One is ReLeaf Nashville Day on the Saturday
before Thanksgiving. That began in 1998
when we had the tornado that came through the
park through downtown and into East Nashville and
took away so many trees. We raised a million dollars
and kind of galvanized the community to replant,
and so the first year it was in East Nashville. And it was something that
people really liked doing, wanted to do again, so we've
done it every year since then. – [Phillipe] Yeah,
yeah, wonderful. I think I've actually
planted trees. I didn't realize that's
what I was doing it with. – Good for you (laughing)! Thanks, come again. – Sure, yeah, of course. – The other thing we have
is a Big Old Tree Party, and what we're doing is
taking a census of the oldest and largest of the species
of trees in Nashville, and so it's kind of a contest. There's no big prize,
but we have a gathering to recognize that every year
on the last Friday of April. – [Phillipe] Wonderful, yeah. As a native Nashvillian,
it's wonderful to see the trees continuously
being planted. I think one of the things
I've heard is the best time to plant a tree is yesterday,
so and you're doing that. – Absolutely.
– That's wonderful. I specifically appreciate
the work that y'all do. – [Pat] Thank you so
much for expressing that. I will remember to share
it with our whole group. (upbeat music) – [Announcer] For inspiring
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