The Bexley Arboretum spans neighborhoods, streets, parks, and pockets of oasis throughout our City. Every year, we celebrate Arbor Day to pay homage to the Bexley Arboretum!
What makes our City unique enough to warrant arboretum status? Purpose. For over a hundred years, the nurturing of trees and the evangelism of tree culture has been in our DNA. Each year we celebrate the beauty of living in an Arboretum, its benefits, and how to give back. Browse this page to find resources for learning, events, and other ways to celebrate Arbor Day!
Date: April 29, 2022
Activities will be announced soon!
Landmark Tree Program
2021 Landmark Tree Winner
Katsura Tree at 30 N. Columbia Avenue
Beautiful dense tree with interesting leaf shape and beautiful range of fall color that makes this a unique ornamental specimen. The tree is composed of 6 multi stems with a height of 50 feet and spread of 64 feet.
Caring for Your Trees
According to Grant Archer, the City of Bexley's Urban Forester, the spring and fall are the ideal seasons to plant new trees. Trees survive and grow best when planted during these dormant seasons. Correct planting and follow up care are important for the health and growth of your new tree. Bexley’s Tree and Public Gardens Commission has 10 tips you should know before planting:
- Locate Utility Lines Prior to Digging & Planting
Call Ohio Utilities Protection Services, (800) 362-2764, to request the location of underground facilities near your digging location.
- Identify the Tree Flare
This is the part of the tree which expands from the bottom of the trunk. This should be above ground when planting is completed.
- Start Digging!
The hole should be as deep as the root ball, but the width should be 2-3 times wider than the root ball.
- Remove the Container
Circling roots should be straightened or cut.
- Plant the Tree
Ensure the depth is correct! Will the tree flare be 2”-3” about the ground? This is important for oxygen to get to the tree.
- Ensure the tree is straight from all directions.
- Start Filling Around the Root Ball
This important step stabilizes the tree’s position. Then, fill hole firmly and pack the soil. Water the tree periodically to reduce air holes which can dry out the root system.
- Stake or No Stake?
Staking may be needed if planting a bare root tree or if the young tree is planted in a windy spot. No Staking helps trees grow stronger and roots develop faster.
- Mulch Around Base of the Tree to Drip Line
Mulch should be 2”-3” deep to help keep moisture in and weeds out. Mulch must be 1”-2” away from the tree trunk to avoid damage to the bark.
Water once a day for the first week or two unless it rains, and more frequently when the weather is hot and dry. Check the soil under the mulch to see if it is moist or dry and needs to be watered. Watering should continue until temperatures drop late fall.
Trees play a vital role in our community. They improve the quality of our air and the water we drink. They beautify our lives, shade and cool our homes, provide wind breaks and provide habitat and food for wildlife. Trees raise property values. Per the USDA Forest Service, healthy mature trees add an average of 10% to a property’s value. We are lucky to live in an arboretum!
General types of trees used in the City’s landscape are:
- The Shady Tree: Large deciduous tree typically with a canopy that one can walk under. Variety of leaves, bark texture and form, the tree should be planted with size as a consideration. Shade trees planted in the northwest of a property will provide maximum cooling and energy efficiency (shade in the summer, sun in the winter)
- The Ornamental or Specimen Tree: Smaller than shade trees, they act as a focal point in many situations planted individually or in groups. They have a variety of forms, can be deciduous or evergreen and have at least ornamental flowers, fruit, color, shape.
- The Windbreak or Screening Tree: Typically coniferous (needles) or trees that hold leaves through the winter, they are useful in creating microclimates by providing extra shelter from harsh weather. Can be planted individually, linear or in groups. Best planted northwest of home or space to block prevailing winds.
But what about your property? How do you choose the right tree for your space? With a little research and a simple layout you can produce a landscape to do all of the above. A proper tree planting needs to take each of the following into consideration per The National Arbor Day Foundation:
- Mature Height: Will the tree bump into anything when it is full grown (overhead wires, adjacent trees)?
- Canopy Spread: Wow wide will the tree grow and is there sufficient room (building. Adjacent trees)?
- Evergreen or deciduous (drops leaves in winter)?
- Shape of the Tree: Round, conical/upright, vase shaped, oval, spreading, weeping/umbrella?
- Growth Rate: Fast, medium or slow (slower growing trees tend to have stronger branching)?
- Soil Type: pH of the soil (neutral, acidic or alkaline), compaction vs organic matter, clay vs. loam (moisture) depth of topsoil? These all can be tested with probe sample.
- Hardiness Zone: Determines if the tree can survive our climate conditions particularly winter freeze. (Bexley is in Zone 6a which equates to minimum temperatures of -5 to -10 degrees Fahrenheit)
- Fruit and Flowers: All trees have both, although some more than others in size. Keep fruit in consideration on the location of your planting!
A mulch volcano occurs when there is too much mulch piled up against the trunk of the tree. Once created, these can become a serious problem for growing trees. If too much mulch is piled thickly against the tree, this can cause decay, disease, insect infestation, and even death of the tree. When mulching around the perimeter of the tree, make the mulch 2”-4” thick over the root zone/drip line, making no contact with the tree flare*. Visualize a donut – the mulch should create a donut shape around the tree, with the center of the tree coming through the middle. When finishing the mulch, sprinkle a granular fertilizer and water and watch it flourish!
There are numerous benefits of healthy, nutrient rich mulch around your new tree:
- Stops soil from washing away
- Insulates against heat and cold
- Decomposes and adds nutrients to the soil
- Keeps weeds controlled
- Decreases/eliminates lawn mower damage
*The tree flare is the part of the tree which expands from the bottom of the trunk. This should be above ground when planting is completed.
Trees are the most valuable part of our landscape. They shade out homes and neighborhoods which cuts energy costs, reduces air pollution and provides a habitat for wildlife. Don’t take these calming, peaceful parts of our background for granted – there are some simple maintenance tips we can use to keep trees healthy:
- Plant the Right Tree
City trees are planted by our City Arborist. There is a designated tree for every street in Bexley – chosen for many factors (i.e. dominate trees on a street, location of utilities, power lines, etc.)
- Keep Grass Away
Grass competes with the tree for air, water and nutrients. For best results, esp. for younger trees keep the area around the trunk mulched – but only 3” deep – and at least 1” away from the trunk.
Young trees (1-2 years old) need more water than mature trees. Water young trees 30 seconds each week in warm weather. Water the entire root zone – this is the area from the trunk to the outer limbs of the tree. This is known as the tree canopy or drip line. Allow the soil to partially dry before watering again. Don’t count on lawn sprinklers to provide adequate water.
All street trees are carefully maintained by the city Arborist. There is no need to prune these and you would be better served to contact the city if you have questions.
- Protect the Roots
Heavy equipment should never be allowed to drive over the roots of trees. This compacts the soil and reduces available oxygen. If there is construction nearby, protective fencing must be installed that is effective (not just plastic webbing) and takes in the entire drip line of the tree.
- Protect the trunk: Bumping into the trunk with lawn mowers or weed-eaters will weaken the tree structure and invite insects and diseases. This can be avoided with adding mulch at the proper diameter and depth.
- Controlling pests: Insects can damage or weaken trees. Several species have been severely damaged by insects (i.e. Ash trees) and city trees have been removed and are no longer used as a street tree. If you have questions about your street tree, please contact Grant Archer, the City's Urban Forester.
Did you know that our gorgeous Bexley trees are “looking over you”? While most of us understand that the canopy or overhead cover of trees give us shelter from ultraviolet light and also is a powerhouse in providing our critters and us with a delicious food source of fruit, nuts, syrup, as well as medicines, pencils and shelter, its presence alone also improves our health and environment! This is a scientific fact. Beyond this, there are many other benefits to living in a designated arboretum like Bexley.
- Photosynthesis is a gift from the trees to us! Because its leaves go through photosynthesis, the trees clean our air, as it miraculously absorbs airborne carbon dioxide (like exhaust from automobiles) and captures it safely within its soil. In return the tree will also give off oxygen for our breathing. That is a hefty job! Find out more on www.energy.gov., and search, ‘photosynthesis’.
- Trees promote a healthier planet. Trees, and the planting of more trees act as a huge warrior in the effort of helping our country meet the goal of the Climate Solutions Act of 2020. By being good stewards of our trees so that they can harness our airborne carbon, along with drastically reducing the carbon footprint of everyday life, there is much hope for a healthier planet and a redirection of global warming by 2050. Check out the plans for a healthier USA at www.congress.gov, Climate Solutions Act of 2020 and global warming.
- Trees cool down your property in the warmer months! Let your trees do your home AC work for you. If your tree can shade just 17% of your home, you can reduce your AC bill by $10 a month. Similarly by a tree’s “transpiration cooling“ effect, the natural gas vapor that comes off the tree, can capture the surrounding air from your house and cool it. Learn more at www.conservation.extension.org
So let's go out into our own acclaimed Bexley Arboretum, and give our trees a huge thankful hug for all the good work they do!