centennial tree project

Trees, Our Living Legacy

The Lake and Valley Garden Club celebrates the GCA's Centennial in June
2013, by focusing on black walnut trees, recognizing the importance of these trees in Cooperstown's past, present, and future: they are basic to our survival, to the beauty of our landscapes, and to our history.

A black walnut sapling, propagated from what is possibly the oldest living tree in Cooperstown, was planted in the southeast corner of Cooper Park on August 18, 2010. The sapling is from black walnut trees that were planted in the summer of 1800 by Richard Fenimore Cooper, son of Cooperstown's founder, on the property, then known as "Apple Hill" and later renamed Fernleigh.

LVGC president Lucy townsend initiated the project in 2008 when she collected fallen black walnuts from a tree near Fernleigh Cottage.  Lucy planted 50 nuts in 5-gallon tubs and buried them in her mulch pile. The following spring, nine young plants pushed through the soil.

After conferring with Mike Bouton, director of horticulture at the Clark Foundation Fernleigh Greenhouse, it was decided that several trees should be planted in Cooper Park where an aging population of maples will need replacement in coming years. Trees will also be planted at Hyde Hall, Mohican Farm, and Leatherstocking Golf Course.

Looking to share historical trees with the Cooperstown community, LVGC members will propogate saplings from nuts in the fall of 2010 when walnuts, hickory nuts, and acorns will grow in members' mulch piles.

Trees are basic to our survival and part of our history. They not only provide oxygen and absorb pollutants, thereby helping to reduce global warming, but enhance wildlife habitat structure; contribute to biodiversity; offer shade and protection from wind; help control erosion; and are intrinsic elements in complex ecosystems. They are basic to our landscape architecture and gardens. There are heritage trees or groups of trees that are 100 years or older and trees that are noteworthy because they are rare or endangered. Certain trees are significant landmarks, and some are associated with legends and folk traditions. Indigenous peoples have used trees in many ways from time immemorial.

FernleighFernleigh (photo A.J. Telfer)

8/18/2010 Fernleigh mother tree