Tree Talk and Trek

If trees could talk what story would they tell? Tom Clark, curator at Polly Hill Arboretum, knows better than most.

On Tuesday, June 11, he will lead a walking tour and share stories about the trees of the arboretum. Meet at 10 a.m. at the arboretum, 809 State Road in West Tisbury, for an hour-long trek. Cost is $5 or free for Polly Hill members.

Magnolia Magic

Magnolia trees would do well to befriend beetles but leave bees behind.

Why should magnolias favor one insect over the other? It’s a question of co-evolution. Bees were not around when magnolias first developed. In fact, they are Johnny-come-latelies, evolutionarily speaking.

Beetles beat out the bees in the history books because beetles evolved simultaneously with flowering plants. This evolution occurred many millions of years ago, taking place earlier than the development of their buzzing brethren. 

Selectmen Deny Library Tree Removal Request

The West Tisbury selectmen this week denied a request to remove more trees to accommodate construction of the new West Tisbury library and adjacent parking lot. Building committee chairman Linda Hearn told the selectmen Wednesday that her group recently learned from NStar that the company needs to build an underground electrical vault near the road. Three additional trees need to be removed to make way for the vault, Mrs. Hearn said. “I have to say I find this totally unacceptable. We went through an agonizing process,” selectman and board chairman Richard Knabel said.

New Effort Aims to Restore Once Prevalent Atlantic White Cedars

Tucked among the red cedars, black oaks and white oaks at Cedar Tree Neck Sanctuary stand six Atlantic white cedars, barely two feet tall.

Last year Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation planted 12 of these cedars at the sanctuary as part of a restoration project; the tree is said to be native to the Vineyard, according to executive director Adam Moore.

At Least Two Trees Will Fall for West Tisbury Library Restoration

As ground breaking nears for construction of the new West Tisbury library, the town selectmen this week reviewed a tree-cutting plan to accommodate the larger design.

Library Tree Cutting Request Weights Heavily on Selectmen

A plan to cut down 11 trees, some more than half a century old, to make way for the new West Tisbury Library, came under close inspection by the town selectmen, tree warden and others this week.

Request to Remove Library Trees Catches Selectmen Off-Guard

West Tisbury library trustees asked the town selectmen this week for permission to cut down nearly 10 trees to make way for construction of the new library late this fall. The library also needs the money to take the trees down.On Wednesday trustee Linda Hearn asked the selectmen to put an article on the Nov. 13 special town meeting warrant asking for $6,000 for the tree removal. There are four large trees adjacent to the parking lot, two at the rear of Howes House, several small trees around the property and a large maple at the entrance to the parking lot, which Polly Hill Arboretum executive director Tim Boland called “diseased and dangerous,” according to Mrs. Hearn.

In Polly's Garden: White Oaks, Noble Among the Breed

I noticed the oaks right away. My first visit to the Vineyard was in spring 2002 when the abundant oak trees were raining down yellow pollen. Later, after moving to the Island while my daughter was playing at the West Tisbury School playground, I wandered off into the woods to look at the trees. I was gleeful to discover five oak species, including Quercus alba, the white oak. A young mother asked why I was so excited. After I explained my love affair with oaks, and my new position at the arboretum, she gave me some input: “I hate oaks; they’re everywhere.

Island Spruce Trees Suffer Severe Damage

An insect species never before recorded on Martha's Vineyard has attacked spruce trees Islandwide, damaging many and even killing a few, say area scientists and tree experts.

The pest was identified this month as a Spruce aphid (elatobium abietinum) by a cooperative effort of scientists at the University of Massachusetts.

Garden Club Learns of Tough Trees That Survive Strong Winds

After thirty years serving the Heritage Museums & Gardens in Sandwich on Cape Cod, horticulturist Jeanne Gillis said she still loves to work with people and plants.

Speaking before the Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club at its October meeting, Ms. Gillis presented more than thirty colorful slides in a talk titled Flowering Plants for the Landscape.

Many of the plants featured in her talk are strong and able to survive high winds.

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