Spring/Summer 2014 News

In June, thirty-three diseased White Pines and invasive Norway Maples were removed on the Western side of the meadow area, opening up more area to plant specimen and memorial trees. A single diseased Mountain Ash was removed from the grounds near the parking lot. At the same time a fallen Black Oak was cut away from the trail up the left side of the meadow after it went over in a wind storm.

A chair for visitors was created out of the stump of a large Norway spruce.

An application has been made for recognizing the Pleasant Hills Arboretum in the world wide, on-line Arb Net as an officially recognized arboretum. Being certified by Arb Net will enable the Pleasant Hills Arboretum to apply to obtain American chestnut trees that have been bred to be resistant to the disease that has wiped out this once ubiquitous tree. Having these American chestnut trees in the Arboretum will allow us to take a part in bringing back this beloved tree and provide opportunities for study and comparison with the introduced Chinese chestnut tree.

At the July 8, 2014, Pleasant Hills Arboretum Board meeting, Gary M. Fujak, Wildlife Conservation Officer for Western Allegheny County, spoke with the members of the board about the problems of over browsing by white tail deer in the Arboretum. He described the Pleasant Hills Arboretum as unique in Allegheny County and deserving protection. Efforts to manage the deer population were discussed and a proposal to create an enclosure within the Arboretum as an educational tool so the public can see what an area would look like if the understory was protected from the over population of deer. Other measures, such as creating a deer protective fence for the entire Arboretum were discussed as a possible solution to this issue.

A Memorial Tree policy is still being crafted by members of a subcommittee of the Pleasant Hills Arboretum. Pam Ferkett, one of the members of the Committee is exploring the memorial tree policies of other arboretums including the Dawes Arboretum, Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanical gardens, Morris Arboretum, Holden Arboretum and many others.

Small flags were placed again around the Veterans Tree (Shingle Oak ) for Memorial Day in May. The Veterans tree, sponsored by the Pleasant Hills Lion's club and planted near the parking lot, is a tribute to members of our armed forces.

On April 26, 2014, four volunteers worked to place wood chips around the new tree plantings and along the main right trail that begins at the parking lot. Volunteers also removed a couple of small dead trees and invasive plants as well as cleaned debris in the parking lot and meadow area. Special thanks to all volunteers for making our Arboretum inviting to all of our guests. Please consider joining us for future volunteer days and individual volunteer projects.