- A place where an extensive variety of woody plants are cultivated for
scientific, educational and ornamental purposes.
The arboretum consists of over 100 native trees and shrubs, arranged around the
circumference of the prairie.
The trees and shrubs were initially selected on the basis of being native to
the local area, but this was extended to include specimens of many of the
Carolinian species which are native to areas of south west Ontario, extending
into the states of North and South Carolina. Many of these species are rare or
endangered in Ontario, but with climate change may be able to extend their
range further into southern Ontario.
Going clockwise from the entrance, there are several rows of common conifers,
such as white pine, spruce, hemlock and tamarack. In the north-west corner
there is a relatively damp and shady area for some understorey trees. The
north row includes varieties of plum and several species of oak. Heading
south, the path winds along the brim of a woodlot with good views to the
north and east. Here are butternut, walnut, and maple trees. The south border
consists of a range of smaller trees such as redbud, and a variety of shrubs,
such as native raspberries.
Many of the trees are currently relatively young (about five years old)
and small (under six feet), but they are growing rapidly. Purchasing smaller
trees is not only economical, but ensures that they develop a good root system
and adapt to the local environment at an early age.
Walk in the Woods
To see trees in a more natural setting, explore the semi-circular path leading
off into the woods from the east side of the arboretum. Features include a
rustic bridge over a seasonal stream, signs of past agricultural use such as
scarps of fence and piles of stones, and old apple trees. Some mature oak
trees with many horizontal branches show that this area was formerly open