By Pat Kerl
It is a beautiful time of year at the Nannen Arboretum as the trees go through their spectacular color change. As you walk through the arboretum, take note of these especially colorful trees.

  • Approximately 20 tall red oak trees surround the Northrup Nature Hall. The seven to eleven lobed, lustrous dark leaves change to russet-red and red in the fall.
  • Two deciduous conifers stand side by side just outside the Northrup Nature Hall:
    • Dawn Redwood whose ½ inch bright green needles turn orange to reddish brown in the fall;
    • Bald cypress whose rich green needles turn rusty orange to brown in fall.
  • A Yellow Buckeye stands between the Northrup Nature Hall and the Chapman Nature Sanctuary. The dark green leaves composed of five 4 – 6 inch leaflets turn yellow to pumpkin orange in the fall.
  • A Bottlebrush Buckeye has dark green leaves composed of five to seven 3 – 9 inch long leaflets that turn a rich butter yellow.
  • Several European Beech trees appear throughout the arboretum. Their lustrous dark green, 2 – 4 inch leaves, hold late in fall before developing the rich russet and golden brown colors.

As you are viewing the foliage, be sure to see the path recently uncovered and restored at the far end of the arboretum. This winding path connects the far end of the asphalt walkway to a circular stone patio near the rear entrance to the arboretum. The path was covered by sod but detected by Paul Kingston who began uncovering it to see where it led. In early September, we had the work crew from Collins Correctional dig up the stones in the entire path, put down a gravel base, replace the stones and then fill the space between the stones with crushed limestone to keep the stones in place. The crew also cleaned the sod off the stone patio area. It is our understanding that the stones came from John Ploetz’ silo and were used to construct the path and circular patio as part of the original arboretum in the 1970s. What a lovely surprise to ‘unearth’ this interesting feature of the arboretum!

The Collins Correctional work crew also cleaned out the ditches, replaced the footer for the lower Herb Garden foot bridge, and removed pruned branches. We anticipate having additional work days from them in October.

We want to thank everyone who attended the Wednesdays in the Arboretum series making it a very successful program again this year. We averaged between 20+ attendees per session and had many repeat participants.

Organizational changes are also taking place not that the arboretum is owned by the Town of Ellicottville not the Cornell Cooperative Extension,

  • The Town intends to designate the Nannen Arboretum as a Park safeguarding the arboretum property from any future change in ownership. It will probably be a Village Park allowing the arboretum to benefit from Village staff and services.
  • The current Arboretum Committee has become the “Nannen Arboretum Society” operating independently of the Town and continuing to manage the arboretum to the benefit of the community. The society will be established as a non-profit.comanization with a Steering Committee comprised of a town board member, a village board member and an Arboretum Society member.
  • The arboretum will continue to be funded by donations and grants.
    • Donations from individuals, businesses,.comanizations and government units are essential for on-going maintenance.
    • Establishing the non-profit status is a top priority to ensure continued funding for the arboretum. The Town lawyer is assisting the society in applying for the non-profit status. The society has appointed a Board of Directors and drafted a set of By-Laws, both needed to obtain non-profit status.
    • The CCE Board and the Town Board will work out the details of transferring any current arboretum funds held by CCE to the new society.
  • The Village has taken over mowing and plowing; the Town plans to repave the parking lot; maintenance tasks beyond the society’s capability are decided on a case-by-case basis. The Arboretum Society is still able to use the services of the Collins Correctional work crew and BOCES arborist students. Ellicottville Landscaping also donated a work day earlier this year.
  • Weddings in the arboretum will be handled by the Town with expectations that the improvements under way to the building will allow for indoor weddings and receptions.

These changes are all positive for the Nannen Arboretum enhancing its role as a non-profit, volunteered based.comanization dedicated to providing home garden and natural resource education as well as an opportunity for nature appreciation and leisure. Be sure and visit us this fall.