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A Note About Trees

A few quick notes on some plant-related matters (our favorite kind of matters!)…

tree-plantingA New Tree for the Playground
Earlier this month, we had the privilege of working with Memphis City Beautiful and Del-Nat Tire Corporation to plant a beautiful new sugar maple just outside Rainbow Lake Playground. It’s part of Del-Nat’s “Tires for Trees” program, in which Del-Nat employees, their families, and friends collected 832 discarded tires from an abandoned area in South Memphis. For each tire collected, Del-Nat donated a dollar to Memphis City Beautiful for the purchase of trees.

The first tree to be planted in Memphis as a result of the program now sits outside Rainbow Lake Playground near The Big Green Mound. Del-Nat also donated the 14-foot-tall tree to the park.  Jim Mayfield, president of Del-Nat, says the Tires for Trees program is a double bonus for the community. “You could say we’re completing the cycle, from delivering new tires to properly disposing of used ones. We’re pleased with what has been accomplished thus far and plan to build on what we’ve started.”

We’re honored to have been chosen as the first location for this incredible program. Thanks so much to City Beautiful and Del-Nat for investing in the community and the park!

Bike plaza area at Overton Park
Some vegetation will be removed from the area on the left of this image.

The Bike Plaza
The Bike Gate project is officially underway at East Parkway and Sam Cooper. (You can read the latest news here.) As part of the project, we’ll be clearing a small amount of understory plants right at the intersection (to the right of where the large Overton Park sign had been located). These plants are brush and undergrowth that have grown in as volunteer plants over the last 15 years.

The area where these plants are located was cleared years ago to make way for the extension of I-40 into the Old Forest that never happened. The City continued to mow the area up until about 15 years ago, at which point the plants started to return. These are plants that will grow almost anywhere–grapevines and green-brier vines, for example, which are found throughout the Old Forest. To make sure that we weren’t removing any plants from within the State Natural Area boundaries, we worked with a surveyor over the past few weeks, who confirmed that the plaza area falls outside the borders.

Any trees larger than 3 inches in diameter will remain. We will be removing five small tulip poplars that have been hiding amongst the vines. We had considered transplanting them, but they would have been unlikely to survive the move, so instead we’ll be planting new trees to replace them–well more than five trees, so we make sure that we’re creating a surplus!

Fall Foliage
Last but not least, this is one of our favorite times of year to be out in the park, enjoying the rich palette of colors that fall brings to the trees. If you haven’t taken a walk in the woods lately…treat yourself!

Fall in the Old Forest State Natural Area