September 2016 monthly gathering highlights

People standing outside among trees

Mike Walsh (in the back with a white shirt) on Saturday with attendees

September 7 and 10, 2016
Our monthly gatherings were on September 7 and 10 at Forest ReLeaf’s nursery, CommuniTree Gardens. Marsha Gebhardt welcomed 21 members and two guests on Wednesday evening and 17 members and three guests on Saturday morning.

Informative tours of the nursery were given by Tom Ebeling, who works in CommuniTree’s community outreach, and Forestry Programs Director Mike Walsh.

Forest ReLeaf of Missouri operates the only non-profit community-assisted tree nursery in the region. Since its inception in 1993, more than 150,000 trees have been planted throughout Missouri and Illinois.

The nursery grows 25,000 trees within six fenced acres. Trees for publicly owned or non-profit owned land are available by application beginning in September. Application information and species list

The tour included discussion about the three- and 15-gallon tree programs including the very efficient irrigation system used for the 15-gallon potted trees.

Forest ReLeaf Communitree Nursery

Part of the five-acre nursery, CommuniTree Gardens

The three-gallon trees are started as bare root from the George O. White State Nursery.

The 15-gallon trees are reserved for financially underserved or areas hit by natural disaster. Seven thousand trees have gone to Joplin, MO since the 2011 hurricane.

An arboretum of canopy and understory tree species is planted on the property. Species that can be confused with others are planted close together for comparison. For example, northern red oak (Quercus rubra), shumard oak (Quercus shumardii), and scarlet oak (Quercus coccinea) are planted in a grouping. Four species of native sumac are grouped together. They are fragrant sumac (Rhus aromatica), smooth sumac (Rhus glabra), staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina), and winged sumac (Rhus copallina).

Other highlights of the tour were a rain garden of 60 native plant species, a greenhouse where native forbs are grown, and a hoop house in which trees are protected during winter.

Woman standing in front of a seated group

Marsha Gebhardt, President of Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter, leading the Wednesday night gathering

Marsha introduced two new members of our chapter board of directors: Sue Leahy and James Faupel. Learn more about them

Plant Give-aways
Susan Burk generously offered several flats of marsh milkweed (Asclepias incarnata) and miscellaneous other seedlings that she started from seed.

Upcoming Events
Native Plant Expo and Sale – September 24
St. Louis Audubon’s Bring Conservation Home program will sponsor a plant swap and sale on September 24, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at Schlafly Bottleworks in Maplewood, MO. Wild Ones will host an information table.

Mallard Lake Projects – October 1 and 22, November 4
Mallard Lake is located in Creve Coeur Lake Park, south of Page Avenue and east of Creve Coeur Mill Road. A partnership has been formed between St. Louis Audubon’s Bring Conservation Home, Wild Ones-St. Louis Chapter, St. Louis County Parks and Recreation, Missouri Department of Conservation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Forest ReLeaf of Missouri, and St. Louis Art Works (which is doing the signage). The project includes installation of prairie, woodland, and demonstration native gardens at Creve Coeur Lake Park. We encourage our members to help at the following events:

  • October 1 – Planting of two pollinator/home demonstration gardens: One of the gardens was designed by our own Jeanne Cablish, landscape designer.
  • October 22 – Tree planting
  • November 4 – Honeysuckle removal
Man with arms outstretched and other people

Tom Ebling on Wednesday night

All projects begin at 9:00 a.m. and are half-day. Registration starts at 8:30 a.m.
More details are posted as a blog on our website.

Next Gathering
Saturday, October 8, 10:30 a.m.

Yard tour and potluck lunch in Golden Eagle, Illinois in Calhoun County at the home of Prem Barton. This is a joint event with members of Wild Ones – Southwest Illinois Chapter.

Carpooling is essential due to shortage of parking at the Golden Eagle Ferry.

More details about carpooling and the potluck lunch will be emailed to members. For details and directions

Recorded by: Fran Glass, Secretary
Photos by: Dawn Weber, Member-at-Large

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