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The Great Oak Park Arboretum: The A-B-C's of the Trees

Great Oak Park has a special botanical secret, but A-B-C is a clue.

I suspect that very few people in town know that Great Oak Park has a special and wonderful botanical secret. The giant oak tree that is it's namesake is obviously it's most prominent feature. But did you know that all of the other trees in the park are a botanical alphabet? Every living thing on earth has a scientific name made-up of two parts; the Genus and the species. So, the great oak tree is known as Quercus (the Genus) rubra (the species), or Red oak. At Great Oak Park, all of the plantings were designed by our township Landscape Architect, Steve Gottlieb, to span the alphabet.  There are maples (Acer), birches (Betula), dogwoods (Cornus), holly (Ilex),  sweet gum (Liquidambar), Basswood (Tilia) and all the way to Zelkova. At one point each tree was marked with an identifying tag, but through time those have mostly been lost. Hopefully in the near future the signs can be replaced and we can all share in the joy of trying to find each plant in the alphabet. In the meantime, even without a name tag, the plantings are really cool and encompass a myriad of shapes and colors and forms just waiting to be explored.   

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Dave Moskowitz June 16, 2011 at 07:34 PM
Hi Theresa...not yet, but its coming soon!
Leah frederick June 20, 2011 at 10:07 AM
We are gonna climb that bad boy tonight!! with flip flops! nooo just j/k. Love the picture.
Friends of the EB Environmental Commission June 21, 2011 at 02:01 PM
I would expect nothing less in terms of foot wear. Have fun and be careful and please share a photo after the adventure!
ScoutMomTimesThree October 03, 2011 at 05:38 AM
The tree ID plates were installed today by a local Boy Scout for his Eagle Project and the park map with the locations of the trees is coming to the kiosk soon! :-)
ScoutMomTimesThree October 03, 2011 at 05:39 AM
The tree ID's are there now and the map is coming soon!

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