Page 15 - 2017 Preservation Society Summer Gazette
P. 15

Dan Christina and Eugene Platt plant beech trees at Green Animals
Next Generation of Beech Trees Awaits at Green Animals
by Andrea Carneiro, Communications Manager
This spring, the Preservation Society made an investment in the future of its iconic landscapes by establishing a beech tree nursery on the grounds of Green Animals Topiary Garden in Portsmouth.
Magnificent beech trees imported from Europe in the late 19th century dominate the grounds of many of Newport's historic properties. But those trees have begun reaching the end of their natural lives, and many significant trees have been lost in recent years.
The Preservation Society has maintained a tree nursery for many years at The Breakers greenhouse, where it grows a variety of trees including beeches and rare Turkish oaks. But to ensure a sufficient supply for years into the future, Gardens & Grounds Director Jeff Curtis has added a second nursery, devoted strictly to beeches, on
a piece of land adjacent to the vegetable garden at Green Animals. There they'll have plenty of room to grow. More than two dozen beeches, of four different varieties, were purchased from growers in Oregon. The 3-4 year old trees will be nurtured until they are mature
enough to be used as replacements for older trees that are lost to age, disease or storms. It will be at least five years before any of the new trees are transplanted.
"Our mission is not simply to preserve bricks and mortar, but landscapes and social history too," said Trudy Coxe, CEO & Executive Director of the Preservation Society. "Our goal is to keep the gardens and grounds of the Newport Mansions looking as much as possible, allowing for the passage of time, the way they were envisioned by the original landscapers and gardeners."
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