When you plant a tree, it’s always hard to imagine how tall the tree will be when grown. This is especially important if you’re planting a tree at the road where utility lines will be an issue. For Lynchburg growers, there’s a resource that many don’t know exists. The tree arboretum is located beside Appalachian Electric Power on Mayflower Drive. It was planted as part of the Virginia Department of Forestry’s Municipal Tree Restoration Program.
The program was begun in 2002 to help increase awareness of tree and utility line conflicts among the general public and developers. There are tree arboreta located in various locations throughout Virginia. The most well known is the Hahn Horticulture Garden at Virginia Tech. Lynchburg’s tree arboretum was established in 2005 and contains approximately 50 trees. Many are spring blooming trees and all are trees that grow well in urban environments.
All of the trees and large shrubs planted in Lynchburg’s arboretum have signs with the name of the tree and date planted. Included in the varieties are cherry trees, plums, dogwoods, redbuds, crabapples, magnolias, hollies, and other trees and shrubs. Lynchburg’s Look Up Virginia arboretum project was a joint venture of the City of Lynchburg, the Lynchburg Area Tree Stewards, the Virginia Cooperative Extension, Appalachian Power, Virginia Tech, the Virginia Department of Forestry, and Scenic Virginia.
The Forestry’s website, www.dof.virginia.gov, has a complete listing of both native to Virginia trees and non-native trees that are compatible for planting under or near utility lines. This listing is a good starting point for local gardeners and homeowners who want to plant a tree. A visit to the tree arboretum will give you a better idea of what the tree will look like in a few years.
The unseasonably warm winter has caused some of the trees in the arboretum to start blooming including the royal star magnollia. Visitors to the arboretum can park in the Appalachian Electric Power lot and walk to see the trees. Be sure to bring a pencil and paper or camera to note the trees you might want to plant in your yard when you visit. A walk through the trees shows that most were planted in 2007 and 2008.