Friends of Greenlawn Cemetery

Guide to planting your Arbor Day Foundation tree seedling

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If you visited our table at the Salem Arts Festival on Saturday, June 8th, 2019 and you were the lucky recipient of a tree seedling, then you’re in the right place.  This post contains important planting and care instructions for your baby Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera) or Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea).

Shameless plug here for Greenlawn’s Tree Inventory Map but I promise it’s relevant – if you’d like to see what these seedlings have the potential to grow up to be, come by the cemetery to check out mature specimens of Tuliptree and Scarlet Oak.  Use the map to find each tree’s location within the cemetery.

Tree Planting & Care Guide

This information pertains to both species of trees given out at the festival.

The seedling you have received came from the Arbor Day Foundation and so their instructions for planting and care are what is recommended and linked to below.  Also, both tree species offered as seedlings are native to Massachusetts and other selected areas of New England and as such should fare well if planted locally.

Comprehensive Tree Planting & Care Guide – this link provides all the information you will need to know in order to plant your seedling and help it to grow strong and tall in the years to come; Arbor Day Foundation also provides video instruction on how to care for your seedling; feel free to click around and learn as there’s a ton of information here that will help you and your tree on your new journey together.

Bare root planting guide – the seedlings you received are what is known as “bare root trees” meaning that instead of being in soil with a root system balled up into a burlap sack or a container, the roots are free and simply dipped into a hydrating gel that keeps the roots moist until planting; the main planting & care guide provides all sorts of information for all three types of prepared seedlings/saplings but this link is specifically for the seedlings you received from us at the Salem Arts Festival.  If you are in need of an easily printable version of the planting guide for bare root trees, Arbor Day Foundation provides a downloadable PDF copy – they link to it at the top of their bare root planting guide page.

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Tuliptree leaf in waning autumn colors with a bit of the parent tree’s bark in the right background; photo taken in late October 2013

Tuliptree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Here’s some more information about Tuliptrees from the Arbor Day Foundation and a few other handy plant databases.

Arbor Day Foundation’s nursery listing for Tuliptree – this link provides some basic information about Tuliptrees.

Go Botany’s listing for Tuliptree – this website is actually a database project headed up by the Native Plant Trust (formerly known as the New England Wildflower Society) with support from the National Science Foundation; Go Botany’s main site is also an excellent resource for information on native and naturalized trees (and other plants) growing within the six New England states (MA, ME, NH, CT, RI, VT); plenty of photos with each species listing to oogle at and use to help identify unknown specimens.

Virginia Tech’s Dendrology Fact Sheet for Tuliptree – this is a direct link to the fact sheet for Tuliptree; the parent site offers a lot of useful information on trees with a fact sheet database for over 450 different tree species as well as a handy tree ID app for Android and iOS.

USDA’s PLANTS Database page on Tuliptree – this is the listing in the national database run by the US Dept. of Agriculture; each species listing page also provides downloadable fact sheets in PDF form for that species, as well as photos, conservation status, maps, and information on how it benefits local wildlife.

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The rich autumnal coloring of the aptly named Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea); photo taken in late October 2013

Scarlet Oak (Quercus coccinea)

Here’s some more information about Scarlet Oaks from the Arbor Day Foundation and a few other handy plant databases.  Databases below are the same as ones mentioned above, only this time the links bring you directly to the Scarlet Oak listings (and not the listings for Tuliptrees).

Arbor Day Foundation’s nursery listing for Scarlet Oak – this link provides some basic information about Scarlet Oaks.

Go Botany’s listing for Scarlet Oak – here’s Go Botany’s database listing for Scarlet Oaks

Virginia Tech’s Dendrology Fact Sheet for Scarlet Oak – this is a direct link to VT’s fact sheet for Scarlet Oak.

USDA’s PLANTS Database page on Scarlet Oak – USDA’s database listing for Scarlet Oak.

 

Exciting news you won’t be-leaf – a special collaboration fir the trees!

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Signage on a Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum) located next to the office building near Greenlawn Cemetery’s Orne St entrance

Oak-kay, we’ve got some tree-mendous news to share that yew just wood-n’t be-leaf!

Did you know that one of Greenlawn Cemetery’s coolest treasures are its trees?

That’s right.  This urban gem is home to hundreds of trees of all sorts of species, ranging from the common native and naturalized trees you can see just about everywhere locally to the non-native and exotic trees that originally hail from lands far beyond our shores.  A leisurely stroll around Sargent Pond will take you beneath the outstretched branches of the Korean Mountain-ash (Sorbus alnifolia), native to northern and eastern China, Japan, and the Korean peninsula.  Continue walking and just before you pass beneath another Korean Mountain-ash, you will encounter the Common Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), a tree native to the eastern, mid-western, and southeastern US but whose native range stops just short of Massachusetts, reaching only into Connecticut.  Continue  walking around Greenlawn Cemetery and you will notice some Massachusetts natives like the Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), Northern Red Oak (Quercus rubrum), Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus), and the increasingly rare Northern White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis).  As you can imagine, the vast collection of species and specimens growing within the cemetery have already made Greenlawn an arboretum.

Now for the cool news – back in March, the City of Salem’s Cemetery Commission gave the green light for a collaboration between Salem State University, the City of Salem, and the Friends of Greenlawn to seek accreditation for Greenlawn Cemetery as a Level I arboretum through ArbNet‘s Arboretum Accreditation Program.  ArbNet is a global network of tree-focused folks that offers the only international accreditation program specifically focused on woody plants, ie., trees.  Any arboretum and public space with a substantial focus on these plants can apply for accreditation at a level that suits them.  There are are four levels in total, each recognizing arboretums at various stages of development and achievement.  Here in Massachusetts we have less than 15 arboretums of any level – it would be an honor to have Greenlawn listed among the few and to have the cemetery’s tree collection be recognized formally.  This recognition would also be helpful in obtaining grants and other funding for the continued restoration and preservation efforts within the cemetery.  It would also provide educational opportunities and a means for the community to become more involved.

If you would like to be involved in the arboretum collaboration, please use our contact form here to find out more information on how to get in contact with the Salem State University staff heading up this effort.

Our Spring event is a celebration 125 years in the making!

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Please join us in celebrating the 125th anniversary of the day Mr. Walter Scott Dickson gifted the beautiful High Victorian Gothic stone chapel and attached conservatory to the City of Salem in memory of his wife, Georgia.  This event is free and open to the public, so, please – bring a friend!  (Or two, or three…)

We will be highlighting the story of Mr. Dickson as well as delving into the history of the Dickson Memorial Chapel and Conservatory.  If you’ve never heard the story before of how a loving husband envisioned and brought to life an eternal showing of his love for his bride, Georgia, then please come!  The Chapel will be open from 10:00AM through 1:00PM for viewing with the speakers beginning at 10:30AM.

We will have some items for sale to aid in our fundraising efforts toward the restoration of the Dickson Memorial Chapel and Conservatory.  There will be two oil paintings featuring scenes from within the cemetery available, as well as historic postcards, nature photo cards, DVDs from past tours, t-shirts (long and short sleeve), ball caps, and more for sale and/or silent auction.  General photos of these items can be seen at our Items for Sale link (also accessible from the link at the top of our home page).

New Year, New Updates

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Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides), one of several growing in Greenlawn Cemetery.  Native to China, this deciduous conifer species is known as a “living fossil” — it is the only species in its genus that is not extinct.

Happy New Year from the Friends of Greenlawn!

Being a new year, it means that we have a few new updates.  The first update concerns where our monthly meetings happen.  At the end of 2018, Salem celebrated the opening of their brand new senior center, the Mayor Jean A. Levesque Community Life Center, located at 401 Bridge St.  This means that we will *no longer* be meeting at the old Council on Aging on Broad St — our monthly meetings will now be held at the new Bridge St senior center.  We still meet on the last Tuesday of the month at 6:30 PM.  Please note – only the *location* has changed.

Another wonderful update that we have for you concerns our tree map.  (Did you know we have a map highlighting many of the wonderful trees within Greenlawn?  Well, we do!)  A few years back, the kind folks at Mass in Motion with the help of Charlie Lipson created a map showcasing Greenlawn’s trees.  Trees located on the map have labels on the trees themselves, providing an opportunity to learn about and view the many different species located within the cemetery.  The original map was amazing but its popularity had grown beyond it’s capacity and with many thanks to John Pelletier, the map has been updated and is now located at a new site, linked below:

Greenlawn Cemetery Tree Map

The link to the tree map will also be included soon on a tab at the top of the website so it will be easier to access it without having to scroll through past posts.  An update will be posted here to highlight the addition once complete.  In the meantime, feel free to explore our new tree map and to come on by the cemetery and see if you can locate some of the trees shown on the map.  As a reminder, Greenlawn is first and foremost a cemetery, so we just ask that folks respect it as such.  The trees will be awaiting your visit…  🙂

 

 

Our History & Nature Scavenger Hunt is just days away!

The Friends of Greenlawn Fall Event

 

This year’s fall event is a free family friendly History & Nature Scavenger Hunt featuring all things Greenlawn where folks can learn about the history of the cemetery and those connected to it as well as the natural elements of this unexpected sanctuary from all things urban and developed.  This event runs from 10:00AM until 1:00PM and the Dickson Memorial Chapel and adjacent Conservatory Garden will be open for viewing and mingling during that time.  There will also be a free raffle to enter for prizes.  Parking is available along Orne St for easy access to the Orne St gate – from there, the Chapel is just to the left and behind the main office building (brick building just inside the gate).

Feel free to bring yourself, your family, your friends – we look forward to seeing you there!  If you have any questions, please contact us here.

Conservatory Garden is ready for Fall

Summer gardens might be winding down but thanks to the kindness of friends last Saturday, the Dickson Memorial Chapel Conservatory Garden is just putting on its autumn glory!

Here’s a before and after shot to highlight what a difference a few hands made last Saturday:

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The Conservatory Garden before

 

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…and after the love.

 

It truly is amazing how just a bit of weeding, pruning, and laying down some fresh mulch can really revitalize a garden.  I wonder if Mrs. Dickson would be pleased to see how lovely her garden looks!

 

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Dave and Denise lay down new mulch

 

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Grant Wood had his “American Gothic” – we bring you “Dickson Gothic”

 

The Friends of Greenlawn would like to thank Denise and Dave for joining Christine last weekend and lending their hands to the tending of the garden that Mr. Dickson so lovingly created for his wife, Mrs. Dickson.  Thank you to the fairy weeder who magically appeared in secret the day before mulch was laid.  We also cannot forget to thank Sean McCrea and his team for supplying the mulch and for everything else they do for Greenlawn Cemetery.

Conservatory Garden Beautification

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The Friends of Greenlawn will be gathering next Saturday at the Dickson Memorial Chapel so we can shower some love on the Conservatory Garden in anticipation for our upcoming fall event.  Please join us for some weed pulling and garden cleanup -the date is September 15, 2018 and we’ll be there from 9:00AM to 12:00PM.  We will provide water, some gardening tools, and leaf bags for the weeds.

 

What DO those FOG people do?

Have you ever wondered what goes on “behind the scenes” with the Friends of Greenlawn?  Curious about what we do?  Curious about how you can come “do” with us?  🙂

Let it be a mystery no more and come join us!  We’re not exclusive – we’d love for you to come on down and join us for our monthly meetings.  We generally meet the last Tuesday of the month unless otherwise noted, at 6:30 PM, in Salem, MA.

In fact, what are you doing tomorrow night (Tuesday, August 28th)?  We’re having our August meeting at 6:30 PM at the Salem Council on Aging located at 5 Broad St in Salem.  Come help us plan our September scavenger hunt!  It’s going to be great!

Save the date – Fall event!

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Another successful event

 

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Our Spring tour, “Artists, Authors, and Poets”, was a success!  It was so great to see the number of folks who turned up to show and share their love and appreciation for this beautiful space in the midst of urban Salem.

A big thanks to our tour leaders, Charlie and Polly, who always make each walk through Greenlawn feel like a refreshingly new experience as there is so much to learn and see and their knowledge is vast.

If you weren’t able to make it to the tour, don’t fret!  There is a self tour available until otherwise notified – maps can be found in front of the Dickson Memorial Chapel.  Each map contains a number or letter designation that corresponds to a marker placed at the site and you can read all about Greenlawn’s artists, authors, and poets!