From the Director's Desk: Grant Assists Buckleya Collection

By Fred Breglia

Grant funds have always played a major role in the projects we accom­plish at Lan­dis. From con­certs to ren­o­va­tions, trail work to inter­pre­tive sig­nage, award­ed grants have allowed us to keep our col­lec­tions and grounds thriv­ing. In late 2019, we final­ized the details of a grant award from the Schoharie Coun­ty Soil and Water Con­ser­va­tion Dis­trict. These funds enable us to revi­tal­ize our rare and unique Buck­leya col­lec­tion and to remove inva­sive plant species from our wild­flower and pol­li­na­tor meadows.

Buckleya distichophylla,'Pirate Bush'
Buck­leya distichophylla,‘Pirate Bush’

Buck­leya dis­ti­chophyl­la, com­mon­ly called pirate­bush,” is threat­ened or endan­gered in its native range, which includes Ten­nessee, Vir­ginia, and North Car­oli­na. This plant is thriv­ing at Lan­dis, and botanists con­sid­er our col­lec­tion as one of the best pre­served. Buy­ck­leya is unusu­al in that it is a hemi­par­a­sitic plant, mean­ing that it attach­es to the root sys­tems of oth­er (host) plants with struc­tures called haus­to­ria and draws nutri­ents through them. Host plants for the pirate­bush at Lan­dis include east­ern hem­lock, pine, and larch trees.

The Soil and Water grant allowed us to remove inva­sive plants that have been steadi­ly encroach­ing our Buck­leya Col­lec­tion. These include Lonicera tatar­i­ca (Tatar­i­an hon­ey­suck­le), and Rham­nus cathar­ti­ca (com­mon buck­thorn), both list­ed on the NYS inva­sive species list. L. tatar­i­ca is a peren­ni­al shrub that forms a very dense pop­u­la­tion which out­com­petes and sup­press­es native plants. R. cathar­ti­ca is a small decid­u­ous tree form­ing thick hedges with long branch­es that crowd and shade out native shrub and herba­ceous plants. The restora­tion involved Lan­dis’ grounds man Rus­sell Glass remov­ing those inva­sive spec­i­mens one by one, care­ful­ly work­ing with hand tools in order to avoid dam­ag­ing the Buck­leya. The fund­ing also made it pos­si­ble to pur­chase a pro­tec­tive fence and inter­pre­tive signs for vis­i­tors.

Anoth­er por­tion of the fund­ing was used to remove and con­tain inva­sive species in our wildlife and pol­li­na­tor mead­ows. We used a brush hog for this, work­ing late in the sea­son to avoid any ani­mals or ground nest­ing birds. The inva­sive species removed includ­ed L. tatar­i­ca, R. cathar­ti­ca, and Robinia pseudoa­ca­cia (black locust). R. pseudoa­ca­cia is native to the south­east­ern U.S., but is con­sid­ered an inva­sive out­side of that range. Once intro­duced, black locust spreads eas­i­ly, shad­ing out oth­er sun lov­ing plants.

In 2020, Lan­dis will con­tin­ue to solic­it funds to keep our grounds and col­lec­tions healthy and habi­tats thriv­ing. Through grant awards, mem­ber­ships, and the ded­i­ca­tion of our trustees, vol­un­teers, and staff, we will uphold our ded­i­ca­tion to pro­vide a native plant diver­si­ty for all to enjoy.

Spring 2020

Volume 38 , Number 1

Share this

The Latest from Landis

Oct 07, 2023 | Nolan Marciniec

The Landis community mourns the loss of Anne Donnelly on October 4, 2023

Anne Donnelly was the first of the many friends I’ve made at the Arboretum and... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Fred Breglia, Executive Director

From the Director’s Desk: Update on the Big Tree Search

Landis Arboretum has successfully kicked off its most recent Big Tree Search, and the tree... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Erin McKenna Breglia

From the Garden: Your Autumn Garden Must Haves!

It’s certainly been a rainy summer, but the rain has helped keep our plants green... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Nolan Marciniec

Landis Portraits: A Series About the People Behind the Plants at the Arboretum - Chuck Mueller

Chuck Mueller Volunteering, Chuck Mueller said, “is something you have to believe in . ... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Nolan Marciniec

Volunteers Celebrate Meeting House Renovation

Shawn Bevins, Jim Paley, Craig Blevins, Fred Breglia, and Peter Bakal On a Sunday afternoon... read more

Oct 01, 2023 | Sam McClary

Apples and Man: A Book Review

Apples and Man, by Fred Lape “Apples and Man,” written by Arboretum founder Fred Lape... read more

News Archive