The Parks

    Audubon Park is fortunate to have five small parks:  two are smaller triangles (Robin and Triangle) and three are larger rectangular areas (Henderson, Oriole and Curlew).  Each has a special purpose and history.  Henderson Park is named for the first mayor, and is where the Dogwood festival is kicked off each year.  Curlew Park is the most naturalized, bordering on a watershed area across Cardinal Drive.

    Each year the Forest Board does a walk-through review of trees in the Park, and formulates a plan for maintenance. Tasks are assigned to the level of Forest Board Volunteers, to the City (mainly removal of small dying trees) and to a Certified Arborist (like preventative treatment of ashes).  Hazard trees are also identified for City attention and budgeting.  

    Each year the Garden Club raises money to support maintenance and planting in the Parks.  A great deal of restoration tree maintenance work was first done by such stalwart members of the
Forest Board as Tom Wade and Leah Netherland.  More recently, the Forest Board has hosted maintenance days that concentrate on one park at a time.  This year we'll be doing 1/2 days on Saturday mornings once a month on a fixed schedule (second Saturdays), hoping to lure more volunteers to learn pruning and enjoy "public gardening" together.  There are 99 dogwoods to trim and repair!  (Not every tree is done every year.)

    The Garden Club also works with the City Memorial Tree Bench and Tree Program, which has added lovely benches to all of the parks, as well as planted Memorial trees in several parks.

    Recently, the Forest Board has set several projects -- for Curlew, a Rain Garden to minimize flooding and standing water was established in 2010.  For 2011, Henderson Park is undergoing initial renovation.  This fall Certified Arborists did a major repair to the Dawn Redwood damaged in the storm and completed structural pruning to dogwoods and young red oaks.  Site preparation for a major replanting of Dogwoods with disease resistant cultivars was also done and young canopy tree seedlings have been planted   So
me of the new dogwoods will be planted to celebrate Arbor Day, in conjunction with the Dogwood festival on the third Saturday of April, 2012.

The Park Inventory

A preliminary inventory of the Parks shows 277 trees, of which 36% are
dogwoods.  Most of these dogwoods are the native C. floridas, which are susceptible to anthracnose and powdery mildew. 

We were fortunate to have careful records compiled by Ethelyn Maxwell in 1993 and updated through 2000, which showed the original trees present in 1993, and the plantings in each Park.  Mortality has been about the same as in the easements:  25% overall.  Like the rest of Audubon Park, there are a large number of ashes, twenty-seven total, of which only 10 were judged sufficiently healthy to treat against Emerald Ash Borer.  The first treatment was done in 2010 and will be repeated every three years.

Joe Clayton from Arbor Worx treats five of the ashes in Curlew Park.   The trees were treated with Emamectin benzoate, which is highly effective for two to three years.

We will put in a page about Emerald Ash Borer, but also plan to systematically access trees this summer. Go to links  at Purdue and UKY Extension Service.

This summer the Park inventory will be extended with an Eco-Inventory, which characterizes trees much more completely, by measuring not only diameter, but height, and crown dimensions, and leaf health.  There is also a pest & disease evaluation that can be done.   The tree measurements will help us quantify and analyze the pollution and storm water ecological benefits from our Park trees.  If you have an interest in ecology or data management, contact Anne Bobigian, at, to join this project.

Dogwoods bring us Spring Bloom, but they also enchant us in the Fall.
Betty Weise, Chair of the Forest Board,  setting up an Ooze tube for a seedling Yellow Buckeye in Curlew Park.

We will try to assess the severity of Dogwood anthracnose this year, and begin to evaluate the new  disease resistant selections, like the Appalachian Spring and Appalachian Joy cultivars,  in our Parks, starting with Henderson. 

We also recognize that pure Cornus florida dogwoods don't do well in certain areas, like in Triangle Park, and will look for other early spring flowering trees that complement the Dogwood festival bloom.

Anne Bobigian,
Jan 30, 2012, 11:29 PM
Anne Bobigian,
Jan 30, 2012, 10:50 PM
Anne Bobigian,
Jan 30, 2012, 11:39 PM