"To make us love our country, our country ought to be lovely." -- Edmund Burk, Reflections on the French Revolution

About the Lovett Pinetum

Table Mountain Pine -- Pearson Creek

"What does he who plants a tree? He plants, in sap and wood, In love of home and loyalty,
And far-cast thought of civic good."
-- Henry Cuyler Bunner, The Heart of a Tree

The Lovett Pinetum now (as of Spring 1998) occupies three sites. The original site in southwestern Missouri is called the Pearson Creek Unit and the recently started project in Southeast Texas is called the Angelina Unit and the recently acquired land on the western slope of the California Sierra Nevadas is called the Alder Springs Unit. For maps of the Pinetum Units, please go to the maps section.

Pearson Creek Unit

It contains 14 acres all planted in pine trees which vary from 28 year old loblolly and eastern white pines up to 70 feet tall to newly planted experimental species (in areas referred to as the micropinetum, nanopinetum, and microclimatetum). There currently about 40 species and subspecies in situ. Approximately 75 species have been tested at various locations in this pinetum. Presently the great majority of pine species are from North America and it is anticipated that this theme will be continued at the Pearson Creek unit, primarily because of space and hardiness zone (6-a) limitations. (However, species of all conifer genera and from all over the world will be planted in the newly acquired Angelina TX. and Alder Springs CA. units).

The Pearson Creek Unit is located in Greene County Missouri, on the Springfield Plateau and has an elevation of 1350 feet and Koppen Climate type Cfa (C = coldest month average temperature between 27 degrees F and 65 degrees F; f = sufficient precipitation each month; a = warmest month average temperature above 72 degrees F). The Hardiness Zone is 6 (annual average coldest temperature 0 to -10 degrees F). The year round average temperature is 56 degrees F. The average annual precipitation is 40 inches (& is increasing) and is fairly even in distribution (driest month is January and wettest month is May). The average seasonal snowfall is 17 inches. In summer there is 70% of possible sunshine and in winter 50%. The average first frost is 25 October.

This geographic area is generally undulating karst topography and the pinetum itself is in the Pearson Creek Valley T-2 and T-3 terraces and mostly flat with some gentle East facing slopes and very small area of South and North facing slopes.

There are five different soil units in the pinetum, a remarkable diversity considering its area. About 1/3 of the pinetum has a soil unit known as Peridge silt loam, one of the two "best" (in terms of water capacity and drainage) soils in southwest Missouri. This soil goes down to 72" deep with average water capacity of 12.7" and therefor it never completely dries out in normal years, but yet it has from 0.6 to 2.0 inches/hour water permeability. The pH varies from 4.5 to 6.5, organic matter is 1 to 3%, no rocks, 19 to 20% clay in the upper level increasing to 40 to 60% at 72" deep. The other major soil unit is Goss cherty silt loam which is shallower, rockier and has more variable and less water capacity (average is 5.26 inches to 72" depth). Water permeability is 0.6 to 2.0 inches/hour, but some lower areas seem more prone to water-logging than the Peridge soil unit. Also it does tend to dry out during periods of drought and there is normally a short water deficit period the last two weeks of August. The third most prevalent soil unit, called Cedargap silt loam, is along the Danforth Spring branch and Pearson Creek and tends to be intermediate between the first two. The Gasconade unit is very limited and represents the steeper slopes of the Goss type soil. The Wilderness unit is a tiny (fortunately) area of extremely poor "hardpan" soil that has not sustained pine trees.

The major pests and diseases encountered so far at the Pearson Creek unit include bagworm, sawfly larva, pine webworm, roundhead (cerambycid) borers, pinetip moth, aphid, pine needle scale, needlecast (probably Lophodermium), probably tip-blight (Diplodia), red band (Dothistroma, possibly Coleosporum). Control of these has been achieved in some cases with appropriate pesticides and fungicides, although pruning, thinning, hand-picking or passive observation has always been the first resort with use of chemicals only when it seems imperative.

Other pineculture problems encountered include focal chlorosis (treated by soil acidification with granular sulfur) and deer, rabbit and groundhog damage. However these (even the deer) have been very minimal and quite tolerable, at least so far. Icestorms are a major problem, especially for younger trees because the massive weight of the ice bends the trunks of such trees, and often it is necessary to straighten them. Also limb breakage by ice is problematic. Recent recollection suggests a frequency of about one ice storm per two years. The single most common cause of mortality in newly planted species is the coldness and duration of our winters, especially the past few years when we have had significant periods of night-time temperature between -10 and - 20 degrees F (zone 5).

"Established" (defined loosely as several individuals which have been there 4 years or more and currently look O.K.) species and subspecies currently growing at the pinetum include: Pinus - taeda, echinata, palustris, virginiana, rigida, banksiana, resinosa, pungens, serotina, ponderosa ponderosa, ponderosa scopulorum, jeffreyi, washoensis, contorta contorta, contorta latifolia, contorta murrayana, monticola, attenuata, edulis, monophylla, remota, aristata, rudis, strobis, strobiformis ?&/or flexilis reflexa.

A more tentative position (at least one complete growing season or one individual with more than one year survival) is held by: Pinus - sabiniana, cembroides, engelmannii, glabra.

In addition, as are planted every year, there are about 5 to 10 new "longshot" species which would provide a very pleasant surprise if they survived.

Angelina Unit

anglowerpond.JPG (55808 bytes) Angelina Unit Meadow and Lower Pond

angcottage.JPG (86709 bytes) Angelina Propagator's Cottage

In April 1998, the Lovett Pinetum completed the aquisition of a new unit about 3 miles west of Lufkin, in Angelina County, Texas. This 30 acre site has a caretaker's house and is composed of sandy loam soils typical typical of that supporting the great East Texas pine belt. The soils include Keltys fine sandy loam, Kurth fine sandy loam, and Alazan very fine sandy loam. These soil types provide an excellent range of available water capacity in the upper 5 feet of depth (ranging from 6.16" in the Keltys to 8.27" in the Kurth to 9.78" in the Alazan) and vary from moderately well drained (Keltys and Kurth) to somewhat poorly drained (Alazan). All have site indices (expected height growth for Loblolly pine in 50 years) of 90 feet. This unit should provide the pinetum with a fairly full spectrum of the varying degrees of wetness in S.E. Texas soils.

The hardiness zone is 8-b and the site is only about 60 miles north of the border of zone 8 and 9. Annual rainfall is about 50 inches.

In contrast, the Pearson Creek Pinetum Unit in S.W. Missouri is in hardiness zone 6-a and only about 30 miles south of the zone 5/6 border. The Pearson Creek unit has slower draining loam and clay loam soils and annual rainfall af about 40 inches. Both units are in the Koppen Climatic Region Cfa (humid mesothermal, sufficient precipitation each month).

Because of these soil and hardiness zone advantages, it is anticipated that the "Angelina" (the name of this new unit) Unit will support many more species of Pinus than the approximate 40 presently existing at the Pearson Creek Unit. Hopefully there will ultimately be something like 70 species and subspecies (of the approximate total of 125 in the world) of Pinus and many species of other conifer genera at this one site!

The initial development plan of planting many trial conifer species in two experimental areas is now underway (for further information, see files entitled Angelina Experimental Species and Angelina Database).

Alder Springs Unit

In June 1998, the purchase of a 30 acre parcel of land about 50 miles N.E. of Fresno CA. was completed. This site will be known as the Alder Springs Unit because it is adjacent to the south boundry of a summer home community called Alder Springs. It's elevation ranges from 4700' to 4800' and is in the junction of the Transitional and the Canadian (a.k.a. Montane) Life Zones (of C. Hart Merriam).

It had indigenous digger pine, ponderosa pine, sugar pine, and concolor fir. Despite the heavy logging that occured in the Sierras in the early 1900's, there are a few examples of each of these species on this site. Its soil unit is Auberry coarse sandy loam, derived from granitic rocks which form prominent outcroppings in some areas of this unit. Available water capacity to 5 feet depth is 9.72 ", althoughmost of this soil is probably no deeper than 42" to bed rock (avail. water cap. at this thickness would be be 6.84", and less for shallower soil areas). This soil is well drained.

The land is relatively flat and well adapted to planting, once a dense Manzanita cover is removed. It is situated on the dividing point between the San Joaquin River (to the North) and the Kings River (to the South) drainage basins.

The Koppen Climatic Zone is Csa (humid mesothermal with uneven pecipitation distibution), typically called Mediterranean Climate because of the dry summers. The Hardiness Zone is 8b (minimum annual temperature 15 to 20 degrees F). Zone 9 begins a few miles West and 2000' lower elevation. Annual precipitation is around 30".

We believe that the Alder Springs Unit, located as it is in the Transitional/Canadian interface, will support almost all of the Sierra pine species and many other species from mountainous regions of the world.

Preliminary site development including road improvements and manzanita clearing was begun in January 1999 and there was a small experimental planting of westerm U.S. species in November 1998...

aldersproad.jpg (27751 bytes)

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