Extension educators help renew Kettunen Center’s Christmas Tree Arboretum

You may recall Christmas 2011 when the Christmas Tree Arboretum at Kettunen Center supplied the star attraction of the Detroit Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Winter Magic-Detroit that year – a beautiful Norway spruce.  Other large trees were removed from the arboretum for the center’s holiday celebration. In addition, Kettunen Center maintenance director Steve Neuman removed many trees that were getting too big for the site as well as any remaining trees damaged by deer and the harsh winter weather.

 The Norway spruce that once grew at Kettunen Center stands proudly as the main attraction at of the Detroit Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Winter Magic-Detroit during the Christmas 2011 season. Photo credit: Jill O’Donnell


The Norway spruce that once grew at Kettunen Center stands proudly as the main attraction at of the Detroit Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony and Winter Magic-Detroit during the Christmas 2011 season. Photo credit: Jill O’Donnell

An arboretum without trees is a sad sight. However, the situation didn’t last long. Mr. Neuman continued the site cleanup by removing the stump from that huge Norway spruce and did some grading to make the area more accessible. Michigan State University senior Extension educator Jill O’Donnell drew up a plan.

Jill secured donations of trees from Dutchman Tree Farms, Northern Pines Nursery and Needlefast Evergreens and delivered them to the center. Jill and MSU Extension educator Erin Lizotte did the work of mapping and planting the new trees – 19 in all.

The arboretum now exhibits ten different varieties of trees including four species of true fir, four species of spruce as well as white pine and Douglas firs.

This fall, a soil test will determine the adjustment of the pH and result in a nutrient plan. This winter, cages will be put around the trees to prevent damage from deer and rabbits. Pruning will begin next year. Jill will oversee the project.

Next time you visit Kettunen Center, check out the Christmas Tree Arboretum and enjoy the results of their efforts.

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