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Arboretum News “Winter 2007”

Martin’s Way tree planting expands arboretum collection!

Martin’s way has gone through a few generations of changes from the original design.  Martin’s way and the Beinecke Student Activities Village was created in 1991 and connected the Hamilton Campus to the Kirkland Campus with a brick walkway.  It ran from The Rudd Health Center on College Hill Road on the north end, through the old Salt Barn, renovated into the Beinecke Student Activities Village, over the Glen Stream with a 90' long bridge, and southward towards McEwen Dining Hall on the Kirkland Campus.  

A few years ago with the Commons renovation, Martin’s Way was extended to Commons Dining Hall heading north and picnic tables with umbrellas and sitting walls were added in a brick paver outside dining area.  The new outside dining area was not only an immediate dining success but became a very popular social area.  The class of 2000’s gift of tables and chairs in the same style as Commons opened up another outdoor student meeting place under the Martin's Way bridge on the south side of Beinecke Student Activities Center..

This past summer with the renovation of Saunder’s Chemistry into the fabulous Blood Fitness and Dance Center and the addition to the Scott Field House of the Little Squash Center, Martin's Way was extended northward to the West circle by the Science Center, itself just a year old.  This brick pedestrian walkway features sitting walls and many new arboretum trees.


                                                Martin’s Way is so much more than a path from Science to McEwen.  Outside social meeting spaces have been created.  Landscape wise, it has created an “Arboretum opportunity”  as the majestic old trees of the 1800’s gave way to natures pressures, a diverse selection of replacement trees are being planted. 

A few species selection principles are applied.

  • Don’t plant one species of tree so when a devastating disease strikes like Dutch Elm Disease, the campus looses a huge portion of it’s mature tree canopy ( as happened in the 70’s with the Elms ). 
  • Add different species within a genus and varieties within a species utilizing their vast differences in characteristics like height, shape, foliage, and habit of growth in selecting a proper planting site.  To that end, Martin’s Way has 5 different varieties of Sugar Maples, 3 different varieties of Red Maples, and 3 different species of Oaks.
  • Select planting sites that compliment the Architecture of the Hamilton buildings, and habits of growth that fits a tree habit of growth to the planting site.
The new tree plantings of Martin's Way, 2006

    To the very North and West side of the Little Squash courts, a Picea pungens, Colorado Spruce, will separate the parking lot & tennis courts and frame the new facility.  Note the strong evergreen presence of this part of campus and how this tree draws attention to the new Little squash Center and ties into the existing landscape.

   Acer rubrum ’Red Sunset are flanking the north side of the Little Squash facility.  They will feature excellent orange to red fall foliage color before the October Glory Red Maples that are planted around the corner.

   The mass planting around the new training room facility, that took over the vacated space when the fitness center moved, features juniperus chinensis 'Sea Green, Sea Green Junipers; Viburnum x Rhytidophylloides, Allegheny Viburnums; Cornus mas, Cornelian Cherries, all planted among existing Carya ovata, Shagbark Hickories.  This group planting is designed as a green screen with spring flowering and vivid fall foliage color.  This will be pretty when it lights it up in the spring and fall!

     The Cornus mas, Cornelian Cherries, with sitting walls at the north entrance to Martin’s Way.  West entry to the Science Center in the rear.  Cornelian Cherries are the “connecting” small tree of Martin’s Way as they are planted at both the north and south ends and at the central crosswalk on College Hill Road.

     Acer rubrum ’October Glory planted at the terminus to Martin's way has arguably the best vivid red fall foliage of the Red Maples.  These Red Maples will hold their foliage and color up later than the Red Sunset Red Maples around the corner.  Planting different variety of Red Maple will extend the fall foliage display!  The planting locations for these trees were just outside the 13 geothermal wells of the new Science Center.

     Acer x Freemanii, the Autumn Blaze Red Maple, is a cross of the Silver and Red Maples, Acer saccharinum & rubrum.  This Red Maple cross has excellent fall foliage color that is quite persistent. It has the drought tolerance of the Silver Maple and also grows faster than Red Maples and with a more open branching pattern.  While flanking Martin's Way it's hope is to cool the alumni Gym with a refreshing summer shade.

    These Red Oaks, Quercus rubra, will enhance the Oaks collection of the Gym Quad which currently have English oaks, Quercus robur, Fastigated English Oaks, Quercus robur fastigiata, and Swamp White Oaks, Quercus bicolor.

     This variety of Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum Green Mountain, is planted on the South East corner of the Alumni Gym and features a deep green foliage with scorch resistance in the summer and an Orange to Scarlet fall foliage.  The new stone work behind the planting is the north window to the new tunnel connecting the Alumni Gym to the Blood Fitness & Dance Center.  Fastigata English Oaks are in the background.

     This Red Sunset Red Maple, Acer rubrum ’Red Sunset, will shade the sitting wall in front of the Blood Fitness and Dance Center renovated this past summer and formally Saunders Chemistry.

    Yet another new variety of Sugar Maple added to the arboretum, this Seneca Chief Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum ’Seneca Chief, will have a narrower upright habit of growth. The yellow to orange fall foliage will be in contrast to the more vivid Red Maples to the north.  This tree is planted in the Sugar Maple grove on the south end of the Gym Quad.

     The Burr Oak, Quercus macrocarpa, is a very hardy Oak that grows well on the Hamilton Campus.  This is one of the 3 species of Oaks planted on Martin’s Way this summer.

   The Schmardi Oak, Quercus schmardii, is planted near Dunham Dorm and Just off Martin’s Way.  This is the third Oak planted on Martin's Way and a new species for the arboretum.  The Schumardi Oak in a member of the Black Oak group and has good drought tolerance and tolerates an alkaline pH which should be a good fit for our soils an campus whose pH ranges from 7.1 - 7.4.

    The Arrowhead Sugar Maple, Acer saccharum ’arrowhead will be an upright grower with strong branching, deep green foliage in the summer and orange to yellow fall foliage.  This site is where the graduation tent is located and an upright habit of growth was desired in the plant selection process.  This specimen will be changed out this spring to a larger one and this one will be planted in the Root Glen to grow on.  The Arboretum plants 3" diameter trees whenever possible as they are still easy to handle and they recover well from the root damaging harvest process of “Balling & burlapping”.

     The Heritage River Birch, Betula nigra ’Heritage, is planted near the holocaust memorial bench between Dunham and Commons.  The River Birches are resistant to Bronze Birch Borer and thus are a good replacement for the White birch group which has been hit so hard by this insect pest.  Heritage is a great variety of River Birch and is fast growing and hardy to -40 degrees.

Contact Information


315-859-4892 315-859-4407 arboretum@hamilton.edu
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