Last Tour for Spring 2013 Arboretum Tours Tomorrow


March 29


Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park and CSU Chico are jointly offering three tours of their remarkable collection of native and exotic trees and shrubs this spring on Friday, March 29. The easy and informative walks will meet in front of Bidwell Mansion Fridays at 10 am and last until 11:30. Parking is available for those taking the walks.

Since the University is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, trees planted in the earl years of the campus will be featured. Dating to that period are several California incense cedars that remain from a double row that bordered Mansion Avenue from the Mansion to the railroad tracks. In front of the mansion are huge southern magnolia, Turkish oak, tulip, monkey puzzle, California fan palm, and Italian cypress trees. Bordering Sowilleno (in front of Holt and Butte Halls) are several American chestnuts and European lindens. Across Chico Creek from these are remnants of many oaks planted by the Bidwells. Between Trinity and Kendall halls several London Planes and incense cedars remain of many that were planted there.

New tree plantings include red horsechestnut, black tupelo (sour gum), cutleaf zelkova and many others. Unusual old shrubs include several in front of the mansion:  a white-flowered magnolia from China and strawberry bush from southern France.

The trip leaders will discuss current horticultural and pruning practices as well as make suggestions as to selection of plants for Chico yards. They will also demonstrate how to plant young trees including selection of varieties, choosing a site, and soil preparation. Participants are encouraged to bring in leaves or flowers from plants they wish to have identified or talk about problems they are having with insects or diseases.

A map and guide to the mansion and the University trees and shrubs entitled CAMPUS TREES is available at the Mansion Historic Park Information Center along with a map and guide to the CAMPUS CREEKSIDE NATURE WALK. These can also be purchased at the campus bookstore and at the office of the Department of Biological Sciences in Holt Hall.

Further information about the tours can be obtained from the Bidwell Mansion State Historic Park at 895-6144 or from the University at 898-6222. Leaders of the tours will be Durbin Sayers, Manager of Grounds;  Emeritus Professor of Biology, Wes Dempsey;  and Gerry Ingco, retired USFS and CA Parks ranger.