Fall 2004

1. The entrance trellis contains several species of vines including Virginia Creeper.

2. There are three White Spruce trees, native to Minnesota, with their long cones and bluish-green needle-like leaves. To the left is a Norway spruce featuring drooping branchlets and 4 to 7 inch long cones. This Spruce is native only to northern and central Europe, and is the only Spruce native to Sweden. Further to the left is Gingko tree, also called the living fossil.

3. Here you see the Catalpa trees. The word “catalpa” is a Cherokee Indian name adopted by the early European settlers. The 10 to 20 inch long slender seed pods make the catalpa easy to recognize. This tree is native from Southern Illinois and Indiana to Tennessee and Arkansas. Behind you are Kentucky Coffee trees with their 6 inch long flat pods containing seeds. The seeds can be roasted, pulverized, and boiled into a bitter, black, coffee-like beverage. These trees are native to SE Minnesota including the Minnesota River Valley.

4. Perennial garden area, with a few shrubs and trees; all these plants together provide color and interest through the seasons. There are all together three Scotch pines in this area. The leaves are needle-like, 2-3 inches log, with two twisted needles per bundle. The Scotch pine was introduces from Europe and Asia and is the only native pine to Sweden.

5. The beautiful Canadian shrub roses, growing next to the Melva Lind Interpretive Center, do not require winter cover.

6. The Lilac Walk is dedicated in celebration of the first ladies of Gustavus Adolphus College. Mid-may is the time to enjoy the fragrance and visual beauty of the lilac shrubs in bloom.

7. This is the Presidents Oak Grove. There is one oak tree in honor of each president of Gustavus Adolphus College.

8. This is the edge of restored tall grass prairie. Prairie covered this land when European pioneers came in the 1850s. In Minnesota more than one-third of the state (South and West) was covered in prairie vegetation. Most prairie plants are long-lived perennials, living for decades, even centuries, like large trees in forests. Each fall the upper part dies down to the ground, but the rooms remain alive through the winter. In the Spring the roots send new growth to the surface and the cycle continues.

9. These areas are known as Prairie Overlook and Boulder Circle. The Prairie Overlook affords a view of he terrace surface upon which our campus is located- the St. Peter Sand Prairie. Most of the boulders that comprise Boulder Circle were collected from nearby glacial deposits. This area is one of Linneaus Arboretums outdoor teaching locations.

10. In this area two Minnesota native nut trees can be found- the black walnut and the butternut. Both trees have edible nut kernels. Also found in this area is the Ohio buckeye, introduces from east-central United States. The shiny rich-brown seeds, known as buckeyes, are not used for human food but are sometimes carried by superstitious people in their pockets to bring good luck.

11. This area holds a collection of maple trees. Maples grow in full sun or partial shade. Most need moist, well-drained soil. Maples have palmately lobed leaves. Species such as the sugar maple and red maple have very colorful leaves in the fall.

12. This is an old fence line, featuring trees growing in a long line and a medow made up of non-native grasses and some showy naturalized perennials.

13. This deciduous forest was first planted in 1973. It will take many years for more diversity to be found but this likeness of a central Minnesota forest helps us to learn about and appreciate the deciduous forest ecosystem. Two common trees here are the sugar maple and the red oak.

14.This is the arboretum’s coniferous forest. The main evergreens here are the native Minnesota red pine and eastern white pines. This likeness of a northern Minnesota forest needs more diversity and years of growth to better resemble the natural ecosystem called the northern coniferous forest.

15. The staghorn sumac is a common, native to southern Minnesota, shrub which grows on forest edges. It has feather-like compound leaves known for their brilliant autumn colors of red, yellow and orange. Several bird species- such as ring-necked pheasant, eastern bluebird, and American robin- rely on the clusters of red fruit for food when other foods are scarce in winter and early spring.

16. This is the northern edge of Linneaus Arboretum. The fence line trees are mostly Siberian elms with their small leaves. This species was introduces form eastern Siberia and northern China. It tolerates miserable soils and is highly resistant to Dutch elm disease, but is subject to limb breakage and insect attack. Also here are eastern white pines. These native to eastern and northern Minnesota trees have soft flexible needles in groups of five.

17. These are the campus storm water drainage ponds, built in 1999. In 2002, a one-and-a-half acre pond was added, called the Jones Northern Forest Ponds. Dozens of wetland plants and animal species have moved into this site since its construction.

18. Form the south side of Jones Pond tall prairie and wetland plants make viewing the water very difficult throughout most of the year. This body of water as well as all the other ponds that make up The Loreli Steuer Wetland Preserve have helped to greatly increase the biodiversity at Gustavus. Wetlands offer filters for ground water, buffer against floods and drought, are full of life and are one of the most productive natural ecosystems on the planet.

19. We are back in the deciduous forest. In this region we can find the Esbjornson Ironwood Grove; a place “to sit and be still.”

20. The Borgeson family log cabin was built in 1866 by Swedish pioneers. The cabin was moved to the Linneaus Arboretum, from a homestead near Norseland, and restored in 1986 by Gustavus geography professor Bob Douglas and students. Note how dovetail notching is used to hold the logs in place. This method is indicative of Scandinavian log construction in this area.

21. You have returned to the restored tall grass prairie. Form here you can see the Teaching Pond and the 16-unit gourd complex for purple martins.

Hope you have enjoyed learning about the Linneaus Arboretum.

Jim Gilbert, Director

Linnaeus Arboretum