Oh my how time flies. It seems like just yesterday that Vanishing Acts was arriving at Bernheim, but now it’s time to say goodbye. While the exhibit may vanish, we hope that the lessons learned will not.
Trees are a vital part of our ecosystem. They are important to the survival of all living things on earth, including humans. Bernheim will continue to maintain our pristine forest (the largest privately run forest block east of the Mississippi River) so that trees can thrive. We are already working on planting some of the trees featured in the Vanishing Acts exhibit, like the Franklin Tree, in hopes that we can protect them from extinction. We will also continue to protect our Kentucky native trees. In conjunction with this exhibit, we created the Kentucky Trees of Concern exhibit, where we planted Kentucky trees, that may not face extinction, but have various threats to watch for. This exhibit and new walking path will remain, and of course, we will be closely monitoring our arboretum and natural areas for invasive species, and continuing to be good stewards for our 14,500 acres.
Now the big question, what can YOU do to help protect trees? Here are a few ideas.
- Plant a tree (or more): Protect our tree canopy by planting more trees in your yard. Be considerate of your space: don’t plant large trees near power lines, for example. Have questions? Bernheim staff is thrilled to help – call any time.
- Do not mulch deeply around the base of the trunk (volcano mulching): leave the tree some room to breathe.
- In a dry spell, give your tree a tall drink of water once a week.
- Avoid the use of lawn pesticides and herbicides: they can also affect trees.
- Avoid damaging the bark: use caution with mowers, weed removal tools and cars. And as romantic as it is, avoid carving into tree trunks.
- Become an advocate: Learn all about trees and how to protect them at Bernheim programs like ECO Kids (1st & 3rd Saturday of each month) and Smart Gardens and Landscapes.
Missed the exhibit, or want to revisit it after it’s gone? Don’t miss our Vanishing Acts blog series. Bernheim’s expert staff highlighted each of the trees featured in the exhibit as well as a few Kentucky trees of concern. View the archive here.
Thanks to all who came out and enjoyed the exhibit and/or participated in the Bernheim Big Tree Hug Challenge, where we broke the record for people hugging trees at the same time. We are thrilled that so many visitors were engaged in our tree programs, and hope that you’re now proud to be a tree-hugger.
Vanishing Acts: Trees Under Threat was developed and produced by The Morton Arboretum in association with the Global Trees Campaign, a partnership between Fauna and Flora International and Botanic Gardens Conservation International.
Funding for this exhibit comes from The Morton Arboretum and the U.S. Institute for Museum and Library Services, Museums for America Grant Program.