Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kettunen Center's Christmas Trees and Gardens

Kettunen Center’s Christmas Tree Arboretum provides us with the opportunity to display the wide range of tree species grown commercially in Michigan. Our state is one of the largest producers of Christmas Trees in the country.

This year the arboretum has undergone a major change. After shipping Detroit their holiday tree a couple of years ago, removal of some other large trees for Kettunen Center’s holiday celebration, and extensive deer and winter damage it was necessary to remove all remaining trees this past spring.  Fortunately, we have access to able, qualified, and creative folks that have reshaped the arboretum to make it better than ever.

Steve Neuman, Kettunen Center’s Maintenance Director, was able to sculpt the landscape and provide an aesthetically pleasing presentation and planting area. We then consulted with Jill O’Donnell, MSUE Christmas Tree Educator, to devise a planting plan for the area that exhibits ten different varieties of trees.  Jill then secured donations from Dutchman Tree Farm, Northern Pines Nursery, and Needlefast Nursery. She delivered these to Kettunen Center and along with her office mate, Erin Lizotte – MSUE Educator, properly planted and mapped the new plants. Going forward, we are thankful to have Jill’s oversight and help as the trees grow.

With everyone pulling together the Christmas Tree Arboretum will develop into a top notch demonstration-garden, highlighting one of Michigan Agriculture’s largest businesses. Many thanks to everyone that has helped improve this area at Kettunen Center!

Another thank you goes to Pat Morse and Maggie Swirdu, our master gardeners who have been working hard all summer to maintain the gardens at Kettunen Center. They have worked weekly to tend and weed our various gardens. Both Pat and Maggie are certified Master Gardeners through MSUE’s Master Gardener program. Pat is on staff and has put both volunteer and paid hours in tending these areas. Maggie is volunteering 4 to 8 hours a week. We are fortunate to have them bring their passion to Kettunen!

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