Visitors to the Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens may notice a few missing items outside the vintage greenhouse and dome. Several trees have been cut down. But more are coming in their place.
A Blue Spruce, Crab Apple, White Ash and Japanese Yew were all removed because of disease or drainage-related issues. The White Ash was a casualty of the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive insect which has damaged trees owned by numerous Western New York property owners.
"Just because it's the Botanical Gardens, it doesn't make us immune to the things that happen. We do our best to fight those problems but we don't always win," said Kristin Pochopin, Director of Horticulture at the Botanical Gardens.
Seven trees will soon be planted on the Botanical Garden grounds. They are a China Snow Peking Lilac tree, China Snow, Tri-color European Beech, Roseomarginata, Shingle Oak, American Hornbeam and American Hophornbeam.
"We're hoping by the end of October," said Pochopin. "That's what we're shooting for. We don't have a date set yet. We're trying to work that out with the individual that's supplying the trees. They are quite sizeable. They have to be dug and then transported. And then we need help planting them, because they're so large."
The tree species were selected in cooperation with the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, so that they may be consistent with the Conservancy's South Park Arboretum Plan. That plan is designed to honor Frederick Law Olmsted's original vision for South Park.
A private donation by longtime supporters made it possible for the Botanical Gardens to remove the diseased trees to make way for the new ones.