Planting at Kump Education Center

Arbor Day has inspired us to plant 40 new trees at Kump Education Center this April all thanks to the Elkins Tree Board, G.F. Fielder Associates Landscape Architecture Firm, Davis & Elkins College Sustainability Program, West Virginia Division of Urban Forestry, and especially gardener Roger Elza.

Elkins Tree Board will celebrate National Arbor Day at 3:00 on Friday, April 27 by planting a crabapple tree from The WV Division of Urban Forestry. This tree will be located near our Seneca Road gate where it will not be far from beehives used to teach beekeeping. Crabapples are natural pollinators, and they bloom gloriously in the spring when bees start making honey.

On that same day Tree Board will plant five large chestnut trees donated by G.F. Fielder Associates Landscape Architecture Firm in the old Kump pasture on high ground near the intersection of highways 33, 92, 219 and 250. They will also help us hold ground that stands between the fence and Godden Creek.

The Hiawatha statue and everyone who travels through the intersection will be able to see the leaves turn yellow in the fall and watch the chestnuts developing each year.

Ryan Mullennex, a senior at Davis & Elkins College in the Sustainability Program, will be responsible for placing 10 small sycamore trees in the wetland to help channel the stream.

He has been testing the water quality in the Kump wetland to see if our water is clean. Ryan has also created an Excel spreadsheet on West Virginia native riparian trees and bushes, and his information will guide our plans for wetland area planting in the future.

The West Virginia Division of Urban Forestry will provide 20 small redbud trees that will be planted along the white fence on Seneca Road.

These trees will stand at the top of the orchard area where 35 heritage apple trees were planted by the D&E Sustainability Studies Program seven or eight years ago. Every spring people will be able to see redbuds and apple blossoms north of the historic Kump house.

A special thank you goes to a plant lover who knows how to transplant anything. Roger Elza always gets enough of the old roots and digs a hole just the right size to be sure a plant can feel at home in a new location.

He has moved four small holly trees from their hiding places under trees and bushes high in the northeast corner of the orchard. These holly trees were planted by birds who fed in a nearby holly nursery maintained by Dr. Don Roberts and Dr. Bob Rector on the old Kump property 40 years ago.