Butternut trees start Chesterville Ag Society’s planned arboretum

At last week's butternut planting, from left, South Nation Conservation Past Chair Bill Smirle, the Chesterville Ag Society's Ann Vanderlind, Kim Link and SNC staffers Carley Hutchinson and Kelsey Smith, Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

CHESTERVILLE — With a pair of new butternut trees, the beginnings of a planned arboretum have taken root at the Chesterville fairgrounds.

The Chesterville Agricultural Society put in the two butternut saplings last week as the organization seeks to regrow the natural canopy along the fairgrounds’ east fence line, where ten ash trees have been recently felled — victims of the emerald ash borer ravaging the area.

South Nation Conservation (SNC) supplied the new trees — a $300 value through its Community Grants program — and sent staffers Kelsey Smith, Carley Hutchinson and past SNC chair Bill Smirle to assist with the planting.

Ag Society executive member Peter Vanderlind explained that the organization intends to install a number of new trees as a featured walking area along the along property’s edge. The “arboretum” will denote the species of each tree with a plaque, starting with the prominent white oak — at least 150 years old, in Vanderlind’s estimation — standing near the fair entrance off Queen Street.

The trees planted Oct. 28 are supposed to be resistant to the canker that has rendered butternuts a species at risk in Ontario.

Watch the planting, below.
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