The Conservancy has started the much-needed rehabilitation of the park’s historic crabapple collection, which likely dates back to the 1940’s. The collection was first inventoried and mapped in 2003 by crabapple expert Arthur Jacobsen. He determined that the collection included at least 44 individual trees representing 42 different species or cultivars of Malus. Several trees have since died and a few have been added.
The project kicked off last week when Lucille Whitman of Salem’s Whitman Farms took cuttings (scion wood) from four different crabapple species that are no longer available from nurseries. The scion wood will be grafted onto rootstock and grown on at Whitman Farms for 5 years before they are planted in the park. Separately, we ordered scion wood for one of the crabapple trees that had been lost. In addition, the Conservancy is purchasing four crabapples from Oregon nursery J. Frank Schmidt & Sons to replace existing crabapples that are in very poor health.