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This and That - Millie's Arboretum PDF Print E-mail
Monday, June 27, 2011 4:47 AM


I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree,
A tree whose hungry mouth is pressed
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
By Joyce Kilmer

Millie Ruen loves to grow flowers, both perennials and annuals; vegetables and shrubs. She also has a great love of trees.

She has such a large variety of trees that her gardens could be called an arboretum and she could be called an arboriculturist.  Her list of trees includes: Buckeye, Horse Chestnut, Tulip Tree, Norway Spruce, “Shade-master” Honey locust, Japanese Red Maple, Shumard Oak, Autumn Blaze Maple, Marshall Seedless Ash, Jacquemonti Birch, Eastern Red Bud, Fernleaf Buck thorn, Corkscrew Willow, Colorado Green Spruce, Austrian Pine, White Spruce, Dawn Redwood, Sugar Maple, Bald Cypress, Weeping Willow, Krousa Dogwood, Green Ash, Sargent Crab apple, Red Oak, Sweet Gum, Ginkgo, Silver Maple, White Ash, Pink Crabapple, White Crabapple, River Birch, Black or Sour Gum, Japanese Maple, Alaska Cedar, Wheeping Norway Spruce, Kentucky Coffee Tree, Walnut tree, Cotton Wood, Sweet Gum, Catalpa and Larch. We may have missed some.

Millie noted that the Emerald Ash bore is creating havoc in the forest. They have also infested her ash trees.
Millie feels hurt when a tree is not properly trimmed, especially when the tops are just cut off. She believes they should only be cut in this manner if they are in the way of power lines. She said a tree will heal itself if properly trimmed. She has a stump in her garden, showing how a tree will heal itself.

The most fragrant of all her shrubs is the Japanese Honeysuckle. The flowers are also beautiful but the fragrance is really special. Her garden includes about 50 varieties of shrubs. She pointed out the Vibornum, with its white flowers. It grows so well because it is native to our area.

Millie is a true believer in composting. Her compost pile is huge. Her main ingredient is the collection of fallen leaves from Ottoville in the fall. When they are spread out to the right depth, she covers them with a light layer of soil. Then in the spring she plants corn in the pile of leaves and soil. When the corn is about a foot or so tall, she root-tills the green stalks into the original mixture. This provides the nitrogen to make the compost cook. Sometimes she does another planting of corn to till into the mixture. Sometimes she throws grass clippings in with the leaves. This process makes the compost ready to use in one year.

Millie has two ponds on her property. The pond behind the house is beautiful and rest-full. Fish live in this body of water. Then way to the back of her gardens is the frog pond. The frogs and toads call this home but they hop around the whole property, catching insects. They have their own special pond because the fish would eat the little tad poles if they shared a pond. Frogs and toads live in the mud through the winter. Sometimes they make a home in her compost pile. Frogs come out of hibernation in the spring, when the temperature stays above 50 degrees for three days running.

Millie also has three acres of her farm put in the government set-aside program. Her plot, on which she has planted 1000 trees, is set aside for wildlife and drainage. She also points out one of the important lessons we all learned way back in science class: Trees take in carbon  dioxide  and  give  off oxygen.

Wouldn’t  it  be  wonderful  if  we  had  more trees along our highways and byways?


Last Updated on Tuesday, November 06, 2012 3:26 PM

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