A group of tree enthusiasts from Iowa and Ohio came to Lexington to see some of our largest trees. The group, Matt Markworth, Landon Smith, and Mark and Rita Rouw are members of the Native Tree Society who love to measure and record very large trees. We took them on a brief tour of some of the most significant trees in Lexington, including the national champion American basswood and Ohio buckeye, the Ingleside Oak, the Old Schoolhouse Tree, the St. Joe Oak and other significant landmarks in Lexington. Here is a photo gallery of some of the highlights.
We are planning more tours in the near future, probably in November. The press of other work has kept us from other tours, but we are planning more for the near future.
One highlight of the trip was the realization that several buckeyes near the national champion Ohio buckeye, Aesculus glabra, are actually yellow buckeye, Aesculus flava. The Bluegrass is in the hybrid zone for these species, with intermediate individuals common along the Kentucky river. Although most upland trees in our area are Ohio buckeyes, we will be reexamining these trees when they are in flower next spring to be sure that the national champion Ohio buckeye is not in fact a hybrid tree. Stay tuned for more on that in the spring.