Monday, May 21, 2012

Fontenelle Forest, Bellevue, Nebraska

The shaggy bark of shagbark hickory.
The Nebraska Statewide Arboretum (NSA) and Fontenelle Nature Center (FNC) in Bellevue have partnered on programming activities for several years. For the third consecutive year, FNC hosted a plant sale featuring NSA grown native trees, shrubs, perennials and grasses. It was a great event. Thank you to Fontenelle Nature Center and all the wonderful Green Bellevue volunteers that made the day so special.

Fontenelle Nature Center is a great place to explore Nebraska’s native landscape, including native woodlands, prairies and wetlands. Nebraska doesn’t have a lot of oak-hickory forest, but Fontenelle NC is a good place to see the forest that covers (or at one time covered) much of the eastern US. Massive bur oaks, linden, hickories and walnut abound. I took a walk through the woods there recently and spotted at least 20 native tree species including bur oak, red oak, shagbark hickory, bitternut hickory, walnut, white ash, green ash, hackberry, American elm, red elm, mulberry, coffeetree, honeylocust, American linden, ironwood, serviceberry, boxelder maple, cottonwood, sycamore and silver maple. Of course there were many other species of plants worth noting along with many birds, butterflies and other wildlife. What a great place to visit!
Long-beaked sedge (Carex sprengelii) is a common understory plant.

The cool canopy of trees makes a trail hike quite enjoyable on a warm day. Rich diversity is seen here with several tree species visible in this image.

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