White House Arboretum is a true Arboretum, more so than most. The focus is on the trees and bamboos, along with the nature and land that cradles them. White House Arboretum is simply a group of diverse and amazing trees and bamboos, that Randy and Carolyn would like to share with anyone interested.
The Arboretum consists of over 165 types of trees, and over 350 trees total! White House Arboretum is located at the headwaters of a USGS blue-line stream, recently renamed Melton Creek. The Arboretum has a half acre catfish pond and a third acre natural pond, both embellished with trees and wildlife.
The Arboretum consists of important forestry species found in the eastern U.S., such as Yellow-poplar, White Oak, Northern Red Oak, numerous oak species, Sugar Maple, Hickories, Basswood, Blackgum, Beech, Sweetgum, and loads more. Also found are important forestry species from other countries, like Dawn Redwood, Cryptomeria, Norway Spruce, etc. A small percentage of the trees are fairly rare in middle Tennessee. Trees like Raywood Ash, Tree Lilac, True Firs, China-Fir, Bolleana Poplar, Tigertail Spruce, Golden-Chain, Weeping Pussy Willow, Western Red-Cedar, and Quaking Aspen are a few such trees. Many of the trees are placed in niches similar to where they might be found in nature, ie; bald cypress trees in ponds, submerged part of the year and some all year round, moisture loving trees in lowland areas, shade tolerant trees in shady areas, etc.
Vivax Bamboo, a giant timber bamboo is the main focus of the bamboos on the farm, (mature height of 55 feet and as big around as a 2 liter coke bottle, in the mother grove). This bamboo was dug from the mother grove planted in the 1960's in the Nashville area that Randy has been studying for 45 years or so.
Other bamboos present are Robert Young, Henon, and Madake which Randy purchased from McIlhenny Island/Avery Island LA. back in the 1970's. Also present are lesser amounts of Reverse Yellowgroove, Bissett, and our native Arundinaria. All in all, the arboretum has about 2,500 highly managed canes as of 2017.
Also present are various folk art wood carvings, wood samples. A Bur Oak slice which has two-hundred and ninety growth rings which came from a tree that sprouted in the late 1600's, the tree was 310 years old +- but only 290 growth rings are there because the slice came from way up the tree. Bullets were shot into it around 1945 and can be seen in the wood. Randy gazed at this tree hundreds of times as he traveled down Saunders Avenue in his first 45 years of his life. This Bur Oak tree which grew in the Madison neighborhood of Nashville, TN. had abundant Resurrection Fern growing over much of the limbs and trunk. The whole subdivision was named after the oak, and the roads also named for it. It was very healthy when the developer told the contractors to knock it down with their bulldozers. This crossection is the oldest we have found from a Tennessee tree (proved by rings) that still exists exhibited anywhere in museums, parks, or wherever. This crossection was donated to an interesting museum, The Shelby Bottoms Nature Center in Nashville, TN in 2016, therefore it can no longer be viewed at our Arboretum.