Call Randy Allen at (615) 714-4628
2020 was a different year, to say the least. Our most common tours went from Master Gardeners who were mainly seniors, to Homeschools which were mainly children with their parents.
The Arboretum consists of over 170 types of trees, and over 360 trees total! White House Arboretum is located at the headwaters of a USGS blue-line stream, Mill Branch/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 forest species found in the eastern U.S., such as 3 Yellow-Poplars, 4 White Oaks, 3 Bur Oaks, 16 Oak species, 11 types of Maples, 6 types Hickories, Basswood, 3 Black Tupelo’s, 3 Beech, 8 Sweetgum, 5 Bald-Cypress, 10 types of Magnolias, 5 Persimmons, 7 Pines, 98 Emerald Arborvitaes and loads more. Also found are important species from other countries, like 5 Dawn Redwoods, 7 Ginkgo’s, Cedar of Lebanon, 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, 5 Bolleana Poplars, Tigertail Spruce, Saratoga Ginkgo, Western Red-Cedar, Monkey Puzzle, 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. One Reverse Yellowgroove was purchased from Joe Willis back around 2003. Also present are lesser amounts of Bissett, and our native River Cane. All bamboo groves started with a single cane or two in a clump. Now there are 6,000 canes during summer, then after fall harvest about 5,000 are left to grow (2021). This Spring we should have 1,800 Reverse Yellowgroove, 2,000 Henon, 1,300 Vivax, 700 Madake, 150 Bissett, 50 native River Cane. Covering over a half acre of land and highly managed.
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.