Tree Talk - archive

A 16-acre forestland treasure lies just off the town square in Roswell, Ga. surrounding Bulloch Hall, the childhood home of President Theodore Roosevelt’s mother, Mittie Bulloch. When the house was built in 1839, native oaks, tulip poplars, chestnut, southern red cedar and hickory trees were among the many species flourishing across the property, and pines and hardwoods were used in construction of home place structures. Mittie’s father, Major James Stephens Bulloch, took pleasure in planting many additional types of ornamental shade and fruit trees.

The current Bulloch Hall tree inventory shows 33 varieties of trees growing on the site, including black walnut, southern red cedar, catalpa, southern magnolia, American beech and the distinctive Osage orange. Tree lovers can enjoy a third of a mile trail through the property that provides close-up views of many species, such as native big-leaf magnolias with leaves the size of bath mats.

Gnarly-barked Osage orange trees are of special note. Native to the south central US, the Osage Indians of Arkansas and Missouri favored the tree’s wood for its durability, making it ideal for bows, fences and arches. In addition, the twisted trunks and limbs of Osage orange wood contain chemicals that repel insects and rodents, which is said to be why Major Bulloch planted a grove of Osage orange on the northern side of Bulloch Hall outside the dining room.

The Bulloch Hall Osage orange trees stand about 60-feet tall. Female trees bear inedible, rough-skinned fruit up to six inches in diameter that have been enjoyed as pomanders for their citrus-cedar fragrance.

For more about Bulloch Hall and its historic trees, visit www.bullochhall.org

Pembroke Oak

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