Last Wednesday and Thursday, June 15 and 16, we received four semi-truck shipments from Wallace Desert Gardens. A total of 75 boxed trees were on those trucks, off-loaded one-by-one by Ricky and our Caterpillar 420F backhoe. Lisa, our plant recorder, verified the accession number, name, and box size. With the added expertise of Cathy, Director of Horticulture, and Jeff, the horticulturist responsible for managing the collection, each individual plant was assessed for its condition (good, fair, poor), along with any other pertinent notes that will be entered into our database.
There were several more shipments scheduled for Friday, June 17, but these were called off because of excessive daytime temperatures on Friday. Even tough desert plants can suffer damage when trucked 75 miles with daytime temperatures well above 100 degrees in single digit humidity.
The Picket Post nursery area on the far east side of the Arboretum property now holds a total of 622 boxed plants, all transplanted, boxed, and delivered by the contractor for this project, Native Resources, Inc. Another 2,666 bare-root cacti and succulents, all transplanted and transported by our staff, are divided between four shade houses near the boxed plants in the Picket Post nursery and another two shade houses in the West End nursery about a half mile away.
Some notable arrivals include:
- 36″ box Salvia similis
- 54″ box Coursetia glandulosa
- 24″ box Borzicactus roezlii
- 24″ box Acacia peuce
- 48″ box Oreocereus doelzianus
This brings the total to 3,288 plants, or slightly more than one half of the Wallace collection. We have funding to bring another 700 plants to the Arboretum, which should be completed this summer. But that leaves the last 2,000 plants vulnerable to being bulldozed when the lots which support the plants are sold.
You can help bring these last 2,000 plants home to their new, permanent home at Boyce Thompson Arboretum by making a donation to www.gofundme.com/desertplantrescue.