The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council (TUFC) has awarded First Presbyterian Church Level 1 Arboretum status. This is recognition of the church having 180 trees representing 46 different species of trees on our grounds with each species identified.
The process of diversifying the tree species on our grounds started in 2009 with installation of the first Memorial Trees. Our property totals 13 acres. With the exception of a few areas, our remaining surface area is rarely used. We hope the Certified Arboretum status will increase interest in our property and encourage utilization for educational and recreational purposes.
The Arboretum status is the result of many people supporting an idea over 11 years. The trees we have added since 2009 are primarily Tennessee native species suitable to the geophysical and climate characteristics of the Central Basin of Middle Tennessee. Our Central Basin soil types, soil conditions, temperature, and rainfall parameters are unique. Within the last few years some members have added shrubs instead of trees.
Trees are planted with a vision toward the future. A Chestnut Oak is a slow-growing, dense wood that can live for centuries. The Blackjack Oak is an uncommon tree that thrives in poor soil conditions – and we have plenty. The Princeton Elm is an American species that survived the Dutch Elm blight. Many of the trees we have placed on are expected to live 150 to 250 years; other species may live longer. We are aware of an American White Oak estimated to be over 800 years old. Future generations will see how long they live.
You are invited to stop by and visit the Arboretum along with our Native grass and flower area, Rain Garden, Fish Pond, Prayer Wall, Labyrinth, Free Little Library, and Pavilion anytime throughout the week at 101 Legends Club Lane in Franklin, TN.
For more information, visit http://fpcfranklin.org/about/arboretum.