The tree canopy of the Woodland Garden has changed considerably over the 110+ years of the Garden's existence. One change forces another which causes another. In the photo below taken on Oct. 30, 1948, we see an extensive grouping of birch bordering the wetland area of the Woodland Garden. While birch are not a long-lived species, the changes in the amount of water in the wetland area have depleted their numbers such that today, in the 2008 photos shown below you will see very few birch.
In 1946 Garden Curator Martha Crone wanted visitors to have a close-up view of aquatic plants that were in and by the open water pool in the wetland, so a trail through the center of the wetland was added. In the photo below taken on Nov. 8, 1951, we have a partial view of the wetland, taken from a different location and showing the extensive birch grove. The new path is seen, snow covered, running from the bottom left corner towards the left center of the photo. This spot is somewhere between the current Garden guidepost #'s 29 and 30.
Photo Below The path through the wetland on May 7, 1957.
Below: In the two 2008 photos below we are looking out through the barren trees of April, across the wetland and toward the west hillside. This is a somewhat similar perspective to the photos at the top of the page. We see a birch or two, but the extensive grove no longer is there. Most of what we see are ash and maple. The photo immediately below is taken near Garden Guidepost #32 and the other photo from further north near Guidepost #33. Gardener Cary George reported in the Fringed Gentian™ in September 1990 that a large number of the old birch had been lost in the drought that occurred in the last years of the 1980 decade.
Photo below: The northern end of the wetland today is anchored by Tamaracks and a few Maples.
For more information on the wetland at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden see our article on "Wetland History"