Paul Dolan, forester and Area Director of Rhode Island Resource Conservation and Development Council, visited Salter Grove to verify tree identifications on Monday, June 1st.
Paul last visited in late December 2019 and confirmed the identification of most tree species in the park based on bark and winter bud characteristics. His recent visit verified the occurrence of additional species that came to light with their leaf emergence.A photo of the park during its dedication ceremony in 1967 showed a few large elms in the park, but these have long disappeared due to attack by the Dutch Elm Disease rampant at the time. Based on leaves, bark and growth form, Paul agrees that we still have at least three healthy, smaller individuals in the park.
More work is still needed to confirm the identification of several trees, but besides the American elm, we can now add big-tooth aspen, European privet, and paper birch to Salter Grove’s list of trees. The list of identified plant species for the park will probably continue to grow beyond the current total of 174 as field work continues along the nature trails.