Trees, timbers and traditions sheltered in spruce

Our friends at the Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens are celebrating 2013 as a year of Trees, Timbers and Traditions. In a place called Spruce Point on the midcoast shore of the Pine Tree State, this is a topic dear to our hearts and to the principles by which we manage the environment entrusted to us here at the Inn.

So, with a nod to CMBG, we thought we’d give you an update on our trees.

We’ve talked before about our commitment to steward the 57 acres we call home and mentioned that we’ve found that when we have to replace trees, the ones that have started their lives here on the property are happier than ones we “import.” We’ve accomplished successful transplants of trees in two places that you’ll recognize this summer. Both involve trees we’ve moved from deeper in the woodlands: both the small spruces around Little Spruce Cottage and the rhododendron near Balsam are “locals.” 

You’ll be surprised that we are encouraging bittersweet -- a very prolific vine – on the old scotch pine near Osprey, that is slowly losing its battle with old age. While we’ve started a new scotch pine that will takes its place, rather than take down a tree that still has a presence on our grounds, we’ve decided to give it some additional botanical interest. The green bittersweet now twining on the trunk in summer  will host scarlet berries and gold husks in the fall.

Finally, on the arboreal front, we have started a small orchard on the lawn near the tennis courts. We’ve planted two peaches, two pears and two “high tech” apples that have six different varieties grafted onto the same trunk! They’re already bearing fruit thanks to the mix of heat and rain that suits them. 

There are so many things that need our attention to produce the experience that keeps our guests coming back; and it’s great that each of us has a particular interest in the parts that combine to make the very special “whole” that is Spruce Point Inn. Like the trees we plant today – and the spruces that have identified this spot for thousands of years – the future will confirm if our commitment to the sense of place that makes Spruce Point unique is an investment in “trees, timbers and traditions” that endures.