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Week of Dec. 15: Grapevine High School Elm Grove Planting and Dedication

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2008 Events
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As Grapevine High School students prepared for the conclusion of the semester and winter break, David Bagwell Company Landscape Superintendent Taylor Steele and his crew were busy planting 18 matching Princeton American Elms on campus. David Bagwell Company donated the trees, the expense of their plating, and their initial care as part of its 4th annual Free Tree Jamboree.

 
   
An excellent example of the fall aspect of a “teenage” Princeton American Elm growing in the town of Monroe, Georgia.  

“Like the exceptional education offered in the adjacent high school building, we hope these trees will enrich lives now and in the future,” said Bagwell. “In providing these trees, we show our appreciation for Grapevine High School and the GCISD as a whole. It’s difficult to estimate the manifold benefits such outstanding schools have on the community at large and my business in particular.”

The genetically superior Princeton American Elms were selected for their stunning fall color, their classic vase-like shape, and their suitability to local soils. In support of the joint efforts of school district personnel and the PTSA to beautify school grounds, the Bagwell Company obtained the Princeton American Elms from Bold Spring Nursery near Monroe, Georgia. American Elms are fast growing trees native to North Texas. Already 16-feet tall at planting, the newly planted trees will soon provide welcome shade along the north side of the high school’s student parking lot. Increasingly noteworthy as each year passes, American Elms are attractive all four seasons of the year.

 
   

On Friday, December 19 at 10:30 a.m., the Grapevine High PTSA hosted a brief ceremony to commemorate the trees, hereafter to be known as the “Grapevine High School Elm Grove.” Dr. Jerry Hollingsworth, GHS Principal; David Bagwell and other representatives of his company; PTSA members; Student Council President, Jessica Cox; the Environmental Studies class and other students were in attendance. A demure marker was unveiled during the proceedings bearing a fitting quotation from American poet Lucy Larcom, “He who plants a tree, plants hope.”

In post-event correspondence to David Bagwell, Dr. Hollingsworth remarked, “Often I comment to our staff, students, and parents that ‘…it’s not like this everywhere!’ The incredibly positive relationship that exists between our school and community members like you is a primary reason for our amazing success.”


Week of Nov. 3: City Considering Free Tree Options

Monica Walsh and Chuck Majors were seen ambling about idyllic McPherson Park last week with Colleyville developer David Bagwell and his associate Taylor Steele. The foursome enjoyed the beautiful weather and collegial concord of the day, but their time wasn’t spent in recreation.

 
   
This very mature Compton Oak is a naturally occurring hybrid of the Southern Live Oak and Overcup Oak. It displays attractive characteristics of both species.  

 

 

 

 

Ms. Walsh is City of Colleyville Parks and Recreation Director, and Mr. Majors is the city’s Parks Superintendent. Due to their efforts, Colleyville has recently received the top awards of the Texas Turfgrass Association and the Sports Turf Managers Association, the most influential professional organizations in the sports turf management arena.

Bagwell has developed neighborhoods of fine homes in Colleyville since 1990, each one distinguished by extensive tree planting. Many have been grown by Steele in Bagwell’s nurseries from seed of native trees collected in the Eastern Cross Timbers, in which Colleyville is located.

These four have collaborated before on sylvan embellishment of public spaces in Colleyville. Last weeks’ outing was for more of the same. As part of his company’s fourth annual Free Tree Jamboree, Bagwell has offered the City at no charge a veritable cornucopia of trees and understory plants that Steele and his crew will plant in McPherson Park and City Park.

“As before, we are working with Monica and Chuck to identify locations around town that would benefit from additional tree planting and considered which species are best suited in light of the city’s master park plan, conditions of candidate planting sites, and maintenance requirements of various trees we can make available,” Bagwell explained. “Then, we select the best specimens from our nurseries for planting.

 
   
  The Possumhaw Holly, a native plant, is an attention-getter with its spectacular and unique presentation of red fruit, which appear when the foliage drops in November or early December.

 

 

 

 

“We have suggested that this year’s allotment of trees and understory plants be used primarily in McPherson Park to further the beautification already done and that planned in the second phase of improvements. We’ve offered to supplement the City’s reforestation of segments of the pedestrian trail on the west and south sides of the park that continue through and around our adjacent Westmont, Whittier Heights and Old Grove neighborhoods. In the David Bagwell Company, we have dubbed this mile-long circular part of the city-wide trail system ‘The Solidago Trail’, for the native Goldenrod that bloom alongside of it each fall.

“The new trees and large native shrubs we are recommending are thriving in our developments around Colleyville, including hundreds already planted along ‘The Solidago Trail’ and the adjacent ‘Millenium Grove’ we planted in 2000 to commemorate the start of a new era.”

The first phase of the proposal consists of small trees to supplement prior planting that the City and the Bagwell Company have already done along the trail where it borders Whittier Heights. They include:

  • Possumhaw or Deciduous Yaupon Holly (Ilex decidua), a native plant that is especially attractive due to a profusion of red berries in the winter, when nearly everything else is dormant.
  • Mexican Plum (Prunus Mexicana), also a native plant that is especially attractive both in the spring, when its fragrant white/pink blooms signal the end of winter, and in the fall, when its purple fruit make a valuable contribution to the identifying colors of that season.
  • The uniform and narrow Brodie cultivar of Eastern Red Cedar (Juniperus virginiana) is an attractive, native evergreen plant.
  • Compton Oak (Quercus virginiana x lyrata), an upright and fast growing rare hybrid of Southern Live Oak and Overcup Oak, that is tardily deciduous in winter.
  • Carolina Cherry Laurel (Prunus Caroliniana), a native evergreen that becomes a large shrub or small tree and has small white flowers throughout the crown in the spring that will become small purple drupes in the fall.
  • Post Oak (Quercus stellata), the most common native oak species in Colleyville, that can only be planted from seed or small plants.
 
   
  The American Elm, represented here by a particularly large specimen, is used widely as a shade tree, because of its graceful, arching, vase-like growth form and its tolerance of most stress factors.

 

 

 

 

Each of these materials will be planted, staked, and maintained in a tree shelter by the Bagwell Company for up to three years. When the shelters can be removed, each of the adolescent trees will be provided a trunk protector to “inoculate” them against “weedeater disease”.

The second phase of David Bagwell Company’s McPherson Park free tree planting proposal anticipates planting several 2" - 4" caliper trees along the park side of the trail that runs along McDonwell School Road. They include:

  • Shumard Oaks (Quercus Shumardi), which is the familiar native red oak that often provides striking orange, red, or burgundy fall color and becomes a stalwart tree, especially in a large landscape setting.
  • American Elms (Ulmus Americana), another native tree with beautiful form and golden fall color.
  • Brodie Eastern Red Cedars, the above-described evergreen tree with a lacy texture and sometimes a striking blue cast created by a profusion of very small berry-like fruit.
  • Eastern Persimmon (Diospyros virginiana), which is a native tree that is not readily available from commercial growers, but is a trouble-free tree with a nice summer aspect (round form with oval leaves that have a dark green upper side and a silver underside) and oftentimes-lovely yellow fall color.
  • The “Georgia Gem” cultivar of Green Ash (Fraxinus pennsylvanica), native to the Colleyville area, offers beautiful yellow, red, sometimes aubergine fall color.
  • Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor) is a large non-native tree with an attractive summer aspect (very dark green upper leaf with silver underside), an attractive winter aspect (interesting ash gray bark), burnt orange fall foliage, and a uniform crown that is somewhat like our native post oak.
  • Mexican Plum (Prunus Mexicana), a small native tree that prefers an understory habitat, is prized for its beautiful white flowers with a hint of pink and subtle fragrance in early spring.
  • Eastern Redbud (Cercis Canadensis), another native tree that also prefers an understory location, is noteworthy for its early dark pink spring color when few other plants have awakened from their winter slumber.
  • Carolina Cherry Laurel, described above, is a large naturalized evergreen shrub or small tree.
  • Native Possumhaw or Deciduous Yaupon Holly, also described above, has a lovely late fall and winter aspect.

The first phase of tree planting will begin this week, with planting of the second phase trees starting soon thereafter upon City Council approval.


Week of Oct. 27: Local Boy Scouts Have A Day To Remember

Childhood memories are often a mystery. Why do we vividly remember a random, isolated occurrence, yet have no recollection of a shared event that’s uppermost in the consciousness of our contemporaries? Moreover, why do we often experience the impact of these indelible, yet everyday formative experiences well into our adult lives?

 
   
Developer David Bagwell and four Cub Scouts plant a tree and a happy memory alongside McDonwell School Road.  

 

 

 

 

For David Bagwell, it was a casual, father-and-son tree-planting episode of his youth that became a life-changing event. It sparked his sylvan inclinations, shaped his many opinions about environment stewardship, and ultimately informed his professional pursuits.

On Wednesday, October 29, that tree-planting epiphany came full circle when Bagwell and his associates hosted Pack 536 of the Longhorn Council of the Boy Scouts of America at his Whittier Heights neighborhood. The scouts were treated to both a tactile and cerebral experience that they won’t soon forget. As a part of David Bagwell Company’s fourth annual Free Tree Jamboree, Bagwell enthusiastically agreed to lead the eight and nine year-old lads in a discussion of trees and their life cycles, as well as offering hands-on instruction in tree planting, care, and maintenance. While the event would fulfill an environmental requirement the scouts need for advancement, he hoped that a lifelong appreciation of trees would take root in them as well.

True to the Cub Scout Motto “Do Your Best”, Bagwell’s associates Taylor Steele and Cindy Brazil, den mother Stephanie Connel, and several other Cub Scout moms joined in giving their all. From the opening prayer, to call-and-response learning, to the young men digging, planting, and generally getting their hands dirty, the experience was designed and executed for maximum memorability. Colleyville Library Director Mary Rodne, whom Bagwell described as “the most important person in town”, was there to underscore the significance of the day. She received on behalf of the library a book entitled “The Tree” by Colin Tudge that was contributed to memorialize the October 29 tree-planting event. In his remarks to Ms. Rodne, as the boys listened attentively, Bagwell said he hoped the shared time that day would inculcate a life long curiosity about trees and interest in tree planting, as he gained from a similar experience with his father a half century earlier.

 
   
  Den Mother Stephanie Connel, Colleyville Librarian Mary Rodne, an
unidentified mom, and David Bagwell look on with attentive members of Cub Scout Den #536, as Bagwell's associate Taylor Steele demonstrates how to plant an oak seedling.

 

 

 

 

The Pack was taught the basics of tree planting including: how deep and wide to dig the hole, how to administer the fertilizer, how to hold the tree while packing the soil around it, and how to apply the tree shelter and stake it properly. This all took place in a prominent area near a major thoroughfare, where the boys could easily monitor the progress of the trees they planted.

“My hope is that they will recall the day they learned to plant a tree whenever they pass by,” Bagwell explained. “I told the boys the trees will grow faster than they will, and that by the time they are full grown men, the trees will be many times taller than they are. Perhaps in the years to come they will recall, not only the day, but the particular tree that they collaborated to plant?”

Each scout took from the get together a small tree to plant at his home or other significant place, along with a tree shelter, stake and fertilizer packet.

“David really went the extra mile to make this memorable for the Pack,” shared Connel. “He made it really fun for them. As a result, we saw their appreciation of trees grow before our very eyes.”

Bagwell added, “It’s fun to plant a little tree, have hopes for it, care for it, and monitor its growth. A person who does those things becomes invested in the tree. In our community development efforts, we emphasize Sense of Place that author Wallace Stegner says includes as an essential element ‘Remembered History’, by which a person’s spirit becomes invested in a particular locale. As trees grow, their changes hold our interest. That’s why we plant so many trees in our neighborhoods: trees with showy flowers in the spring, trees with stunning leaf color in the fall, trees with interesting winter aspect, trees that are stalwart in their old age. In addition to the spiritual dividends we receive from trees, they also pay economic dividends for homeowners, enhancing the perception of beauty in their homesite and providing energy-saving shade. And, as the Cub Scouts well knew already, trees benefit the environment, exchanging CO2 in the atmosphere for oxygen in the photosynthesis process.”

Given the many facets of the day and the passion with which each was administered, there’s little doubt that all in attendance will long and fondly remember it. For others this fall, Bagwell offers small trees at no cost, with which adoptive “parents” can enjoy their own happy tree-planting occasion. For information, you may send an email to freetrees@bagwellcompany.com.


Week of Oct. 20: Trick-or-Trees—Church’s Fall Festival A Smash Hit At 250-Year-Old Restored Barn

Perfect weather and a bucolic setting greeted nearly 300 individuals who attended a Fall Festival held by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in David Bagwell Company’s Whittier Heights development on Saturday, October 25. Activities inside and out of the restored New World Dutch barn that now resides by the neighborhood’s north lake included: trick-or-treating, a hayride, carnival-style games, a Chili & Pie Cook-Offs, live music and a free tree give away.

 
   

“It was a wonderful time and the setting was so much fun,” said Stacey Williams, a member of the Church and event organizer. “Everyone was really impressed by the barn. I kept hearing people say that ‘This is the best Church party that I have ever been to.’ ”

“We couldn’t be more pleased to see the barn being put to such good use,” added Colleyville developer David Bagwell. “When we relocated the massive timbers of the barn from its original home in upstate New York, we dreamed of it one day hosting joyful, family events like this, and we hope many more happy memories are made there in the future. It’s a pleasure for all of us associated with Whittier Heights and our nearby Old Grove and Westmont neighborhoods to share in these events vicariously. That’s one reason we make the barn available by reservation for birthday parties, wedding receptions, anniversary celebrations and other events, as well as a backdrop for family or graduation photos.”

 
   

In addition to providing the venue, David Bagwell Company also gave each family in attendance a small tree to plant in their yard as a reminder of Saturday’s event and a continuing fun family project. Grown from acorns collected in the fall of 2006 by David Bagwell Company landscape superintendent Taylor Steele, the Christmas Oaks that were given away are the same variety of tree as the one that has proven to be a prolific grower in Larry and Gail Manion’s Colleyville yard. Click here to read about the exploits of the Christmas Oak that the Manion’s selected at the inaugural Free Tree Jamboree in 2005.

A member of the red oak family, the Christmas Oak earned its name because it is tardily deciduous. In other words, it retains its green leaves much longer than its deciduous cousins and waits until around Christmas time for its leaves to turn a vivid red wine color before surrendering them to winter’s grasp.

If you received a Christmas Oak at the Fall Festival or if you’re simply interested in learning more about planting and caring for small trees, visit our Tree Information page and visit the links under Tree Planting Resources.


Week of Oct. 14:  No events this week.

Our team is busy planting trees for homeowners in David Bagwell Company developments and preparing for extensive Colleyville park planting next week.

 
   

Week of Oct. 6:  Free Tree Jamboree Kicks Off At Glenhope Elementary’s Fall Festival

On Saturday, October 4, 2008, Glenhope Elementary School held its annual Fall Festival on school grounds from 2:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. This year, the David Bagwell Company provided 350 small trees that were distributed to festival attendees free-of-charge.

These young trees were species proven to be well suited to the Eastern Cross Timbers in which Colleyville is located. They included:

 
   
  Becky Kruse helps plant a large tree in honor of her late son, while extended family and Glenhope Elementary faculty look on.
   

75 native Post Oak
50 Overcup Oak
50 Swamp White Oak
25 Persimmon
25 Hickory
25 Chisos Oak
100 Swamp White Oak

Individuals who received a tree at the Fall Festival are encouraged to visit the “Tree Information” page on our website for planting and care instructions and information on where to obtain reasonably priced tree shelters and other tree planting materials.

It should come as no surprise that this year’s Tree Jamboree commenced with a donation of trees to a GCISD-related event. David Bagwell Company’s relationship with Grapevine/Colleyville Schools is a longstanding one. In April 2008, Bagwell teamed with the Colleyville Middle School Student Council for an Arbor Day Give Away that sent 800 students and faculty members home with a young tree of their very own. In March 2008, Bagwell also donated an 18-foot tall Compton Oak that was planted at Glenhope Elementary School in memory of Dayton Fritz Kruse, the late son of Glenhope first-grade teacher Becky Kruse.

“We believe that instilling in our youth an appreciation of nature in general and trees in particular will pay huge dividends for this community in the future,” said Colleyville developer David Bagwell.