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Natural History

The fourth annual list compiled by The Cultural Landscape Foundation focuses on historic landscapes.


A Horse Chestnut Tree in Rochester, NY, shaded suffragette Susan B. Anthony in the late 19th century. Gladstone, Oregon's 230-year-old Pow-Wow Bigleaf maple was a traditional meeting place for the Clackamas Indians. Charleston, South Carolina's Angel Southern Live Oak is a majestic living legacy from the antebellum South.

These are just three of the 21 locations selected for The Cultural Landscape Foundation's (TCLF) 2007 Landslide program, Heroes of Horticulture. Much like the World Monuments Fund (WMF) that publishes a list of endangered architectural sites around the world every two years (see "100 Most Endangered Sites," Traditional Building, October 2007, page 12) and the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Most Endangered List of buildings in the U.S., the TCLF Landslide initiative highlights endangered landscapes with the goal of drawing attention to them and preserving them for future generations. This year the initiative focuses on formal and vernacular trees and plantings associated with historically important people and events.

"Landslide is one of TCLF's key ways of highlighting how landscapes are integral to our nation's cultural identity," says Charles Birnbaum, founder and president of The Cultural Landscape Foundation in Washington, DC. "These are the witness trees, the living connections to the people that have been under their branches. Each Landslide site is irreplaceable; each is a unique link to the story of who we are."

The 2007 Heroes of Horticulture selection includes: 1) American Sycamore Tree at Burnside Bridge at the Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg, MD; 2) the Azalea Collection at Airlie Gardens, Wilmington, NC; 3) Baldcypress Grove at the Spring Grove Cemetery and Arboretum, Cincinnati, OH; 4) the Bamboo Groves at Jungle Gardens, Avery Island, LA; 5) the Banyan Tree allee on Banyan St., Boca Grande, FL; 6) the Camellia Collection, Magnolia Plantation, Charleston, SC; 7) Desert Ironwood Tree, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, Tucson, AZ; 8) Elms of the National Mall, Washington, DC; 9) Eucalyptus Tree, Washing Park Arboretum, Seattle, WA; 10) Glendora Bougainvillea, Glendora, CA; 11) Horse Chestnut Tree, Susan B. Anthony House, Rochester, NY; 12) Live Oak Tree Allee, Houston, TX; 13) Moreton Bay Fig Trees, Rancho Los Alamitos, Long Beach, CA; 14) Pear Trees, Ellwanger Garden, Rochester, NY; 15) the Pow-Wow Bigleaf Maple Tree, Gladstone, OR; 16) Tree Peony Collection, Linwood Gardens, Pavilion, NY; 17) Angel Southern Live Oak Tree, Johns Island, SC; 19) Bur Oak Tree, Henry Ford Estate, Fair Lane, Dearborn, MI; 20) Cork Oak Tree, Santa Cruz, CA; 21) Southern Live Oak Tree, Baton Rouge, LA.

For the second year in a row, Garden Design magazine is partnering with the TCLF in selecting and publicizing the Heroes list. In addition, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film commissioned and curated a collection of photos of the sites. The exhibit appeared at the museum in Rochester, NY, through March 2, 2008 and is currently traveling.

Many of the sites are hosting the Heroes of Horticulture signboard exhibit. It provides the history of each site along information on how it is threatened and how to help support the effort to save it. The Landslide list is selected from among hundreds of submissions. This is the fourth Landslide list compiled by The Cultural Landscape Foundation. In 2002, it focused on Designed Landscapes, and this was followed by Working Landscapes in 2004 and Spotlight on the Garden in 2006. Now being published annually, the foundation's 2008 list, Marvels of Modernism, will highlight Modern landscapes at risk. The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2008. For more information, go to  



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