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Energy and Environment

Sedgwick Co. Extension Office Launches Interactive Tree Map

The Sedgwick County Extension Arboretum
A river birch tree.

The Sedgwick County Extension Office has launched an interactive map to help people choose trees that will thrive in this region.

More than 300 trees are growing on the grounds that surround the Extension Office in northwest Wichita.

Most of the trees are unique varieties known to perform well in Sedgwick County such as the eastern redbud and river birch.

Horticulture agent Matt McKernan provided an update on the Extension Arboretum at the Sedgwick County Commission meeting this week. He says they added an interactive map online so people can find the right tree for the right place in their yard.

"When you click on that tree, you are going to find information about that specific tree," McKernan says. "You’re going to find photos of that tree and any unique characteristics about that tree so things like the leaves, the bark, whether or not it flowers and the fall color—whatever makes that tree unique."

He says people are using the tree map to do research at home and then visit the Extension Office to see the trees in person.

The Extension Office’s arboretum spans 24 acres. The first trees were planted in 1994. Some of the trees that are planted are being tested to see how they perform.

"These trees are planted there to really serve as a public education of what trees are known to do well in our area, and maybe what are some unique trees that you could plant in your yard or your landscape that would be unique but still do well in our area," McKernan says.

Most are maintained with minimal water, and all are labeled so that people can identify the trees they want to grow at home.

McKernan says it’s important to find a tree that will fit the space available in the landscape.

"We want to avoid trees that are going to interfere with power lines or sidewalk clearance, and we’re trying to help residents of Sedgwick County battle the tough growing conditions that we have here, whether it's sites with extremely dry conditions or sites that have standing water or really wet conditions.

There’s also a demonstration garden on the Extension Office grounds that’s open year-round.


Follow Deborah Shaar on Twitter @deborahshaar

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