About Macon State
Macon State College is thinking pink in a different way.
A new ornamental cherry tree grove on the east end of the Macon Campus will - assuming the weather cooperates - colorfully demonstrate over the next two to four weeks that it’s not just the Yoshino that can thrive in the area.
Derrick Catlett, arborist for the Macon State plant operations department, and a crew recently completed planting Yoshino and nine other varieties of ornamental cherry trees in a so-called “demonstration grove.”
The grove, Catlett said, will serve as a live demonstration of how Macon can extend its cherry blossoming period each spring by supplementing the community’s iconic Yoshino with other types of ornamental cherry trees. The Macon State trees are expected to bloom on a somewhat staggered schedule beginning with the Taiwan Flowering Cherry planted on the far east end of the grove to the Autumn Cherry in the middle to the Yoshino on the west end. The varieties bloom during different months of the year, from November to April.
Located near the Macon State tennis courts on the east side of campus, the grove is sponsored by Chris R. Sheridan & Co. and designed by Steve Sanchez of HGOR Planners & Landscape Architects.The grove is one of 17 themed gardens that make up part of the campuswide Waddell Barnes Botanical Gardens.
Catlett noted that the grove should be visible from the portion of Interstate 475 in west Bibb County that runs parallel to the Macon Campus. “The ornamental cherry tree grove enhances our own botanical gardens, and it will also serve as a beautiful ‘Welcome to Macon’ sign for motorists along I-475,” he said.
Barring a hard freeze between now and then, many of the trees in the new grove could be in bloom by March 17, the date of the Cherry Blossom Festival’s Tunes and Balloons event, which is held on the Macon State campus.
The common names of the ornamental cherry trees planted in the grove are: Autumn Cherry; Okame Cherry; Snow Goose Cherry; Taiwan Flowering Cherry; Weeping Higan Cherry; Pink Snow Showers Weeping Cherry; Snow Fountains Weeping Cherry; Kwanzan Flowering Cherry;Akebono Yoshino Cherry; Yoshino Cherry.
The grove complements other landscaping work that is taking place on the I-475 end of campus thanks to a recent $33,500 grant from the Georgia Department of Transportation. Macon State is using the Georgia Transportation Enhancement (GATEway) Grant to plant a variety of trees and plants along the right of way. The plantings are of species native to Georgia and include Autumn Splendor Sugar Maple, Cherokee Princess Flowering Dogwood, Forest Pansy Redbud, High Shoals Eastern Red Cedar, native crabapple and an assortment of native azalea.