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In 1869, Lake View’s founders used horticulture as an integral part of their cemetery planning process. In doing so, they created a showcase of trees and shrubbery, cultivated for scientific, ornamental, and educational purposes – an arboretum in every aspect of the word.
The variability and stateliness of the Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) makes it one of the more in-demand plants for the residential landscape. Japanese maples have long been a focal landscape plant at Lake View. Various forms can be seen throughout the cemetery, including upright forms maturing to approximately 25 feet in height and Dissectum cultivars (laceleaf types), often displaying a weeping shrub-like habit, and maturing to perhaps 12 feet in height. Linearilobum, or bamboo-leaf types, tend to be semi-dwarf specimens that can grow to 20 feet. Various dwarf types may be laterally spreading, globular or slow growing uprights that mature at 3 to12 feet. Variegates have multi-colored leaves and are usually semi-dwarf in form.
Lake View is home to seven Moses Cleaveland trees, which are said to have been standing in 1796 when Moses Cleaveland founded the city that would come to bear his name. Five different species are located on the grounds of Lake View; American Beech, Black Oak, White Oak, Sycamore, and Tuliptree.
The White Oak (Quercus alba) in Section 8, looks like it’s straight out of Sleepy Hollow because of its weathered appearance and long horizontal branches. An additional, even larger, White Oak can be found in Section 42.
The two grand Tuliptrees or Tulip Poplars (Liriodendron tulipifera), the tallest of the Moses Cleaveland trees, stand like sentries in Sections 1 & 6. These specimens may be best appreciated when one stands at the base of the tree and gazes upward.
Section 1 also boasts an American Beech (Fagus grandifolia). Its large root flare helps hold up the tree and stabilizes the hillside.
In Section 5a, the Sycamore (Platanus occidentalis) displays exfoliating camouflage-like bark. The white inner bark blends in well during winter and stands out majestically in spring.
The Black Oak (Quercus velutina) located in Section 14 has been supported with cables and brace rods to extend its life and preserve its integrity.
When looking at this tree’s distinctive pronounced buds during the dormant season or the telltale bisected leaves during the growing season, take note of the column like form of some of the trees. Certain Ginkgo specimens hold a tight, apical dominance to create this column-shaped growth. True to a cultivated variety, tip cuttings will grow in the columnar form when they are rooted or grafted to generate a new tree. This particular cultivar was first propagated in 1962 from trees growing at Lake View and subsequently named for the cemetery.
Located in Section 3 across from Daffodil Hill, this weeping Canadian Hemlock, Tsuga canadensis ‘Sargentii’, was considered to be the largest specimen in the United States until a large branch on the west side of the tree failed during a 1996 snowstorm. Despite also missing a lower limb, this specimen is still one of the largest weeping Canadian Hemlocks to be seen. A slightly smaller specimen is located in Section 9 near the Hanna Mausoleum along Edgehill Road.
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