Restoring Native Woodlands

Woodlands Are a Valuable Resource:

Trees reduce stormwater runoff while improving air quality and reducing energy consumption.

When urban forestry is not considered as a part of planned growth, new construction of impervious surfaces such as parking lots, roads and buildings is not balanced by planting additional trees. According to American Forests, the total area of impervious surfaces has increased by 20% over the past two decades in urban areas.  Special stormwater facilities used to compensate for the tree loss are expensive to build and maintain. Native trees provide a natural, appealing and economical alternative.

New Trees At the Center:

Several large mowed fields on the Ellington Campus are being planted with trees.  The photo above shows seedlings being placed behind the Porter Building.  The species of trees were chosen for their suitability for the growing conditions and for esthetics.

Existing Trees At the Center:

Once Seven Mile Creek ran through a mature hardwood forest.  Most of the original trees were cut by settlers for firewood, building materials, and to clear cropland.  When the land that became the Ellington Campus changed from a farm to an estate, parts of the property reverted to a more natural appearance.  Some splendid old hardwoods now have trunks too big to reach around.  Enough of them have been labeled and cataloged for the Ellington Center to be named an Official Arboretum by the Nashville Tree Foundation.

The trees on the Ellington Campus consist mainly of common native species, dominated by sugar maple, black walnut, hackberry and dogwood.  69 different species were identified in the last forest inventory (1999), including a spectacular dawn redwood close to the Moss Administration Building.  The trees are cared for with the latest and best arboricultural practices and will impress visitors and improve the environment for years to come.

Upcoming Events:

Restore Ellington Weed Wrangle

Saturday, March 4, 2023 10:00am-12:00pm CT

Invasive plant removal project will meet at trailhead by restroom pavilion beside the Metrology Lab at Ellington Agricultural Center. Signs will be placed to show volunteers where to park.

— Please RSVP to Ashley Kite-Rowland at