By Colleen Mahoney

The Nannen Arboretum is hosting a guided walk to help kick off the fall season. To be held Sept. 25, the guided walk is a chance for visitors of the Arboretum to get fall’s full effect, with volunteers on hand to answer questions and share interesting facts.

According to Pat Kerl, treasurer at the Nannen Arboreum, John Ploetz, the developer of the Arboretum, enjoyed unique trees and made sure to showcase them at the Nannen Arboretum. Because of that, the Arboretum is home to some species visitors won’t see anywhere else in the area.

The walk will take visitors to the crab apple and evergreen collections, where they can learn about the different varieties of trees.  The walk will then take visitors to the Carolyn Lowe Herb Garden, which has 12 different herb gardens, and to the Demonstration Vegetable Garden, maintained by Cattaraugus County Master Gardeners. Participants also will take a walk to Lake Nipponica and the Japanese Stone Gardens.

“John was influenced by the Japanese culture … and you can see that in the Arboretum,” Kerl said. “The pond and the stone gardens were both influenced by Japanese culture.”

Before stopping for refreshments on the Ellicottville Rotary Patio along the back of the Town Center building, guests also can visit the Northrup Nature Hall and Chapman Nature Sanctuary.

“We’re very eager to get people to think of [the Arboretum] as an educational space,” Kerl said. “We have people stopping to look at the different sizes and shapes of the trees … trees that are of interest.”

Kerl said trees on the property range from newly planted to mature, giving a timeline of a tree’s growth. The Nannen Arboretum has two newly planted American chestnut trees – which have been classified as “effectively extinct” due to a severe blight reducing the trees ability to produce nuts – as well as tulip and birch trees.

“The new American chestnuts are only a couple of feet tall, so they’re pretty cute,” Kerl said. “We have mature size trees too, so you can see how they grow.”

While the walk is a way to bring more people to the Arboretum, Kerl also hopes it will spark some interest in volunteering. She explained that there is something for everyone to do, and it’s a nice place to spend your time.

The complimentary guided walk will take place Sunday, Sept. 25 from 12:30-3:30 p.m., at the “Best Kept Secret in Ellicottville.” The Nannen Arboretum is located at 28 Parkside Drive. For more information on the walk or to volunteer, contact