New Trees, New Plants, New Life

Around the Grounds with Bennett

The grounds of The 577 Foundation are graced with many great trees under which people have sat and children played, upon which many birds have nested and squirrels foraged, and against which daily life has occurred.  And though trees seem to have a sense of permanence, they, like us and all living things, inhabit this earth for a limited time. 

Anyone who has regularly visited 577 and walked the grounds over the years has seen the premature death of the elms and the native ash trees, and the removal of numerous trees due to age and damage.  This winter has been no different for us as our entrance may look a bit different to our regular visitors. Due to their declining health in old age, and in the best interest of everyone’s safety, the City of Perrysburg has taken the necessary steps to remove three large honeylocusts and a massive oak along the entrance driveway.

Since I started in 2020, I have watched the top branches of the locusts dying back a little more each year and was not surprised to find their trunks hollow and rotting upon removal.  When the oak is completely removed, I will not be surprised to see similar discoloration and decay of the heartwood, as it too has displayed a dying canopy and dropping bark, telltale signs of a tree in poor health. 

The big question is:  If a tree falls at 577, does anyone hear it? The answer is a resounding YES! 

You can rest assured that we see ourselves as stewards of this beautiful site, and of our founder Virginia Secor Stranahan’s desire for it to always remain a space of natural beauty, sustenance, and calm.  When a tree departs from our presence at 577, its absence makes way for new life, new trees, and new plant communities with their important connections to animals large and small, including humans.

We mourn the loss of a tree, but we never remove a tree without a plan to replace it. Over the years, our properties department has planted numerous new trees, including many dedicated in the memory of those who have loved 577.

Going into the future, we will continue to plant trees, always with the intention of creating beauty, calm, shelter, and nourishment for nature. 

If you have questions regarding tree health, general information about the trees at 577, or would like to learn more about memorial trees, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us at

From the Desk of Bennett O. Dowling, 577 Organic Landscape Horticulturist

More Posts

National Pollinator Week

National Pollinator Week

National Pollinator Week takes place in June and is one full week of the year that commemorates and appreciates the work of these pollinator friends. But, more importantly, what can we do as individuals and as a community to help pollinators beyond this special week?

Pollinator Gardens: Beyond Blooms

Pollinator Gardens: Beyond Blooms

In this edition of “Around the Grounds with Bennett,” discover the vital role of often-overlooked larval host plants and sustainable gardening practices in creating thriving pollinator habitats.

Join us for Music in the Gardens on Saturday, August 10, from 11am to 3pm. Events are free, family-friendly, and rain or shine.