home of Diana and Jim Spiegel
Torreya Guardians in Cleveland, Loveland (Cincinnati), and now Dayton Ohio are reporting early success with nurturing Torreya taxifolia in their forests. Florida Torreya has long been regarded as a "glacial relict" that is, left behind at the downstream end of the Chattahoochee River system at the close of the Ice Age. It was therefore not surprising that 60 or 70 years ago, climate had already warmed well past Torreya's ability to thrive and to fend off disease agents in its small Florida refuge.
Given the rapid additional climate change ongoing now, the tree's future looks especially bleak unless citizens volunteer to help this member of the yew family move north. That is the role of Torreya Guardians. Citizen volunteers step up to plant sufficient numbers of seeds in their regrowth forests to provide opportunities for this species to establish reproductive groves as a slow-growing, subcanopy species beneath a largely deciduous canopy well north of where it had been "left behind" more than 10,000 years ago.
Considering that the "champion" Torreya tree is in a landscape planting of a cemetery south of Dayton, it seems like a sure bet that Ohio is a fine place to "rewild" this endangered tree.
VIDEO 26: Rewilding Torreya Trees, Dayton Ohio (2016-17)
Connie Barlow video-interviews Diana Spiegel (with assistance from Jim Spiegel) during an onsite survey in the couple's east-facing forested slope alongside a creek. Recent deaths of ash trees (owing to the Emerald Ash Borer) is opening up more sunlight on the forest floor. A delight is discovery of a ginkgo seedling 8 feet away from a little Torreya; the ginkgo seed would have been consumed by a raccoon or fox, then pooped out in the Spiegel's forest: thus "naturalizing" on this continent that was its home in the distant past.
15 minutes - filmed June 2016 and November 2017; posted on youtube August 2018
PHOTOS BELOW: This ginkgo seedling was not planted by Diana Spiegel; it must have been "planted" by a raccoon, fox, or coyote who ate a fallen seed from a landscaped ginkgo in a nearby neighborhood and then pooped it not long before Diana planted a torreya seed about 6 feet away.
MARCH 2022 - Diana Spiegel reported to Connie Barlow via email that she and Jim visited the new owners of the house and property. All 4 walked the forested slope together searching for the torreyas. They found 4 torreyas. The new owners are very excited to have them and will probably try to fence them for protection against deer.
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