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Thursday, June 11, 2009

Arboretum Review : Cave Hill Cemetery

Cave Hill Cemetery
701 Baxter Ave
Louisville, KY 40204

View location on the Arboretum Map

Date Visited : 26 March 2009

I stopping into Cave Hill Cemetery back in March before and after meetings while in Louisville on business. I spent two to three hours touring the grounds and felt that I only saw a fraction of what was there.
I entered the cemetery off of Grinstead Drive past a massive gatehouse where a guard is stationed. A smile was all it took for the guard to wave me through in the early morning, but one could expect a brief question if visiting during unusual hours or if they look particularly suspicious. I would simply let them know that you are visiting for horticultural viewing.

Cherry Tree
An old cherry in bloom forms an umbrella shaped canopy

After looping around part of the perimeter and getting thoroughly lost I made for the Administrative Offices to get more information. Signs guide the way. The Administrative Offices are located in the center of the grounds in a massive castle-like building overlooking one of the lakes.
Admin. Office Administrative Offices

Inside the Administrative Offices I found a helpfull staff that provided a fold out map of the grounds titled "Plants of Distinction". The map shows each section of the cemetery and lists plants that can be seen in that area. The map also contains a list of 26 champion trees which are the biggest of their types in the State of Kentucky.

A long pond with fountains stretches across the grounds

One tree of particular interest to myself was a massive Caucasian Wingnut with an astounding 21'6" trunk circumfrence. Located in the "Lotus Pond" section of the Cemetery, I have dubed it the Lotus Pond Wingnut.
Wingnut Tree

I stand infront of the giant Wingnut tree

The trees on the grounds are strikingly beautiful and unusually large and old for an urban-american setting. I was a bit disappointed that the tree tags lack scientific names, but the incredible diversity in the collection makes up for it.
A magnolia in bloom

I suggest taking a moment to greet the famous Colonel Sanders and other distinguished residents who have to luxury of resting forever in one of Kentucky's most beautiful parks. Also be sure to appreciate the stunning architecture and monumentation.
The grounds are covered with beautiful artistic monuments

Cemetery Architecture

Observed Trees:
Abies normand - Normand Fir
Acer campestre - Hedge Maple
Acer pseudoplatanus - Sycamore Maple
Acer pseudosieboldianum - Korean Maple
Aesculus x carnea - Red Horsechestnut
Cedrus libani - Cedar of Lebanon
Corylus colurna - Turkish Filbert
Halesia carolina - Carolina Silverbell
Ilex opaca f. xanthocarpa - Yellow Berry American Holly
Larix decidua - European Weeping Larch
Magnolia virginiana - Sweetbay Magnolia
Quercus laurifolia - Laurel Oak
Sophora japonica - Japanese Pagoda Tree
Taxodium ascendens - Pond Cypress
Taxus baccata - English Yew
Xanthoceras sorbifolium - Shiny Leaf Yellowhorn