Newport Tree Society Announces the “Newport Arboretum” Initiative to Save Rare Trees

“Trees are your best antiques.” ~Alexander Smith


Chairman Lilly Dick with Alison Vareika

Lillian Dick, President of the The Newport Tree Society, asked a pointed question of the audience at a recent fundraiser in a private home on Gibbs Avenue: “Where is the Newport Arboretum?”


After a puzzled pause, she revealed that it was everywhere, and we were standing amidst it.


Mrs. Dick and a group of thoughtful advocates and arborists announced the formation of the Newport Arboretum, a group dedicated to meeting the looming challenges facing Newport’s specimen trees, many brought back from around the world by sea captains.  The initiative will launch in the Spring of 2011, and will include self-guided tree walks throughout the city, tags for more than 300 notable trees, and an online interactive learning center


Thomas Palmer, hostess Susan Ruf Walsh, and Dominique Alfandre

Newport’s most spectacular specimen trees are of a shared generation, and are currently in serious decline. Public tree planting initiatives in Newport over the last two decades have been successful, but a large percentage of magnificent trees are on private property. Homeowners are in need of support in identifying their special trees, learning how to better maintain them, and making wise choices when planting for the next generation. it will be made available through this progrram.

Scott Wheeler, Trees and Parks Supervisor, was there in support of the initiative, as were Newport Councilmen Justin McLaughlin and Steve Waluk. The Newport Tree Society was a founding force in creating Newport’s sustainable tree protection, maintenance and planting program for the city’s public trees. supporting the ongoing development of a comprehensive urban forestry program with a clear long-term goal: to protect and regenerate Newport's urban forest, including its renowned collection of specimen trees.


Pat Steel, Gayle Dipietro & Carol Hodges

According to the Tree Society, “Our natural arboretum, which has quietly emerged over the course of the last two centuries, is the product of a tapestry of lovingly planted specimen trees gracing public and, more often, private landscapes. But it is currently in danger. To recognize this, one need only look to the relentless decline of an important cornerstone of our city's tree canopy - our mammoth copper beeches.”


For these, and many more magnificent trees, time is running out,hence the activities and efforts of The Newport Tree Society in engaging Newporters, property owners, and visitors alike to assist in protecting and regenerating Newport’s grand urban forest. In the works is a map of Newport’s specimen trees.


Leaf Motif:  the bountiful hors d'oeuvres table


Tree Society Board members David Leys and Rob Currier, agreed, and Lisa Lewis was busily checking in guests.  Vice President Jean Gorham was there with husband Sid GorhamHarry J. Eudenbach, author of “Estate Gardeners of Newport, A Cultural Legacy”, about the professional gardeners who shaped Newport’s cottage grounds signed books for guests.

Hosts Susan Ruf and Michael Walsh spoke about their remodeled Victorian home, and its magnificent 2.5 acre grounds.


For more information about the Newport Tree Society, go to


                                                                                              - L.P.




Lisa Lewis & Harry Eudenbach greeting event guests



Tim Brown of the Tree Society Board & daughter Alana

Victoria Boatwright & Maggie Dunbar helped

Host Michael Walsh

Checking in and buying a book

Cris Cobaugh & City Councilman Justin McLaughlin

Bill Leys, Board member & Rob Currier

Liz Drayton & Colleen McGrath of Ballard Park love Newport's trees!


Lilly Dick announces a "Tree of the Year" contest


Newport Tree Warden Scott Wheeler


"I agree", says Liz Drayton


Ronald Dick listening to wife Lilly


Presenting a citation to Alison & Bill Vareika for stewardship

of trees on their property


Steve Waluk, Mayor-elect, smiles for Newport Seen


Dominique Alfandre with Rod O'Hanley


Richard & Margo Grosvenor with Frank Richardson


Richard Crisson congratulates Lilly Dick


Harry J. Eudenbach with his important history of

Newport's private estate gardeners


Jonna Chewning & Jack Jefferies

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