Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital receives tree seedling grown from capitol eastern catalpa.

June 17, 2022

Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital receives tree seedling grown from capitol eastern catalpa.

LUDINGTON — State Senator Curt VanderWall (R-Ludington) recently presented an eastern catalpa tree seedling recently to Drew Dostal, president of Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. The seed used to grow the sapling came from an eastern catalpa on the grounds of the Michigan State Capitol Building and was grown to its current size by the Michigan State University Tree Research Center.

“The catalpa at the Capitol Building in Lansing is the oldest and largest tree of its kind in the country,” said VanderWall. “It’s over 100 feet tall and its trunk is about 20 feet in circumference at the base. It’s just enormous.

“I had the opportunity to come and visit with some of the nurses and other health care workers at Ludington Hospital during Nurses Week,” VanderWall said. “I noticed how nicely the hospital grounds are kept. That got me thinking that this would be a great spot for one of the catalpa tree seedlings; kind of a central location where everybody in the community can see it grow—hopefully—into a giant like the one it came from in Lansing.”

It’s not known how old the Lansing catalpa tree is. Photographs of the Capitol Building construction from 1872 show the tree at that time, so it’s at least 150 years old. There were originally two catalpa trees there, one on each side of the sidewalk. One did not survive.

Catalpa wood is hard and dense and does not easily decay. It was often used by farmers for building fence posts. Its seed pods were historically favored by farmers because they were easily dried and used in fireplaces and cook stoves.

“We’re really grateful to have received this catalpa seedling from Senator VanderWall,” said Drew Dostal, president of Spectrum Health Ludington Hospital. “It’s been planted on the grounds, and we’re hoping it takes off and really grows into a large spectacular tree. We’re proud of the area’s agricultural and farming roots and it would be nice to have a tree of this variety that you see on many Michigan farms.”

 

 

Help Fund Local News

Please consider helping us keep local news active by sending a PayPal payment.

Subscribe to OCP via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 12,773 other subscribers