if yer not forest,
yer against us

Fred Breglia
Head of Horticulture
The Great Oak
Landis Arboretum
Esperance, New York

PHOTO: DYarrow 12/2/2001

Landis Arboretum
Lape Road
Esperance, New York

Landis Arboretum is a 548-acre facility on a hilltop 1.5 miles northwest of Esperance, New York in Schoharie Valley, with spectacular views of Schoharie and Mohawk Valleys. The Arboretum's mission is to provide natural history and horticulture education through programs and plant collections. With over ten miles of hiking trails, over 40 species of trees, hundreds of trees and shrubs, a four-season perennial garden, greenhouse, library and meeting house, annual plant sales, and over 800 volunteer members, and eight paid staff, the Arboretum is well-endowed to fulfill this mission. The Arboretum is headquarters for the Eastern New York Old Growth Survey Team.

The Lape family owned Oak Nose Farm more than 100 years, known for the huge white oak on a prominent hilltop. Fred Lape had a desire to grow every species of woody plant that can survive in Schoharie Valley. He shared his interest with a widening circle until his death in 1985. The Arboretum was founded in 1951, and named for George Landis, an academic colleague and plant enthusiast who died a year earlier, leaving his estate to Fred Lape.
Aerial Photo
Landis Arboretum
Esperance, New York
click to enlarge

PHOTO www.nysgis.state.ny.us

The Arboretum has grown from 97 acres to over 500 through donations and purchases of contiguous lands. Among its many horticultural features are:

  • collections of notable trees
  • collection of crabapple varieties
  • 100 tree species suited to harsh or urban environments
  • +40 tree & shrub species outside their hardiness zone
  • registered collection of fir trees
  • native plants of New York and Western New England
  • the Van Loveland perennial garden.

    These plant collections are maintained by a large, active and devoted membership and several committees, coordinated by eight fulltime staff. Two principal fundraising events every year are the spring and fall plant sales, and summer tours of the finest home gardens in the Capitol region.
    Topographic Map
    Landis Arboretum
    Lape Road, Esperance, NY
    click to enlarge

    MAP www.nysgis.state.ny.us

    The major mission of the Arboretum is to educate the public to appreciate and understand plants and trees. A four season, full schedule of educational activities are held at the Arboretum, ranging from special events for visiting school classes to family workshops. Activities occur almost every weekend, and include botanical drawing, garden tours, pruning workshops, astronomy nights, wildlife hunts, and other workshops about the Arboretum's flora. In addition, a horticulture certificate program is offered jointly with the State University of New York in nearby Cobleskill. Recently workshops on old growth forest surveys and tours of the region's champion trees have become part of the Arboretum's educational programs.
    Hart's-Tongue Fern
    Rare Endangered Plant
    Landis Arboretum
    January 2007

    First Survey
    December 2, 2001

    Leader: Fred Breglia
    Assistant: David Yarrow

    Sunday, December 2, the Eastern New York Old Growth Survey Team investigated 20 acres on the crown of the hill above the Arboretum office, and west of The Great Oak. The team concluded that there is significant old growth on the site, but it has been disturbed and damaged in the 200-year history of European settlement. However, enough original forest and ancient trees remain to begin regenerating an exemplary old growth forest.

    Second Survey
    May 10, 2005

    Leader: Fred Breglia

    Third Survey
    July 2005
    Fairchild Woodlands

    Leader: Fred Breglia
    Assistant: Bruce Kershner


  • The Earth Restoration and Reforestation Alliance www.championtrees.org updated 4/14/2003