The Ford House

Edsel & Eleanor Ford House tells the story of the home life of a prominent American family.

« Return to Newsroom

Branching In
Posted: November 1, 2013

When walking around the Ford House Grounds, you may notice the pink ribbons on the trees.

Don’t worry! Those trees aren’t going anywhere, in fact, the pink ribbons denote their historical significance.

The historic collections at Ford House include not only the furniture, art, decorative arts and textiles that furnish the main house, our collections include the buildings and the “living collection” of trees, gardens and grounds. Ford House has retained SmithGroup JJR to inventory the trees. The firm was established in Detroit in 1853 and today is national recognized for excellence in architecture, landscapes, research, and planning.
Because of the number of trees on the estate, the inventorying and mapping process will continue throughout the fall. When all information is collected (age, location, size, condition), the pink flags will be removed by a GPS mapper and each tree’s location, approximate age, and name will be noted.

“In continuing with our stewardship, Ford House is doing an extensive inventory of our living collection,” stated Doug Conley, Ford House Director of Landscapes. “Based on the information gathered, the current comprehensive tree care plan will be evaluated and there will be a development of education materials for the public.”

Conley commented that this information will be used to enhance Ford House’s landscape app to include such information as the oldest tree, the most unusual trees, and even a Jens Jensen tree tour, based on Jensen’s book Siftings.

“We’ll also look at what we should or could plant, depending on the type of area and the history of the grounds that we do have. It’s all about getting to the historic core – Ford House has many champion trees; trees with a story. And we are here to keep them healthy and thriving, following the practices of the Fords.”

Photo cutline: Smith Group JJR’s Neal Billetdeaux and Alexa Bush are pictured with a Hawthorn - one of Ford House Landscape Architect Jens Jensen’s favorites because of the trunk's twist. That’s why there are so many of them in Ford House’s landscape.

« Return to Newsroom