Fayette County

Arboretum’s burn gives its prairie the natural look

Why is part of the Arboretum burning?

Staff and volunteers conducted a prescribed burn of the largest prairie at the Arboretum in Lexington. The purpose was to reduce thatch to allow perennials to come up and put nitrogen back into the soil.
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Staff and volunteers conducted a prescribed burn of the largest prairie at the Arboretum in Lexington. The purpose was to reduce thatch to allow perennials to come up and put nitrogen back into the soil.

The Wildflowers Meadows, the largest prairie in The Arboretum State Botanical Garden of Kentucky and part of their Walk Across Kentucky, went up in smoke today as staff and volunteers conducted a prescribed burn. Arboretum staff member Michael Patton said the annual burn is designed to mimic the natural burn cycles of native prairies across the United States. The purpose was to burn the thatch to allow perennials to come up as well as to recycle some of the nutrients and put nitrogen back into the soil, according to Patton. Arboretum staff and volunteers with the Thursday Morning Native Plants group took part in the burn. The walking trail around the Arboretum remained open during the burn.

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