Hayes Mansion and Edenvale Gardens Regional Park, San Jose, CA

This area has an interesting history. It was homesteaded by a family called Hayes in the late 1800's and has been designated as an historic landmark.

In gathering data for iNaturalist.org, I noticed that the Edenvale Garden Park associated with the Hayes Mansion appears to have 1-2 each of about a hundred different species of trees. Some of the eucalyptus trees and oaks are massive, so I'm guessing they've been there a hundred years or more. The Hayes gardens extended beyond the current boundaries of the mansion and park (now only 6 acres). I've seen Coulter's pine and redwoods in the adjacent mobile home community. Also, there were giant agaves before they cut them down for the newest construction project.

I found a book at Santa Clara Central Park Library called "The Gem of Edenvale - The Historic Hayes Mansion of San Jose, California" by Nancy L. Neulin (Renasci, 1994). She wrote that the Hayes family hired Rudolph Ulrich to design the park and gardens. Scattered throughout the park were ponderosa pine, pepper, Italian cypress, and black locust. Palm, cedar, and eucalyptus lined the paths, which were wide enough to drive a wagon or car through.

"In its park of 40 acres one may find trees, shrubs and flowers indigenous to every clime." (San Jose Evening News, July 27, 1905).

Neulin confirmed my suspicions: "The natural trees, principally pines and the beautiful California live-oak, have been left as nearly in a state of nature as possible." (pp. 64-65)

The Hayes Estate originally comprised 646 acres as of 1903. Surrounding the current historical site were hundreds of acres of orchards and fields - a large working farm that produced: prunes, apricots, peaches, pears, cherries, apples, figs, dates, oranges, lemons, grapefruit, strawberries, blackberries, gooseberries, loganberries, almonds, English walnuts, pecans, chestnuts, oats, barley, wheat, alfalfa, peas, corn, beets, lima beans, carrots, cauliflower, eggplant, potatoes, garlic,artichokes, lettuce, squash, and horseradish.

Neulin tells an interesting story about a construction worker finding a barn owl nest with two hatchlings and three eggs behind the soffit panels in the old mansion in 1993 during the renovation. The hatchlings and eggs were taken to the Humane Society, where the owls were raised, and eventually released back into the park where the construction worker had made nesting boxes for them.

Dates of interest:

1887- first land was purchased from John Tennant
1891 - first home was built
1959-1980, the park was sold and operated as an amusement park called Frontier Village
1975 - the mansion was registered in the National Register of Historic Landmarks
1987 - the park was purchased by the City of San Jose
1993 - reconstruction commenced

Posted on September 04, 2016 10:04 PM by truthseqr truthseqr

Observations

Photos / Sounds

What

Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis)

Observer

truthseqr

Date

April 26, 2016 02:22 PM PDT

Description

Black squirrel with a thin scaggly tail. See the following reference:
http://baynature.org/2014/02/20/black-squirrels-common-california/

There is a large established population of black squirrels in this small neighborhood park. They've been thriving there with several other species of squirrels for many years.

Photos / Sounds

What

Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus)

Observer

truthseqr

Date

April 26, 2016 01:52 PM PDT

Description

Huge eucalyptus tree with peeling bark, long and pointed aromatic leaves, and nuts with + pattern. All the leaves I saw had bite marks along the edges.

This park, which is adjacent to the Hayes Mansion in San Jose, used to be an amusement park called Frontier Village, and prior to that it was part of the Hayes estate.

Photos / Sounds

What

Canary Island Pine (Pinus canariensis)

Observer

truthseqr

Date

May 31, 2016 01:18 PM PDT

Description

Evergreen tree. Needles bundled in groups of 3. Medium-sized cones; tips are turned down and inward. Bark is reddish brown and smells like pineapple.

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Photos / Sounds

What

Persian Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin)

Observer

truthseqr

Date

May 31, 2016 01:01 PM PDT

Description

Mimosa tree in bloom.

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Photos / Sounds

What

Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

Observer

truthseqr

Date

June 6, 2016 03:34 PM PDT

Description

This is a strange place for a Coast Redwood to be found (South San Jose).

There are several redwoods in this area.

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Photos / Sounds

What

Coulter Pine (Pinus coulteri)

Observer

truthseqr

Date

June 6, 2016 03:45 PM PDT

Description

Long needles (>6 inches) in bundles of 3. Branches are curved upward. Cones are huge (9-12" long). On this tree, the cones seem to be growing parallel to the branches.

Added another picture (on 2016-07-05) of a mature cone held in my hand.

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Photos / Sounds

What

Olive Family (Family Oleaceae)

Observer

truthseqr

Date

July 29, 2016 02:19 PM PDT

Description

This tree (approx. 15' high) has multiple gray trunks with smooth, slightly peely bark.
No thorns were seen.

Leaves are alternate, lanceolate, and have a smooth margin.
They are dark green and glossy on the upper surface and a lighter dull brownish color on the underside.

The fruit is a very small drupe, approx 1.5 cm long; it is green at this time of year. I didn't have a ruler, so I used a plastic water bottle cap for comparison.

Tiny black seeds (~1 cm in length) from previous years litter the ground beneath the tree.

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Photos / Sounds

What

Peruvian Pepper Tree (Schinus molle)

Observer

truthseqr

Date

July 29, 2016 02:30 PM PDT

Description

I see these trees in many parks in the South Bay, including Edenvale and Almaden Lake parks and along the Guadalupe River. There are clusters of bright red berries on the trees this time of year.

This tree was probably planted here at some point in time

Photos / Sounds

What

Tree-of-Heaven (Ailanthus altissima)

Observer

truthseqr

Date

July 29, 2016 02:32 PM PDT

Description

This tree is approx. 40' high and has multiple mottled brown trunks.

Leaves are alternate and pinnate with a smooth margin and 13-14 leaflets.

There are clusters of seeds hanging in bundles from the tree.

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Photos / Sounds

What

California Fan Palm (Washingtonia filifera)

Observer

truthseqr

Date

July 29, 2016 03:02 PM PDT

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Photos / Sounds

What

California Ground Squirrel (Otospermophilus beecheyi)

Observer

truthseqr

Date

July 29, 2016 03:12 PM PDT

Description

This ground squirrel was sounding the alarm for several minutes, but it didn't seem too concerned when I approached it, so something else had it spooked. Unfortunately, I didn't get close enough for a good picture.

Original file was VID_20160729_151035795.mp4, a video taken with my smartphone. Used Convertio.co to convert *.mp4 format to *.wav format. Used Audacity to edit out the background noise using the High Pass Filter (Rolloff=48 dB; Cutoff Frequency=3000 Hz) , set Peak Amplification to -3dB for consistency with other audio clips. Exported in *.wav format.

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Photos / Sounds

What

Spruces (Genus Picea)

Observer

truthseqr

Date

July 29, 2016 03:14 PM PDT

Description

Conifer over 50 ft. tall.

Needles are pointed and attached singly to twigs.

Older twigs from which needles have fallen off have stubby pegs (spruce).

Needle length: 3.5 cm (1.25")

Buds have a bluish hue.

Probably planted here at some point in time.

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Photos / Sounds

What

Sacred Datura (Datura wrightii)

Observer

truthseqr

Date

August 12, 2016 03:48 PM PDT

Description

Height: up to 18"
Leaves are dark green on top with pointed lobes. Underside is a lighter green and hairy.
Flower: white trumpet flower; tube is 6" in length and flower is 4.5 - 5" in diameter

2016-08-16, added several more pictures of flowers and prickly seed pod.

This is very strange to see these plants in a city park. At first I thought there were only 2 plants, but I returned today (2016-08-17) to get photos of the flowers at dawn (since it blooms at night and the flowers wilt shortly after dawn). I counted at least 21 plants in this area, and there are probably a bunch more that are too small for me to identify right now.

Photos / Sounds

What

Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia)

Observer

truthseqr

Date

August 12, 2016 03:52 PM PDT

Description

Leaves are dark green and strongly cupped. Leaf margins are spiny-toothed. Underside is a lighter green and hairy.

Acorns are at least twice as long as they are wide; cap is smooth.

(Edenvale Garden Park, San Jose)

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