Oh, what an amazing spring it has been! The cooler weather has been fantastic for our annual spring planting campaign, which has just concluded. This year, some 150 plants have been moved to their permanent homes in the living collection, representing a wide array of trees, shrubs, vines, and ground covers from all over the temperate world.
Notable additions this year include two separate accessions of the yellow-flowering Diervilla lonicera (commonly called northern bush honeysuckle, though not truly a honeysuckle), a new species to the Arboretum since its collection in 2011 in New York and Pennsylvania. These shrubs were planted in several locations in the Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden as well as near the Weld Hill Research Building.
Another area which received new plantings was the north entry of Willow Path, across from the Hunnewell Building Visitor Center. The recent loss of a mature Metasequoia glytostroboides (dawn redwood; 740-62*E) due to a lightning strike created a wonderful planting opportunity. Another Metasequoia(648-92*B), some 20-feet tall, was air-spaded out of its previous location on Peters Hill and planted bare root near the stump of the older one. To complement the fine texture of the needles of the dawn redwood, we added four Magnolia tripetala individuals to the site, known commonly as umbrella magnolia due to its large coarse leaves clustered at the end of each stem. These trees were collected in the wilds of Alabama and North Carolina, and were dug from one of the Arboretum’s in-ground nurseries.
On your next visit to the Arboretum, look for the ‘Class of 2014’, all marked with a wood, crimson-painted stake and branded S2014. Return often to see how they grow to become mature specimens.
-Michael Dosmann, Curator of Living Collections & Andrew Gapinski, Supervisor of Horticulture