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Arnold Arboretum
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August 2014

In this issue

  • Emerald Ash Borer Detected at Arboretum
  • City Trees a Buffer to Climate Change Effects
  • Become a Member and Attend the Plant Giveaway
  • Inspire Urban Kids as a School Programs Guide
  • Plein Air Painting Exhibition Continues Through 9/7
  • Discover the Arboretum’s Treasures on a Theme Tour
  • Plant Spotlight on Honey Locust
  • Keep Pests in Check: August is Tree Check Month
  • City Trees a Buffer to Climate Change Effects

    Curator of Living Collections Michael Dosmann and Putnam Fellow Ailene Ettinger appeared on WGBH “Greater Boston” in July to discuss our urban tree canopy and its future in a changing climate. City trees in parks like the Arboretum, in gardens and backyards, and along city streets help mitigate the effects of climate change by taking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while improving life at ground level by creating cooling shade. The City of Boston hopes to plant 100,000 trees by 2020, increasing the city’s canopy by 20 percent. Help Grow Boston Greener by planting a tree on your property (pdf), requesting a street tree for your yard or business from the city, or participating in an organized tree planting.

    Become a Member and Attend the Plant Giveaway

    Thinking about joining the Friends of the Arboretum or renewing your membership? August is a great month to do so, just in time to take part in the Fall Plant Giveaway for members on Saturday, September 20. Select free woody plants, many propagated from historical Arboretum collections, as our thanks for your membership support. Free plant quantities are determined by membership level, and attendees may also participate in special plant drawings of remarkable plants from our nursery. Join or renew today, and if you’re already a member, look for our mailing this month with plant information and event highlights.

    Inspire Urban Kids as a School Programs Guide

    Field Study Guides

    Make a difference in the community and share the Arboretum with young learners. Apply today as a volunteer guide and train to lead small groups of schoolchildren through an active learning program about plants and the natural world. Training sessions begin later this month, focused on introducing new guides to the basics of botany, the curriculum of the Arboretum’s diverse field studies, and the Arboretum landscape as an outdoor classroom. Please call Nancy Sableski, Manager of Children’s Education, at 617.384.5239 for more information.

    Plein Air Painting Exhibition Continues Through 9/7

    Painters Kathy Rubado and Carol Schweigert frequented the Arboretum over the course of a year to capture its spectacular plants and landscapes on canvas for our current exhibition, Arnold Arboretum in Plein Air. On view through September 7, their impressionistic paintings created directly in the landscape depict snow-swept vistas on Peters Hill, intimate shady paths, and viburnum boughs dense with berries. Join Kathy and Carol this month for an artists talk on Thursday, August 7 at 5pm and for a plein air painting workshop on August 16 at 10am.

    Discover the Arboretum’s Treasures on a Theme Tour


    Spend some quality time in nature this summer, right in the heart of the city. Enjoy a unique theme tour of the Arboretum landscape with a knowledgeable docent each Saturday at 10:30am and each Sunday at 1:00pm. On August 5, Director of Operations Stephen Schneider offers “From Seed to Tree,” a behind-the-scenes look at the Dana Greenhouses and the Arboretum’s propagation program for the living collections. On August 16 and 30, Docent Sarah Atherton welcomes you to join her fun and adventurous family walks that delight kids and parents alike with highlights of plants, animals, and natural phenomena.

    Plant Spotlight on Honey Locust

    Located in the loop formed by Meadow Road as it winds around the ponds and Bussey Hill Road as it ascends near the lilac collection, the pea collection (Fabaceae) includes late-summer bloomers like the silk tree (Albizia julibrissin) and the pagoda tree (Styphnolobium japonicum). As summer transitions to fall, our native honey locust (Gleditsia triancanthos) also catches the eye with its fruits: long, flat legumes (seed pods). Generally untroubled by pests and tolerant of harsh conditions and environments, the honey locust looks the part of a tough survivor with sharp thorns occurring in clusters on its branches. Honey locust is our Tree-of-the-Month in our Visitor Center this month. Drop by for more information, or download our activity guide [pdf] with directions to a hidden letterbox in the landscape.

    Keep Pests in Check: August is Tree Check Month

    Maple trees

    The discovery last month of emerald ash borer in a detection trap at the Arboretum underscores the crucial role that surveillance and early detection play in controlling the array of pests confronting our plants. This is particularly important in the case of Asian longhorned beetle (ALB), a pest that has ravaged trees in the Worcester area and remains a potential threat throughout New England. The US Department of Agriculture has declared August as Tree Check Month, so get out your binoculars and brush up on your tree and pest identification skills. Adult beetles emerge in late summer to mate, so now is the best time to look for ALB or the large holes created as they bore out of host trees.

    All images from the Arnold Arboretum Archives, except exhibition image courtesy of the artists and emerald ash borer image by Debbie Miller of the USDA Forest Service.

    Emerald Ash Borer Detected at Arboretum

    On a destructive path through ash (Fraxinus) populations in the Midwest and Northeast since it was first discovered in the US in 2002, emerald ash borer (EAB) was detected in Boston for the first time in mid July at the Arboretum. Spotted on a routine check of detection traps deployed in the Arboretum landscape through a partnership with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, the beetle’s establishment in Suffolk County has been anticipated since its discovery in the Berkshires two years ago and in North Andover last summer. In coordination with officials from the City of Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and the federal government, the Arboretum will follow a recommended control regime for the pest, slowing its spread to other areas and protecting valued specimens in the collection.

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