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October 2009



In this issue

New Plantings Enhance Dawson Pond

Plant Spotlight on Sorbus alnifolia

Richard Schulhof to Lead L.A. County Arboretum

Charles Jencks Reveals the Universe in a Garden

Botanica: Scanography by Marty Klein

Learn to Grow: October Classes Focus on Trees

Free Tours Explore Bonsai, Bark, and Fall Color

Plant Spotlight on Sorbus alnifolia

Sorbus alnifolia

A delight to behold in the landscape, Sorbus alnifolia stands in a class of its own among mountain ashes. In contrast to its American and European relatives, which feature compound leaves, Korean mountain ash bears simple, glossy leaves. These turn shades of yellow, orange, and rust in October, providing a stunning backdrop for its display of showy red fruits. S. alnifolia makes a fine specimen tree, and has proven to be quite hardy and more tolerant of heat, drought, and insect stresses than other mountain ashes. A massive centenarian grows on the south slope of Peters Hill, and a striking specimen stands among the oaks between Bussey Hill and Valley Roads.

Enjoy more of October's plant highlights...

Richard Schulhof to Lead L.A. County Arboretum

Richard Schulhof

Richard Schulhof stepped down as deputy director of the Arnold Arboretum on September 18 to lead the Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden as its chief executive officer. In his seven-year tenure as deputy director, Richard directed strategic advancements in horticultural and educational programming at the Arboretum. These include the creation of the Arboretum's Landscape Management Plan, the implementation of new programs supporting science education for urban elementary and Head Start students, and guidance in enhancing the Arboretum's system of wayfinding and interpretation in the landscape.

Read the full announcement...

Charles Jencks Reveals the Universe in a Garden

Garden of Cosmic Speculation

A leading architectural theorist, landscape architect, and designer, Charles Jencks employs a highly idiosyncratic design vocabulary inspired by mathematics and physics. These themes play out with astonishing results in his award-winning design, the Landform Ueda at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh, and his own private landscape, the Garden of Cosmic Speculation (pictured). On Wednesday, October 7 at 7:00pm, Jencks will speak at Trinity Church in Boston's Copley Square about his design process as it applies to landscapes. Register to attend an evening with one of the world's truly innovative landscape artists.

Find out more about this and other fall offerings...

Botanica: Scanography by Marty Klein

Roadside Foliage by Marty Klein

Using a flatbed scanner as a camera, artist Marty Klein captures images of plants and other natural objects with incredible depth and contrast, presenting familiar forms in refreshing ways. Botanica: Scanography by Marty Klein, opening October 24 in the Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall, features vital and arresting images quite different from traditional photographs. Several new works in this show use specimens gathered by special permission from the Arboretum's living collection. Join the artist for an opening reception from 1:00 to 3:00pm on October 24, and save the date for an artist talk on November 19 at 6:30pm.

See current and upcoming art shows...

Learn to Grow: October Classes Focus on Trees

Fall Color

Docents often describe the Arnold Arboretum as a museum of trees, and October classes explore these natural wonders from seed to mature specimen. Join the Arboretum's plant propagator, Jack Alexander, for two daylong sessions on growing plants from hardwood cuttings and seeds. Visit the 25 most common trees in Boston and discover their identifying characteristics with Kyle Port, manager of plant records. Local arborist Dave Ropes demonstrates how to assess tree health and structure, discerning such factors as twig growth, foliage, and pathogens. Rounding out the curriculum, John DelRosso, Arboretum head arborist, offers a session on chainsaw use, safety, and maintenance for prudent woodcutting.

Explore fall classes at the Arnold Arboretum...

Free Tours Explore Bonsai, Bark, and Fall Color


The Arboretum's diverse collection of trees and shrubs treat visitors to a visual feast of colors and textures each autumn. Pursue exciting paths of discovery on a free tour with Arboretum staff and volunteers this month. On October 14, join Arboretum docent Roberta Apfel for Bonsai Matching, a closer look at plants in the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection and their full-size counterparts in the landscape. On October 25, Nancy Rose, editor of Arnoldia, discusses the Art and Science of Fall Color in a leaf-peeping walk highlighting plants with outstanding fall color. And the Arboretum's curator of living collections, Michael Dosmann, presents Barking Mad on October 31, a lively survey of Arboretum trees and shrubs with colorful and textural bark.

Check out October events...

All images from the Arnold Arboretum Archives except Garden of Cosmic Speculation image courtesy of Charles Jencks and exhibition image courtesy of Marty Klein.

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New Plantings Enhance Dawson Pond

Dawson Pond planting

Dawson Pond, one of three man-made ponds near the intersection of Meadow and Bussey Hill Roads, is a favored destination for visitors and wildlife alike. This year, horticulture staff initiated pond enhancements with the replanting of accessions of the endangered Nantucket juneberry (Amelanchier nantucketensis) along its southern edge. In August, remediation of the pond's banks began with the addition of aquatic herbaceous plants including arrowhead (Sagittaria latifolia) and pickerelweed (Pontederia cordata). Staff will prepare the edges of the pond this autumn for spring planting by removing invasive plants and treating the soil. Summer 2010 plans call for the installation of a new cobble landing at the pond's northern edge to provide a convenient overlook for visitors.

Learn more about landscape management at the Arboretum...


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