Arnold Arboretum August Enews
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August 2010


In this issue
  • Asian Longhorned Beetle Found Near Arboretum
  • Members Plant Giveaway on Saturday, September 25
  • Take a Class: Collect, Identify, and Preserve Insects
  • Spotlight on Viburnum
  • NHPleinAir Artists Depict Arboretum in the "Open Air"
  • NSF Awards Grants to Three Arboretum Scientists
  • Tours Focus on Native Plants and Invasive Exotics

  • Members Plant Giveaway on Saturday, September 25
    Syringa 'Albert F. Holden'

    Thinking about joining the Friends of the Arboretum or renewing your membership? August is a great month to do so, in time to qualify for the Fall Plant Giveaway for members on Saturday, September 25. This event is offered to members as an opportunity to select free, Arboretum-grown plants as part of the program's benefits. Free plant quantities are determined by membership level, and attendees are also invited to participate in special plant drawings. Experts from the Arboretum staff will be on hand to answer your woody plant questions, and a representative from the USDA will offer information on the Asian Longhorned Beetle. Join or renew today, and look for more information on plants and event highlights in the mail in early September.

    Take a Class: Collect, Identify, and Preserve Insects
    Clouded sulfur butterfly

    Insects offer a wealth of information about the environments they inhabit. Since insects can be ecological indicators, monitoring their actions and populations in your landscape can guide approaches to care. On Wednesday, August 11, join Arboretum Horticultural Technologist Sue Pfeiffer for a closer look at these facinating creatures. Sue will introduce you to insect anatomy, life cycles, and the major insect families and their identifying characteristics. Learn how to assess an insect population and methods to attract, capture, and collect insects for preservation and display.

    Spotlight on Viburnum
    Viburnum dilatatum

    Researchers from the Edwards Lab at Brown University have been using the Arboretum's Viburnum collection to study the evolutionary traits of leaf form. The Arboretum is suited to facilitate this sort of investigation, with more than 40 viburnum species and many hybrids and cultivars. Viburnums are admired for their attractive form and foliage, and many species also produce showy, and often fragrant, flowers in spring. Flower forms may be flat or dome-shaped clusters, or flat umbels interspersed with larger flowers. In autumn, some viburnums display stunning foliage color. At this time of year, however, look for viburnums bearing ornamental fruits in blue, black, red, or yellow. These berries appear on almost all species, and provide food for birds and other wildlife.

    NHPleinAir Artists Depict Arboretum in the "Open Air"
    Aline Lotter View With Reflections

    Since last fall, an intrepid group of painters from New Hampshire calling themselves NHPleinAir have visited the Arnold Arboretum regularly to create art in the landscape. Beginning August 7 in the Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall, the group will exhibit their works featuring the trees and landscapes of the Arboretum captured en plein air ("in the open air") throughout the seasons. View the exhibition and join the artists for a presentation and discussion on Saturday, August 14 at 1:00pm.

    NSF Awards Grants to Three Arboretum Scientists
    Sargent Fellow Maciej Zwieniecki

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded grants to three Arnold Arboretum scientists to advance two new botanical initiatives. Senior Research Scientist Campbell Webb and Sargent Fellow Sarah Mathews received funding to inventory the plant diversity of Indonesia and help develop that country's capacity and leadership in biodiversity informatics. NSF will also fund studies by Sargent Fellow Maciej Zwieniecki (pictured) and the University of Chicago's Kevin Boyce using leaf fossils and live plants to define linkages between leaf structure, plant habit, and plant physiology, and to reconstruct the nature of prehistoric forests.

    Tours Focus on Native Plants and Invasive Exotics
    Amur cork tree

    Enjoy a summer stroll through the Arboretum, and learn about the history and habits of some of the thousands of trees and shrubs that grow here. On Saturday, August 7, Docent Marty Amdur offers a landscape tour focused on plants introduced to America that exhibit invasive qualities. Learn more about where these plants came from, how they got here, and the characteristics that help them outcompete other vegetation. On Sunday, August 15, join Visitor Education staff and Arboretum Docents to learn about the flora of New England, expanding on themes introduced in our current interpretive cellphone tour, Walk with Natives.

    All images from the Arnold Arboretum Archives except ALB image courtesy of the USDA, lilac image (Syringa 'Albert F. Holden') courtesy of Jack Alexander, and exhibition image courtesy of Aline Lotter and NHPleinAir.

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    Asian Longhorned Beetle Found Near Arboretum
    Asian Longhorned Beetle

    On Monday, July 5, officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced that the Asian Longhorned Beetle (ALB) had been found in six red maple trees on the grounds of Faulkner Hospital, located on the Arboretum's western border. The six maples were immediately removed. A 1.5 mile quarantine zone was instated around the discovery site to search for further signs of this tree-destroying pest and to control the movement of host plant material within the zone. At this time, no additional beetles have been found.

    The Arboretum instituted protocols in early 2009 to regularly inspect the living collection for ALB, following news of infestations and the subsequent removal of thousands of trees in nearby Worcester, MA. Since the Faulkner discovery, representatives from the USDA have teamed with Arboretum horticulture staff to survey all accessions of the approximately 100 potential host species (including maples, willows, horsechestnuts, and elms) on the grounds of the Arboretum. The USDA is also partnering with communities in the quarantine zone to coordinate their efforts to search for ALB and to educate the public on the beetle and stopping its spread.

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