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December 2010


In this issue
  • Arboretum Partnership Supports Conservation Targets
  • Share the Wonder of Trees with a Gift of Membership
  • We Invite You to Meet Our New Director
  • Make A Big Difference in the Lives of 15,000 Plants
  • Celebrate Winter Solstice with Storytelling and Songs
  • Create a Wearable Work of Art for Lilac Sunday
  • Plant Spotlight on Betula nigra

  • Share the Wonder of Trees with a Gift of Membership
    Peters Hill View

    Give a gift that gives back and helps sustain the Arboretum as an important resource for plant knowledge and public enjoyment. Share the many benefits of Arboretum membership with your loved ones (or treat yourself!) and help support the Arboretum's programs for research, horticulture, and education. Members receive a year of great benefits, including free plants, subscriptions to Arboretum publications, and discounts in our bookstore, participating nurseries, and other gardens nationwide. For holiday gifts, please place your order no later than Friday, December 10 to allow for processing and delivery.

    We Invite You to Meet Our New Director
    Ned Friedman

    This January, the Arboretum welcomes Ned Friedman as its new director and as Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology in Harvard's Faculty of Arts and Sciences. Meet Ned and hear about his plans for the Arboretum at one of two informal gatherings in the Hunnewell Building: Tuesday, January 25 at 6:00pm and Saturday, January 29 at 4:00pm. Ned will also kick off the Director's Lecture Series on Monday, January 10 at 6:30pm with a talk entitled "A Darwinian Look at Darwin's Evolutionist Ancestors." These events are free and open to the public, though space is limited and registration is required. Register online through Adult Education or call 617.384.5277.

    Make A Big Difference in the Lives of 15,000 Plants
    Oaks in autumn

    The Arnold Arboretum relies on more than just sun, water, and healthy soil to make its magnificent living collections thrive. Public support is another critical element required for the care of our plants and landscape, as well as the continuation of our research and public education programs. Make a year-end contribution to the Annual Fund and be an active participant in sustaining the Arboretum's mission to discover and foster greater understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of Earth's botanical diversity. Please make a gift today.

    Celebrate Winter Solstice with Storytelling and Songs
    Winter Solstice performers

    Join us for what has become a seasonal tradition. Celebrate the winter solstice with acclaimed storyteller Diane Edgecomb and musicians Margot Chamberlain and Tom Megan. This performance features solstice legends from Greece, Scandinavia, and England as well as traditional music on Celtic harp, synthesizer, accordion, and voice. Classic evergreen lore, haunting legends of light, humorous tales of the season, and a festive wassail round out this special celebration.

    Create a Wearable Work of Art for Lilac Sunday
    Lilac Sunday T-Shirt 2010

    Are you inspired by the beautiful and fragrant blooms of the Arboretum's renowned lilacs? Create a design for the 2011 Lilac Sunday T-shirt and help us celebrate and symbolize Boston's most popular annual plant event. The competition will be judged by staff, and submissions will be evaluated based on how well they reflect the spirit, history, and beauty of Lilac Sunday at the Arnold Arboretum. Deadline for entries is Monday, January 31. Shown here, the 2010 winning design by Lisa Rosowski.

    Plant Spotlight on Betula nigra
    River birch bark

    Most deciduous trees at the Arboretum have shed their leaves by December, allowing an unobstructed view of bark in a variety of colors and textures. Betula nigra, our native river birch, is a great example. On young trees, the bark peels back to expose a beautiful inner layer of tones from gray to reddish-brown. In maturity, the bark grows darker and is more furrowed in character, as seen in this photo by Docent Robert Mayer. Among birches, it is perhaps the least troubled by pests and disease, and is adaptable to a wide range of conditions. Growing as a single- or multi-stemmed tree, B. nigra can reach 70 feet or more in height. Visit specimens on either side of Bussey Hill Road, near the entrance drive to the Dana Greenhouses.

    All images from the Arnold Arboretum Archives except Ned Friedman photo by Justin Ide/Harvard Gazette and Winter Solstice performers image by Pamela Ruby Russell.

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    Arboretum Partnership Supports Conservation Targets
    Franklinia alatamaha

    This fall, collaborations by the Arnold Arboretum and partner institutions helped strengthen the Global Strategy for Plant Conservation (GSPC). At an October meeting in Nagoya, Japan, representatives of 193 governments set ambitious goals for preserving plant diversity through 2020. One important target calls for maintaining at least 75% of threatened plant species in botanical collections, and making at least 20% of these plants available for recovery and restoration programs. Negotiations were guided by findings of the North American Collections Assessment, an effort by the Arnold Arboretum, Botanic Gardens Conservation International, and the United States Botanic Garden to evaluate the conservation value of the continent's living plant collections.

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