October 2011


In this issue
  • A New Partnership for Early Science Education
  • Explore Featured Collections and Landscapes Online
  • Enjoy Membership Perks at Gardens Nationwide
  • Treat Your Imagination to Classes at the Arboretum
  • October Free Programs Highlight the Best of Autumn
  • Plant Spotlight On...Cercidiphyllum japonicum
  • Artists in the Arboretum Juried Exhibition Continues

  • Explore Featured Collections and Landscapes Online
    Leventritt Garden

    The Arnold Arboretum cultivates nearly 15,000 plants representing some 4,000 kinds of trees, shrubs, and vines. In addition to facilitating explorations by plant family, the Arboretum landscape offers a number of featured destinations, special horticultural displays, and natural woodlands within its 265 acres. Some of our visitors' favorite spots and plant collections are now showcased on the Arboretum website, offering historical background, details, maps, and images to enrich both actual and armchair visitors. Log on to learn more about such popular destinations as the Lilac Collection and the Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden, with more highlights coming soon.

    Enjoy Membership Perks at Gardens Nationwide

    If your autumn travels include outings to botanical gardens and arboreta, your Arboretum membership entitles you to reciprocal benefits at institutions allied with the American Horticultural Society. Our members may enjoy free or discounted admission and other benefits at more than 270 organizations in 45 states, plus Canada, the Cayman Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Membership is the perfect way to not only forge a closer connection to the Arnold Arboretum, but also to the larger community of North American public gardens. Recent additions to the program include the San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden in California and the Clark Botanic Garden in Albertson, New York.

    Treat Your Imagination to Classes at the Arboretum
    Places for the Spirit

    This autumn the Arboretum offers a variety of classes to enhance your connection to the natural world and inspire new paths of creativity. Learn about and visit examples of the 25 most common trees in Boston with Kyle Port, manager of plant records, on October 2. On October 4, explore the traditions and handiwork of African American gardeners through two decades of photographs by artist Vaughn Sills, who will present images from her book Places for the Spirit with collaborator Lowry Pei. Bestselling author Amy Stewart joins us on October 22 to discuss her latest work, Wicked Bugs, a darkly comical assessment of more than 100 creatures that have tormented humankind for centuries. And "forage" ahead by learning to identify edible plants and mushrooms with environmentalist Russ Cohen on October 25.

    October Free Programs Highlight the Best of Autumn
    Malus yunnanensis

    The Arboretum presents a cornucopia of fruits and colorful foliage in fall, and multiple avenues to delight in all the season has to offer. On October 4, Horticultural Apprentice Miles Sax will lead a tour exploring the many ornamental crabapple (Malus) trees on Peters Hill, focusing on his efforts to improve and rejuvenate this historic collection. Join Arnoldia Editor Nancy Rose on October 20 to admire the Arboretum's national collection of maples in autumnal shades. On October 25, unravel the mechanics and meaning of fall foliage transformations with botanist David Lee. Tours of the Weld Hill Research Building on October 21 and 26 will introduce you to the Arboretum's cutting edge plant research and the facility's "green" design. And on your next visit, be sure to see the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection before it moves to winter storage, and dial 617.895.4085 on your cellphone to hear highlights of the collection.

    Plant Spotlight On...Cercidiphyllum japonicum
    Cercidiphyllum japonicum

    Cercidiphyllum japonicum, commonly called the katsura tree, is one of only two species belonging to a monotypic plant family native to Japan, China, and the Korean penninsula. A large deciduous tree, C. japonicum grows 40 to 60 feet in height, and may be single-stemmed and pyramidal or multi-stemmed and wide-spreading. Its leaves are heart-shaped like those of redbuds (Cercis spp.), a resemblance noted by its botanical name. In fall, foliage turns shades of yellow and apricot, accompanied by a sweet scent that reminds some of cotton candy or brown sugar. Visit the Arboretum this month and admire the fine collection of katura trees along Meadow Road near its juncture with Linden Path.

    Artists in the Arboretum Juried Exhibition Continues
    Under the Maples by Susan Bergin

    Experience the Arboretum through the eyes and inspiration of local artists. In conjunction with Jamaica Plain Open Studios, Artists in the Arboretum is a juried exhibition of works that depict and celebrate the majesty of the Arboretum landscape and living collection. Enjoy works by 21 artists in a variety of media, on exhibit through October 23.

    All images from the Arnold Arboretum Archives except "James Cox, Oglethorpe, GA, 1987" photograph courtesy of Vaughn Sills, Wicked Bugs book cover courtesy of Amy Stewart, and Artists in the Arboretum image courtesy of Susan Bergin.

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    A New Partnership for Early Science Education
    Boston Teachers Union School

    This fall, the Arnold Arboretum launches a new partnership with a neighborhood elementary school in an effort to enhance instruction in the life and earth sciences. Beginning last month, Arboretum educators have made weekly classroom visits to first and second grade classrooms at the Boston Teachers Union School near Forest Hills in Jamaica Plain. Using a curriculum approved by Boston Public Schools, staff and volunteers will help students grow plants from seeds, study living organisms, and record their predictions and observations like scientists. In spring, students will move from the classroom to the Arboretum landscape to apply what they've learned in a hands-on field study.

    The Arboretum's children's program is partially funded by a restricted endowment, The Nature Study Fund for City Children. The partnership with the Boston Teachers Union School continues a long-term effort to improve science comprehension for inner city students. The Arboretum previously partnered with Louis Agassiz Elementary School, which closed in June.

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