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November 2011


In this issue
  • Del Tredici Shares the Lure of Ginkgo
  • Wall Reconstruction and Plantings Enhance Weld Hill
  • Take a Class at the Arboretum and Grow with Us
  • Plant Spotlight on...Ilex verticillata
  • Gardens and Spirit Lecture Spotlights American Eden
  • Fall Fun Featured in November's Family Activities
  • Joseph Flack Weiler Exhibits "Trees and Gardens"

  • Wall Reconstruction and Plantings Enhance Weld Hill
    Weld Hill

    Though the Arboretum's new research building is not open to visitors, the public is welcome to stroll through its surrounding 14 acres of meadow and trees at Weld Hill. Earlier this fall, the Arboretum completed several projects in this landscape, including a major restructure of the puddingstone wall on the parcel's Walter Street border. Soil excavated from the site during the building's construction has been redistributed in the landscape and white pines (Pinus strobus) have been planted to harmonize with the character of adjacent Peters Hill. Additionally, new plantings of shrubs and mature ginkgos near the building itself anchor the hillside's mix of hardy perennials, and enhance a landscape that will continue to evolve in coming years.

    Take a Class at the Arboretum and Grow with Us
    Eric Fleisher

    Connect with nature and expand your planting and gardening skills by taking an Arboretum class this November. On November 3, Eric Fleisher will discuss his work to create more sustainable landscapes for highly trafficked public spaces like Battery Park City and the Harvard University campus. On November 5 and 6, Head Arborist John DelRosso offers tips and best practices for safely operating and maintaining chainsaws. On November 16, Pam Diggle, Visiting Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology at Harvard, serves a side dish of botany as she explores the plants that are so central to our Thanksgiving traditions.

    Plant Spotlight on...Ilex verticillata

    Hollies enjoy a high profile at this time of year, admired for their colorful fruits that often persist into winter and provide food for birds. Native to the American continent from Nova Scotia to Florida and west to Wisconsin, Ilex verticillata (winterberry) stands out as a hardy and attractive choice for New England landscapes. Unlike many hollies, winterberry drops its leaves in fall, showcasing its profuse crop of bright red, glossy fruits in winter. As a dioecious plant (male and female plants), fruits appear singly or in pairs on stems of female plants sited near a male pollinator. View the cultivar 'Afterglow' growing just inside the Arborway Gate and a centenarian accession of the straight species at the edge of the North Woods near the horsechestnut collection.

    Gardens and Spirit Lecture Spotlights American Eden
    American Eden

    In the second lecture of this year's series with Trinity Church, Wade Graham touches upon ethics, aesthetics, politics, and political correctness in speaking about the evolution of gardening in America. In his book, American Eden, Graham writes about gardens and what they reveal about who we are as a nation, where we have come from, and where we might be headed. Register today for his November 29 talk at Trinity Church in Boston's Copley Square, and discover how gardeners from Thomas Jefferson to Martha Stewart have shaped our identity and the character of our planted surroundings.

    Fall Fun Featured in November's Family Activities
    Liquidambar styraciflua

    Over the next few weeks, enjoy a number of family activities to celebrate fall at the Arnold Arboretum. Join us tomorrow (Saturday, October 29) for the season's last Family Drop-In at the Hunnewell Building, highlighting fall leaf color and plant presses. Register for a family hike on Saturday, November 12, for children aged 8 to 12 with an accompanying adult, and explore the ways that plants and animals prepare for winter. And stop by the Hunnewell Builiding Visitor Center or download an activity guide from our website to learn more about the American sweetgum (Liquidambar styraciflua), then follow clues to locate a hidden letterbox in the landscape.

    Joseph Flack Weiler Exhibits "Trees and Gardens"
    White Pines, Peters Hill

    For 45 years, Joseph Flack Weiler has photographed trees, both in the wild and in public parks and gardens. In his new exhibition at the Arnold Arboretum, Weiler presents breathtaking black-and-white images accompanied by detailed descriptions of his subjects. Opening October 29 and on view through December 18, the exhibition evokes the many ways trees and the landscapes they inhabit affect and enrich our lives. Join the artist for a reception celebrating "Trees and Gardens" on Saturday, November 5 from 1:00-3:00pm.

    All images from the Arnold Arboretum Archives except American Eden book cover courtesy of Wade Graham and "White Pines, Peters Hill" photograph courtesy of Joseph Flack Weiler.

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    Del Tredici Shares the Lure of Ginkgo
    Peter Del Tredici

    The maidenhair tree (Ginkgo biloba) survives as a living fossil, providing a rare and fascinating link between the floras of the present and the ancient past. Arboretum Senior Research Scientist Peter Del Tredici has studied the natural history and evolution of ginkgos for a quarter century, and has traveled to remote areas in southwest China in search of wild-growing populations of the plant. Save the date to share Peter's insights on this wonder of the botanical world on Tuesday, December 13 at 7:00pm in the Weld Hill Lecture Hall. Learn how this relict of ancient forests may continue to be among the plants best equipped to adapt to a changing global environment.

    This talk is free and open to the public, though advance registration is requested. Read more about Peter's association with Ginkgo and the plant's remarkable characteristics in the latest issue of Harvard Magazine.

    Register for the December 13 talk...
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