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February 2011


In this issue
  • February Lectures Focus On Ecology and Conservation
  • Weld Hill Research Building Welcomes Staff
  • New Online Registration For Classes And Tours
  • Plant Spotlight on Cornus sericea
  • Membership Is Your Passport to Gardens Nationwide
  • Compelling Reasons To Brave The Cold This Month
  • Feeding Station Adds Avian Interest at Visitor Center

  • Weld Hill Research Building Welcomes Staff
    Weld Hill Building

    Science has a new home at the Arnold Arboretum. Last month the City of Boston issued a certificate of occupancy for the Weld Hill Research Building, the Arboretum's recently completed science facility located adjacent to its historic landscape. Staff began moving into the building's offices in mid January, and Arboretum scientists previously stationed in Cambridge have transferred their ongoing research activities to the building's state-of-the-art laboratories. The public will be invited to an open house this spring to tour the interior and interact with staff and researchers. Stay tuned for details!

    New Online Registration For Classes And Tours
    Online Registration Page

    To improve services on our website, the Arboretum has launched a new online registration system. This advancement makes it easier to search and sign up for classes, tours, and lectures, and expedites online payments, receipts, and confirmations. If you are a current member or have signed up for a class in the past six months, you will already have a profile in the new system. While we still accept registrations by phone and mail, we hope this handy tool will help make staying connected more convenient.

    Plant Spotlight on Cornus sericea
    Red osier dogwood

    Seeking visual relief from midwinter's monochromatic landscape? Look no further than Cornus sericea, the red osier dogwood. The slender, young stems of this shrub are a brilliant red, punctuated with white lenticels. Though it is sometimes confused in nurseries with Cornus alba, its eastern Asian counterpart, C. sericea is a North American native that has been in cultivation here for more than three centuries. It spreads by underground stems to 10' in width or more, making it useful in curbing erosion when massed along ponds or river banks. See several accessions planted near Faxon Pond on Meadow Road including C. sericea 'Flaviramea', a yellow-stemmed cultivar.

    Membership Is Your Passport to Gardens Nationwide
    Viburnum dilatatum

    If your day trip or vacation travels include visits to public gardens, be sure to take advantage of reciprocal benefits offered to Arboretum members by institutions allied with the American Horticultural Society. Visit more than 200 participating gardens in the United States, Canada, and the U.S. Virgin Islands free of charge or at reduced rates. Link to a full list of participating gardens and arboreta from the benefits list on the Arboretum membership page.

    Compelling Reasons To Brave The Cold This Month
    Larches in snow

    Take a class at the Arboretum this month and enjoy the collections festooned in snow. On February 12, bring your snowshoes and join horticultural technologist Jen Kettell for a trek through the Arboretum's remarkably diverse collection of coniferous plants. Enjoy the beauty of evergreens in the winter landscape while learning their names and characteristics. And on February 26, Jen will demonstrate techniques and best practices for pruning dormant trees, shrubs, and vines for good shape and good health. Don't forget that your membership entitles you to discounts on Arboretum classes and workshops.

    Feeding Station Adds Avian Interest at Visitor Center
    Visitor Center Bird Feeders

    A new winter feeding station on the southeast side of the Hunnewell Building is already a hit with Arboretum birds. Easily viewed outdoors or from the warmth of the Visitor Center, the feeders have attracted such unusual feathered visitors as the yellow-bellied sapsucker, the red-breasted nuthatch, and the Carolina wren. Come inside from the cold this month to see the range of bird species that winter here, pick up our Plant-of-the-Month activity on alders, or view Roberto Mighty's urban tree photographs.

    All images from the Arnold Arboretum Archives except silversword pollination photo courtesy of Robert Robichaux and bird feeder photo by Bob Mayer.

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    February Lectures Focus On Ecology and Conservation
    Pollinating silverswords on a cliff

    The Director's Lecture Series continues in February with talks examining our relationship with plants and the environment. On Monday, February 7, Robert Robichaux of the University of Arizona will present a talk focused on challenges facing the astounding biodiversity of the Hawaiian Islands. He'll discuss work to restore declining populations of silverswords and lobeliads, efforts which may prevent the extinction of these beautiful native plants.

    On Monday, February 28, join Alan Townsend of the University of Colorado for a talk exploring the ecological implications of modern farming. Learn about the positive and negative outcomes of phosphorous and nitrogen use and why we have reason to hope for a better future.

    This series features nationally-recognized experts discussing issues related to current science. All lectures are presented in the Hunnewell Building and are free, though registration is required. Register online today or call 617.384.5277.

    Read about this series...
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