Enews banner
December 2012


In this issue
  • When Spring Flowers Occur in Fall
  • Make a Difference with a Gift to the Annual Fund
  • 2013 Director's Lecture Series Begins on January 14
  • Spread Holiday Cheer with the Gift of Membership
  • Visitor Center Improvements Begin in January
  • Take a Class: Winter Tree Identification
  • Gertrude Jekyll and the Country House Garden
  • Plant Spotlight on Sciadopitys verticillata

  • Make a Difference with a Gift to the Annual Fund
    Family Survey

    At this time of year, take a moment to consider the many ways that the Arnold Arboretum contributes to educational enrichment, plant science, and the quality of life in our community. As a free and open landscape for recreation and learning, we depend on your support to sustain our living collection of plants and 265-acre landscape. Please consider making a year-end gift and be an active participant in our efforts to foster greater understanding, appreciation, and stewardship of Earth's botanical diversity. Keep your eye out for Director Ned Friedman's year-end letter for more information, or view it online.

    2013 Director's Lecture Series Begins on January 14
    Director's Lecture Series

    The Director's Lecture Series features nationally-recognized experts exploring key issues associated with science. Arboretum Director Ned Friedman kicks off the third annual series with "Plants, The First Three Billion Years" on January 14, a reflection on the origins of plant biodiversity. James Hanken brings us up to date on how biodiversity is faring in 2013 (February 25), Susan Freinkel discusses our toxic love affair with plastics (March 11), and Scott Gilbert shares his studies on the biological interactions between organisms (April 8). All lectures begin at 7:00pm in the Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall; space is limited to registered participants.

    Spread Holiday Cheer with the Gift of Membership
    Plant Giveaway

    Share a strong community of plant and garden enthusiasts while supporting our remarkable and free landscape for learning. Offer the many benefits of Arboretum membership to your loved ones (or treat yourself!) and help sustain our collections and programs in horticulture and education. As a member, your gift recipient will receive a year of benefits, including free plants, subscriptions to Arboretum publications, and discounts at participating nurseries and other gardens nationwide. For holiday gifts, please respond by December 7 to enable processing and delivery.

    Visitor Center Improvements Begin in January
    Hunnewell Building

    Plans are underway to update features and services of the Visitor Center in the Hunnewell Building, with new display cases, a reading area, and interactive technologies to be installed over the winter. According to Manager of Visitor Education Julie Warsowe, "our goal is for you to experience enhanced learning opportunities in the renewed space, and to give you new reasons to come back again and again." As part of these changes, Visitor Center hours will be shifting this winter. Beginning January 2, we will move to a seasonal schedule to more closely follow visitation patterns throughout the year.

    Take a Class: Winter Tree Identification
    Winter Tree ID

    The Arnold Arboretum landscape offers New England's most diverse collection of woody plants, providing an optimal environment for learning to identify trees by species. In two sessions beginning December 2 with Arborist Kyle Stephens, learn some of the markers used to identify deciduous trees after their leaves have dropped. The class begins indoors with a discussion of basic classification techniques, and continues outside to observe trees on the Arboretum grounds. Recommended for the beginner-to-intermediate tree observer, this class will add a significant new layer to your plant knowledge.

    Gertrude Jekyll and the Country House Garden
    Gertrude Jeckyll

    Gertrude Jekyll was one of the most important garden designers of the twentieth century. A prolific writer and a hugely influential plantswoman, her circle of friends included some of the most distinguished architects, horticulturists, artists, and writers of the time. Judith Tankard, author of a new volume in the Country Life Archives series, visits the Arboretum on December 4 to present a selection of Jekyll's most famous collaborations with Sir Edwin Lutyens and others. Join us for a glimpse of the enduring magic of Jekyll's creative genius.

    Plant Spotlight on Sciadopitys verticillata
    Sciadopitys verticillata

    The umbrella pine, Sciadopitys verticillata, exists today as the sole member of both its genus and plant family. An evergreen conifer native to Japan, this plant earns its common name from its long, shiny, rubbery needles that radiate in a whorl like the ribs of an umbrella. Look beneath the distinctive foliage to admire its orange-brown bark which exfoliates in strips. A wonderful specimen grows at the front left corner of the Hunnewell Building, and a centenarian stands in the Arboretum's conifer collection. Umbrella pine is December's Tree-of-the-Month in the Visitor Center. Stop by for more information, including a free activity guide for kids of all ages.

    All images from the Arnold Arboretum Archives except cherry blossom image courtesy of IƱaki Hormaza and Gertrude Jeckyll book jacket courtesy of Judith Tankard.

    Note: If you use Outlook 2007 as your email client, you might see some formatting irregularities in Enews, such as gaps of space between article headers and text. To correct this compatibility glitch, click the link at the top of this page, or select View in Browser from the Other Actions menu on your message toolbar.

    When Spring Flowers Occur in Fall
    Prunus incisa

    Most species of cherry (Prunus spp.) at the Arboretum come into flower just once each year, displaying their beautiful blossoms before their leaves emerge in early spring. However, it is not unusual to spot some trees of this genus flowering in the fall. When temperatures begin dropping after summer, flower buds enter a dormancy stage that helps them survive oncoming cold and wintery conditions. Once this dormancy, which is specific for each plant, has accumulated its required number of hours, unseasonably warm days can trick the plant's internal clock. In some cases, such as this Fuji cherry (P. incisa f. serrata, #172-95*B) near Faxon Pond sampled by visiting researcher Erica Fadon, warm days in fall and early winter may induce early flowering on part or all of the tree. It is likely that this phenomenon will occur more often in the future as global climate change delivers more frequently irregular weather patterns.

    Learn more...
    Quick Links...

    Arboretum Home Page

    Visitor Services

    Renew or Give a Gift Membership

    Make a Donation


    Silva online

    Arnoldia online

    Questions or Comments?

    WordPress Appliance - Powered by TurnKey Linux