The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
April 2012


In this issue
  • Bonsai Collection Returns to View
  • Arboretum Grants Awards for Collections Research
  • Sign Up Online to Attend 2012 Members' Tour Day
  • Learn to Grow this April with the Arnold Arboretum
  • Free Tours and Activities to Celebrate Spring
  • Talks Spotlight Urban Landscape & Maple Ecology
  • Plant Spotlight on Prunus

  • Arboretum Grants Awards for Collections Research
    Weld Hill Research Building

    Each year the Arnold Arboretum grants several research awards to support studies that use the institution's living collections, herbarium specimens, and extensive library and archives. In March, the Arboretum announced the 2012 winners of the Deland Award, the James R. Jewett Prize, and the Sargent Award. The Deland Award was presented to Laura Lagomarsino to advance her studies of wood anatomy. The James R. Jewett prize was awarded to Dr. Jorge Lora to study ovule morphology in the rose family, and to Dr. Bharti Sharma to investigate petal development in the barberry family. The Sargent Award was presented to Dr. Hugh McAllister to research the evolutionary relationships between diploid and polyploid species within several genera, and to Dr. Claire Williams to study pollen dispersal in conifers.

    Sign Up Online to Attend 2012 Members' Tour Day
    Member Tour Day

    Enjoy the brilliance of spring and reconnect with the landscape on Members' Tour Day. Members are invited to join us for refreshments and staff-led tours in the living collection on Saturday, April 28 beginning at 9:30am. This year, reserve space for Members' Tour Day via our online registration system, or contact the membership office. Please respond by Friday, April 20. We hope you'll join us for a morning of fun, seasonal highlights, and the fellowship of our staff and members on April 28!

    Learn to Grow this April with the Arnold Arboretum
    Salix alba 'Vitellina"

    Branch out and discover new perspectives on the world of plants with the Arnold Arboretum. On April 7, join Arboretum Horticultural Technologist Jen Kettel to learn best practices for pruning trees, shrubs, and vines. Only a few spaces remain for this session which takes place at the Wakefield Estate in Milton. Get set for the growing season by starting seeds with Arboretum Propagator Jack Alexander on April 21. On April 28, join Arboretum Curatorial Assistant Irina Kadis and Alexey Zinovjev at the New England Wild Flower Society's Garden in the Woods for clues on identifying willows, a group that can be challenging even for experts to differentiate.

    Free Tours and Activities to Celebrate Spring
    Guided Tours

    Make the most of your next exploration of the Arboretum landscape. Free docent-guided tours kick off on April 11 and include introductions to seasonal plant highlights, insights into the Arboretum's mission and history, and much more. On April 14, explore cherry blossoms with a drop-in family activity and two tours of the Arboretum's cherry (Prunus) collection as part of the Greater Boston Japan - Sakura Festival. Kids can embark on a guided nature hike in the landscape on April 20 and learn to plant seeds at a drop-in family activity on April 28. Time to get outside and enjoy all spring has to offer at the Arboretum.

    Talks Spotlight Urban Landscape & Maple Ecology
    Charles Waldheim

    Join us for two compelling lectures this month at the Arboretum's Weld Hill Research Building. On Wednesday, April 11, Charles Waldheim, chair of the Department of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, will speak on our evolving relationship with urban environments. Find out how landscape is emerging as a dominant factor in contemporary city planning. On Monday, April 23, join Harvard Forest Population Biologist Elizabeth Crone for an exploration of the science behind maple syrup production in New England. She will discuss her recent studies into the interactions between weather, pollinators, and flower abundance and seed set in determining sap flow in Acer saccharum (sugar maple).

    Plant Spotlight on Prunus
    Sargent cherry

    On April 14, the Arboretum will help celebrate the centennial of the Japanese cherry trees surrounding the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC. The Arboretum's own collection of plants in the genus Prunus, which includes the flowering cherries, numbers some 172 plants representing 72 taxa, a beautiful and diverse group to enjoy right here in Boston. Of special note are several accessions of Prunus sargentii, a fast-growing ornamental cherry with rich pink blossoms that was named for our founding director, Charles Sprague Sargent. Sargent collected the Arboretum's oldest living Prunus specimen in 1892 in Japan: an accession of the Miyama cherry (Prunus maximowiczii) that stands on Peters Hill. Later this month, look for the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection to return from winter storage, and view a specimen of Prunus subhirtella (Higan cherry) started in 1852. You can visit and enjoy most of the Arboretum's cherry collection in the Bradley Rosaceous Collection located near the Forest Hills Gate.

    All images from the Arnold Arboretum Archives except Charles Waldheim photo courtesy of the Harvard Graduate School of Design.

    Bonsai Collection Returns to View
    Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection

    In much of Japan and milder parts of the United States, bonsai can be left outdoors all winter with only minimal protection from the elements. In New England’s more severe climate, however, plants in containers need to be protected during the cold months. Plants in the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection spend their dormancy in a climate-controlled structure that is maintained at 33 to 36 degrees Fahrenheit, and are checked for water once a week. Each April, the bonsai receive a dose of horticultural care, which may include repotting, before returning to public display in the wooden lath house overlooking the Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden.

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