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October 2013


In this issue
  • Bonsai Centennial Marked by Exhibit and Tours
  • Library Leaves Highlights Wilson's American Trees
  • Enjoy Membership Perks at Gardens Nationwide
  • Classes Explore Our Relationship with Trees
  • Dispersal: Photographs by Anna Laurent
  • Autumn Greeted With More Free Guided Tours
  • Plant Spotlight: Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection

  • Library Leaves Highlights Wilson's American Trees

    Library Leaves is a blog that highlights the Arboretum's bibliographic collections and institutional archives. A series of recent posts provide insight into a project to digitize a selection of photographs captured by Ernest H. Wilson, one of the twentieth century's most prolific and intrepid plant collectors. Like his famous photographs taken in eastern Asia, these images of New England oaks, maples, elms, and other woody plants reflect Wilson's interest in documenting magnificent examples of native and exotic flora. Learn about these images and how they connect to some of America's most legendary trees in Trees and their Biographies on Library Leaves. You can also stay in touch with the Library on Twitter.

    Enjoy Membership Perks at Gardens Nationwide

    If your fall travels include outings to botanical gardens and arboreta, your Arboretum membership offers you reciprocal benefits at institutions allied with the American Horticultural Society. Arboretum members may enjoy free or discounted admission and other benefits at more than 300 organizations in 47 states, plus Canada, the Cayman Islands, and the US Virgin Islands. Your membership not only fosters a closer connection to the Arnold Arboretum and sustains its mission, it also welcomes you into the larger community of North American public gardens and horticulture.

    Classes Explore Our Relationship with Trees

    Fittingly, trees play a large role in programs and events at the Arboretum this month, in time to enjoy colorful foliage changes and spot persisting seed capsules, nuts, and fruit. On October 3, nature writer John Hanson Mitchell describes how replacing a pine forest with gardens greatly increased his property's biodiversity. Celebrate the work and words of Henry David Thoreau on October 20, as writer Richard Higgins pairs his own images of trees and forests with the iconic naturalist's writing and philosophy. On October 24, Harvard Professor Robin Kelsey explores the aesthetic and cultural role of trees in the history of art and landscape representation. In addition this month, look for practical classes including workshops on tree care standards, chainsaw use and safety, and propagation by cuttings and seeds.

    Dispersal: Photographs by Anna Laurent

    Seed pods are fascinating natural structures. In an exhibition entitled "Dispersal" opening on October 26 at the Arboretum, Photographer Anna Laurent explores the evolution of various forms that both protect seeds and facilitate their spread. Individually, each of her photographs is a fine art portrait of a unique botanic specimen; as a series, the collection becomes a visual and scientific inquiry into the remarkable diversity of natural design. View the exhibition through January 26, and meet the artist at an opening reception on October 26.

    Autumn Greeted With More Free Guided Tours

    The Arboretum delights the senses at this time of year. Enjoy a free tour of the landscape and living collections on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:00pm (through the beginning of November) and 3:00pm (October 5-20), and on Tuesdays at 1:00pm (October 8-22). Special theme tours this month include birding opportunities, family walks to discover wildlife and seasonal phenomena, bonsai history and horticulture, and a primer on invasive insects. Also, be on the lookout for Arboretum Interpreters in the landscape on weekends, sharing plant highlights and seasonal fare through casual interactions with visitors. Catch a bit of leaf peeping in the heart of Boston!

    Plant Spotlight: Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection
    Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection

    Thousands of majestic trees from a diversity of plant families grace the Arboretum landscape, but some of our most beloved specimens are small and have grown for generations in shallow pots. Dwarfed trees in the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection captivate visitors as evocative examples of Japanese horticultural art. The core of the collection is seven large specimens of compact hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa 'Chabo-hiba'), which have been carefully restored to their traditional form. In all, thirty-five masterfully curated specimens comprise the collection, which also includes beautiful specimens of trident maple, Japanese maple, Japanese white pine, and Higan cherry. Learn more about the collection on our website and in our Visitor Center as our featured Tree of the Month [pdf].

    All images from the Arnold Arboretum Archives except exhibition image courtesy of the artist and book cover courtesy of the author.

    Bonsai Centennial Marked by Exhibit and Tours
    Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection

    This year the Arboretum celebrates the American centennial of the Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection. Purchased in Japan by Ambassador Larz Anderson and shipped to his Brookline estate in 1913, these dwarfed plants were donated to the Arboretum in 1937 and 1949. Reminders of an era when the arts and culture of Japan captured the American imagination, the collection and its legacy will be celebrated with a exhibition at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, October 2-14. Eight of the plants will be on display in the Museum's famous courtyard and adjacent Chinese Loggia, viewable with Museum admission during regular exhibition hours. Plants in the Gardner exhibit will return to display at the Arboretum in mid October, and are spotlighted by special tours on October 19 and 20: Bonsai at the Arnold Arboretum with Rhoda Kubrick, and Bonsai Matching with Robbie Apfel.

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