The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
April 2013


In this issue
  • Peter Del Tredici to receive Veitch Medal
  • Arboretum Prepares for Spring Field Studies
  • See the Arboretum Anew on Members' Tour Day
  • Explore Our Maple Collection Up Close on April 21
  • April Classes Highlight Hydrangeas, Ginkgos, Fungi
  • Tours, Exhibits, and More to Engage April Visitors
  • Horticultural Library Launches Library Leaves
  • Plant Spotlight on Acer rubrum

  • Arboretum Prepares for Spring Field Studies
    Field Studies

    April heralds the return of school groups to the Arboretum landscape for Field Studies experiences. Programs facilitating primary science education for students from Boston Public Schools begins later this month, as well as an enhanced engagement with classrooms from South Side Head Start, our neighboring preschool partner. Six new volunteers will join our 34 seasoned guides in leading the field studies, which include explorations of floral biology and the cultural history of native trees.

    See the Arboretum Anew on 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 staff-led tours of the living collection on Saturday, April 27. Festivities begin with tour sign up and refreshments in our newly improved Visitor Center at 9am. This year, reserve space for Members' Tour Day via our online registration system, or contact the membership office. Please respond by Friday, April 20, as space is limited. Enjoy a morning of fun, seasonal highlights, and the fellowship of our staff and members as the growing season begins.

    Explore Our Maple Collection Up Close on April 21
    Magnificent Maples

    This spring the Arnold Arboretum introduces Collections Up Close, a series of free events spotlighting Arboretum plants and collections. Catch Magnificent Maples on Sunday, April 21 from 1-3pm, highlighting the diverse flowers and emerging leaves of our maple collection. Spectacular for autumn color, maples are also among the earliest plants to awaken in spring. Join us to celebrate the beauty and diversity of our collection with guided tours, fun science activities for kids, and interactions with knowledgeable staff and volunteers. Be on the lookout for additional events in this series, with new offerings featured each spring and fall.

    April Classes Highlight Hydrangeas, Ginkgos, Fungi

    Take a class at the Arboretum this spring and cultivate your appreciation of plants and their environments. On April 1, discover the wild origins of the hydrangea family, today a domesticated favorite in American gardens. Harvard ecologist Elizabeth Crone discusses how ecologists formulate predictions about the future of plant and animal populations on April 16. Celebrate the living fossil Ginkgo biloba on April 20 with a line-up featuring lectures, tours, and more. See what New England rocks and fossils have to tell us about the deep history of plants in our region with Harvard Professor Andrew Knoll. And explore fungi and their role in ecosystems with John Klironomos on April 29.

    Tours, Exhibits, and More to Engage April Visitors

    Free tours and fun activities at the Arboretum celebrate spring's arrival. On April 1, the Visitor Center begins seasonal extended hours, 11am to 6pm (closed Wednesdays), with restroom access on weekdays from 9am to 6pm. Learning from Leaves, a botanical art exhibition by David Valbracht, opens with a public reception on April 6. Arboretum Interpreters are back in the landscape for casual, informative interactions with visitors every Saturday and Sunday beginning April 13. That day free guided tours also begin, offered every Saturday and Sunday at 1:00pm, while April theme tours celebrate spring bloomers, new growth, and migrating birds. On April 27 from 11am to 2pm, stop by the Visitor Center to celebrate changes to the space and enjoy a raffle, scavenger hunt, and refreshments.

    Horticultural Library Launches Library Leaves
    Jack Exhibit

    Read all about it! Keep in touch with the activities of the Arnold Arboretum Horticultural Library by frequenting Library Leaves, a new blog created by staff. Library Leaves will lend an intimate look at our unique collections, upcoming events, highlights from the archives, and ongoing projects. Posts will also focus on exciting developments in library technology, user instruction, and new publications available in our Reading Room. Read our first post, with a behind-the-scenes view of our current Visitor Center exhibit on Arboretum educator John G. Jack.

    Plant Spotlight on Acer rubrum
    Acer rubrum

    The Arboretum's living collection contains 141 of some 230 maple (Acer spp.) taxa known to science, and among these red maple (A. rubrum) may be singled out for a number of reasons. Among the most common and widespread deciduous trees in North America, red maple is among the first maples to flower in spring, can produce deep scarlet foliage in autumn, adapts to an array of site conditions, and has inspired the development of many fine horticultural varieties. Learn more about maples at our Collections Up Close event on April 21, or download our family activity and explore our maples on your own.

    All images from the Arnold Arboretum Archives except botanical drawing of Carya ovata courtesy of David Valbracht.

    Peter Del Tredici to receive Veitch Medal
    Peter Del Tredici

    Next month at the centennial Chelsea Flower Show, the Royal Horticultural Society will award its prestigious Veitch Memorial Medal to Arboretum Senior Research Scientist Peter Del Tredici, honoring his extensive contributions to botany and horticulture. Over the past forty years, Peter's wide ranging interests as a researcher have included new plant introductions from China, the root systems of woody plants, the natural and cultural history of ginkgo, and urban ecology and vegetation. In addition to appointments at both the Arboretum and the Harvard Graduate School of Design, he has lectured widely and has authored more than 130 scientific and popular articles. Peter joins the select company of five previous Arboretum honorees including Founding Director Charles Sprague Sargent (1896), plant explorer and Keeper of the Arboretum E. H. Wilson (1906), and, most recently, Curator and Horticultural Taxonomist Stephen A. Spongberg (1996).

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