Gleditsia in the Arboretum

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
December 5, 2016

Gleditsia in the Arboretum

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The Arnold Arboretum has two wonderful clusters of honey locust trees (genus Gleditsia); one on the west flank of Peters Hill, and the other appropriately embedded in the legume (pea family) collection next to Rehder Pond. Now is a great time to literally see the (pea pod-like) fruits of these trees’ labors, hanging (or on the […]

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Shadows and highlights in the Arboretum

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
November 19, 2016

Shadows and highlights in the Arboretum

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  This week has offered spectacular blue skies to witness fall colors interacting with the low angle of the sun in the mornings and late afternoons. The near mythical golds of the hickories (bottom right; Carya glabra, the pignut hickory; 23166*A), larches (bottom left; Larix decidua var. polonica, the Polish larch, a red-listed taxon native only […]

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Marginalia

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
November 6, 2016

Marginalia

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The Arnold Arboretum is nothing short of spectacular this week, with whole hillsides ablaze and astonishing landscape scale views everywhere. But, my mind kept focusing on the minute; the individual leaves and extraordinary beauty of their edges. Perhaps it is the brilliance of autumnal colors that brings leaf shape into such vivid display. Sugar maple […]

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Stump speech

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
October 31, 2016

Stump speech

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The time seems right for just such a speech! Often overlooked, the remnants of Arnold Arboretum accessions can be found throughout the landscape – you just need to look down. A lightning strike killed the statuesque dawn redwood (Metaseqouia glyptostroboides, 740-62*E) at the beginning of Willow Path across from the Hunnewell Building. Left behind are […]

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Oaks

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
October 15, 2016

Oaks

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If you haven’t yet been beaned by a gravity-inspired acorn at the Arnold Arboretum, you are missing something wonderful. With 776 accessioned oak trees (genus Quercus) in the living collections, there are plenty of opportunities right now. For the past month, I have been enjoying everything from the majestic architecture of our older oaks such […]

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Junipers and water

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
October 9, 2016

Post from the road – 11,500 feet up in China

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
September 15, 2016

Post from the road – 11,500 feet up in China

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  I write from the airport near Songpan China, in the north of Sichuan Province. I was supposed to head out first thing this morning so that I could teach tomorrow, but the extreme fog hugging the mountain tops and airport laid waste to those plans. Tonight, with a bit of luck, I will make […]

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“Great and curious blunder in dame nature”

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
September 7, 2016

“Great and curious blunder in dame nature”

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Think back to late spring and early summer, and conjure an image of the floral display in the buckeye and horse-chestnut (the genus Aesculus) collection at the Arnold Arboretum. The trees were filled with huge clusters (thyrses) of flowers. Now fast forward to September. The fruits are reaching their full magnificence: large and pear-shaped on the […]

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Lucretius at the Arnold Arboretum

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
August 20, 2016

Lucretius at the Arnold Arboretum

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In the beginning earth gave birth to plants After their kind, and ringed with shining green The hill and plains. The flowering meadows shone With verdure. Then between the various trees A mighty race began, all galloping To be the first to shoot up into the sky.*   Yesterday, standing at the base of a […]

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Franklinia – first flower

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
August 6, 2016

Franklinia – first flower

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Yesterday, I had a hunch I might see the very first flower of the season on the Franklin trees at the Arnold Arboretum. So off I went to the Explorers Garden on Bussey Hill, where two of the largest Franklinia plants in North America reside (2428-3*A and 2428-3*B, accessioned in 1905). With temperatures approaching 90°F and a […]

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