Featured Image

Tree trunk with man

Acer pictum Thunb. Sapporo Park, Hokkaido, Japan. Bark gray, with shallow, curved fissures. Trunk 8 ft. in girth. [Information from label on verso of photo mount.] 20.5 x 15.5 cm. Emulsion on glass.

Acer pictum Japan

Alternate Title: Tree trunk with man
Photograph by Ernest Henry Wilson (1876-1930), American, English
Sapporo Park, Hokkaido, Japan
August 23, 1914

A larger version of this image is available in Harvard University’s HOLLIS+ catalog.

Ernest Henry Wilson is one of the most prolific, renowned, and farthest traveled plant explorers associated with The Arnold Arboretum. It is not an overstatement to credit Wilson with bringing Eastern Asian botany, history, and culture to widespread interest in western society, nor to exaggerate the introduction of thousands of Asian plant species to western gardens.

In early 1914, Wilson sailed with his family to Japan. His objective for this trip was to study the native forests, cultivated plants, and Japanese horticultural practices. Wilson’s specific expedition goals included conifers, Kurume azaleas, and Japanese cherries. His collection notebooks from this time are digitized and available in Series W.VI: The Fifth Expedition to Japan—February 1914-January 1915 of Ernest Henry Wilson (1876-1930) papers, 1896-1952.

Many thousands more Botanical and Cultural Images of Eastern Asia, details on the life and travels of Ernest Henry Wilson, and of other plant explorers are available in our Image Collection.

Additionally, be sure to explore The Open Collections Program of Harvard University Library, which includes the online resource “Expeditions & Discoveries: Sponsored Exploration and Scientific Discovery in the Modern Age. Ernest H. Wilson Expeditions to China, Japan, Korea, Formosa, and Islands in the Japanese Sea 1899–1919.”

Also join Arnoldia editor Nancy Rose on Sunday, October 18, 3:00-4:30pm for a stroll through the maples (Acer spp.) to learn more about our diverse and valuable collection and to simply enjoy the brilliant display of fall foliage in shades from gold to crimson.

Copyright © 2006, President and Fellows of Harvard College, Arnold Arboretum Archives; all rights reserved.