Jen Kettell

Jen Kettell

Jen Kettell

Horticulture Education and Consulting

Phone: 617.444.9607


BS University of Massachusetts, Amherst

After fleeing a career in human services, I came to Arnold Arboretum as a Hunnewell intern in 2003. I was hired as a horticultural technologist after completing multiple internships and an Arnold apprenticeship. For five years, I cared for the Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden, a formal terraced display of over 750 sun-loving shrubs and vines. I found that I missed the more natural, “wilder” parts of the Arboretum and have now happily transferred my responsibilities to the care of the junipers, dwarf conifers, hickories, horsechestnuts, Bussey Brook, and other mixed collections.

In the winter, I teach winter pruning, shrub pruning, and conduct a snowshoe tour of the dwarf conifers and junipers as part of our Adult Education programs. Later in the year, I teach a course on woody vines for the garden, where we dive into the twining, winding plants that send cascades of blossoms over stone walls, trellises, and fences.

I am an ISA Certified Arborist® and serve on the executive board of the New England Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture. Along with three other women, I was one of the founding sisters and acted as the event coordinator for the Women’s Tree Climbing Workshop from 2009-2011. This 2-day workshop introduces women to safe tree climbing techniques and various types of climbing gear. NEC-ISA continues to offer this course each fall and it includes expert training, CEU’s, camping overnight onsite, yoga, and amazing meals catered by Puddingstone Kitchen.

Currently, I am collaborating with other industry professionals through the Landscape Advisory Committee for the Esplanade Association and the Advisory Committee for the Norfolk Agricultural High School.

Apart from the wide world of plants, I can be found snowshoeing, kayaking, or enjoying making/eating/searching for good food.