ARBlog is published online by the staff of the Arnold Arboretum. Follow us for an insider’s look at the Arboretum’s spectacular collections of living plants, including aspects of collections and landscape care, greenhouse and nursery production, and curation. Learn about some of our favorite plants and collections, share the perspectives of our talented plant experts, and join us for collecting expeditions around the world.

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Up in Smoke


June 24, 2015 by Arboretum Staff

smoketree, cotinus coggygria 'Daydream'

A haze of fluffy inflorescences now cloaks many of the smoketree (Cotinus) specimens at the Arboretum.  more »

Tiptoe Through the Tuliptrees


June 5, 2015 by Arboretum Staff

flower of hybrid tuliptree

There are just two species of tuliptree (Liriodendron), and they originate from opposite sides of the globe.  more »

The Azalea Border


May 21, 2015 by Arboretum Staff

azaleas

The Arboretum’s Azalea Border is awash in flowers right now.  more »

Syringa x chinensis 'Lilac Sunday'


May 8, 2015 by Arboretum Staff

Syringa 'Lilac Sunday'

'Lilac Sunday' (the lilac) was named in honor of Lilac Sunday (the event), an annual celebration of the Arboretum's extensive and beautiful lilac (Syringa) collection. This Arboretum-introduced Chinese lilac cultivar is a floriferous fountain of bloom, its branches loaded with fragrant pale purple flowers each spring. Read more about the selection and introduction of 'Lilac Sunday'.  more »

New England must plant trees this spring!


April 10, 2015 by Arboretum Staff

Arboretum interns planting a tree

This exhortation from noted Arboretum horticulturist Donald Wyman appeared in the May 5, 1939 issue of the Bulletin of Popular Information. His urgent appeal was in response to the significant loss of trees from the Hurricane of 1938 the previous September, but the message is still applicable today (albeit with a few changes in recommended species and planting techniques). There's still time this spring to “plan intelligent tree planting programs for the streets and highways as well as on private property.”  more »

Japanese Flowering Cherries


March 30, 2015 by Arboretum Staff

Japanese flowering cherries

The blossoms of Japanese flowering cherries are a glorious--though ephemeral--mark of spring. It will still be a while until the Arboretum's cherries (Prunus spp.) bloom (late April is typical), but while the snow continues to melt you can read about and admire photos of these beautiful trees.  more »

Growing Oranges in Boston


March 6, 2015 by Arboretum Staff

Growing oranges in Boston

Bostonians can only dream of plucking navel oranges or grapefruits from a tree in the backyard. But there is one citrus that may survive here, the trifoliate orange (Poncirus trifoliata). Many Arboretum accessions of this small, spiny Chinese tree have failed, but two plants from a 1979 accession still survive near the Honeysuckle Collection.  more »

Stormy Weather


February 17, 2015 by Arboretum Staff

Acer mono

Unlike the carefully protected paintings in an art museum, the treasures in the Arboretum's Living Collection of trees, shrubs, and vines are subject to Boston's ever-changing weather. This winter's astonishing deluge of snow may result in some damage to our plants, but there have been more devastating weather events here in the past. Read about the major storms that affected the Arboretum's collection from 1938 to 1997.  more »

Cold Rhodies


January 12, 2015 by Arboretum Staff

Members' Tour Day Rhododendron

The Arboretum's broadleafed evergreen rhododendrons are months from flowering, but winter visitors have the opportunity to observe a curious trait of rhodies: their leaves droop and curl tightly when temperatures drop below freezing. Read about possible reasons for this unusual thermotropic leaf movement.  more »

Inkberry


December 10, 2014 by Arboretum Staff

Ilex glabra 'Compacta' 179-2005*C

Evergreen plants provide much-appreciated color to the winter landscape at the Arboretum. Inkberry (Ilex glabra), a broadleaf evergreen holly species native to eastern North America, is one such plant.  more »

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