Searching the Spontaneous Flora

by Matt McDermitt, Curatorial Assistant
February 12, 2018

Searching the Spontaneous Flora

Lilium superbum herbarium specimen

A “spontaneous” plant is defined as one that grows and reproduces without human care or intent. In the early twentieth century, Arnold Arboretum botanist Ernest Jesse Palmer collected over 2,000 herbarium specimens to represent the spontaneous plants that occurred on the Arboretum grounds. Palmer wanted to know how spontaneous vegetation reacted to the drastic changes […]

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Harvard researchers discover a new species of hemlock

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications
February 7, 2018

Harvard researchers discover a new species of hemlock

Ulleungdo hemlock

Peter Del Tredici, Senior Research Scientist Emeritus at the Arboretum, co-authored a study on the discovery of a new hemlock from Korea. The first novel conifer species to be described in a decade, the Ulleungdo hemlock interests biologists and horticulturists due to its natural resistance to the hemlock woolly adelgid.

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Teachers learn about conifers

by Ana Maria Caballero McGuire, Children’s Education Fellow
February 7, 2018

Teachers learn about conifers

fir close observation

On Saturday, February 3, Boston area educators gathered in the Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall for this month’s Arboretum for Educators event highlighting conifer adaptations. Hands-on exploratory activities and a short walk near the Hunnewell Building allowed teachers to discover ways to identify four members of the Pinaceae, or pine family: fir (Abies spp.), spruce (Picea […]

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A wander on Peters Hill

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
February 5, 2018

A wander on Peters Hill

Every winter, on brisk sunny days (the colder the better), I find myself drawn to Peters Hill. Last week was no exception. An occasional dog walker or jogger – but no one wandering “off-road” amidst the collections. This wonderful sense of solitude is only broken when I lift my gaze and the Boston skyline appears […]

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Expanding the reach of the bionic leaf

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications
February 3, 2018

Expanding the reach of the bionic leaf

Postdoctoral fellow Kelsey Sakimoto

Scientists estimate that food supplies will need to double by 2050 to meet demand. In greenhouse experiments conducted at the Arnold Arboretum, Harvard researchers discovered a way to more than double crop size by introducing a soil bacterium that converts nitrogen from the atmosphere into robust and sustainable fertilizer.

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The lost art of looking at plants

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications
January 29, 2018

The lost art of looking at plants

2017 Plant Anatomy Summer Course

Although the genomics era led many plant biologists away from physiology and morphology, the latest generation of technological advances is steering them back. Read about how imaging technology in particular is renewing the appetite to study plant diversity, fueled by initiatives such as the Arboretum’s summer short course in plant morphology.

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Field Study Experiences at the Arnold Arboretum

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications
January 18, 2018

In the Pines

by Nancy Rose, Editor of Arnoldia
January 17, 2018

In the Pines

pinetum [noun]: a plantation of pine trees; especially: a scientific collection of living coniferous trees The section of the Arboretum roughly west of Valley Road and north of Hemlock Hill Road is known as the Conifer Collection; it holds many accessions of conifers including pines (Pinus), spruces (Picea), firs (Abies), junipers (Juniperus), yews (Taxus), and […]

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Smooth and colorful bark

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
January 16, 2018

Tree Architecture Primer

by Ana Maria Caballero McGuire, Children’s Education Fellow
January 10, 2018

Tree Architecture Primer

silver maple drawing

  Despite the bitter cold on Saturday, January 6, the Arboretum for Educators program “Examining Tree Architecture” went ahead (almost) as planned. Andrew Gapinsky, Manager of Horticulture, used photographs to show attending educators the many factors behind a tree’s shape, and why it looks the way it does. Teachers also experimented with documenting tree shape […]

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