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Stump speech

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


Stump speech

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 the wonderful growth rings of varied diameter that record the vagaries of seasons past, along with the outline of basal fluting so characteristic of the dawn redwood.

Last winter’s coldest temperatures at the Arnold Arboretum in 60 years may well have done in several Lindera (spicebush) plants, including this Asian Spicebush (Lindera erythrocarpa; 177-79*C; image lower left) just off Bussey Hill Road across from the Lilac Collection. Ever the optimist, Michael Dosmann, Curator of Living Collections at the Arnold Arboretum hopes for a (surviving) dormant bud to spring to life in the coming year and renew this plant’s life. If not, this stump’s days are numbered. Finally, a stump of the Japanese chestnut (Castanea crenata; 225-97*B; between the Hickory Collection and the Dwarf Conifer Collection) that had been looking quite a bit worse for wear. Like many of its chestnut breathren, including the American chestnut, it is a great stump sprouter, and will likely be reinvigorated with new shoots in the spring.

So, if the season has you yearning to share your thoughts with fellow citizens, feel free to hop on any of the distinguished stumps in the Arnold Arboretum and regale the world with a speech!


One thought on “Stump speech

  1. Dear Director Dr. William Friedman, You were the right person to be Director. I knew the Dawn Redwood. I showed children the Dawn Redwood when I lead my Children’s Tour. The stump really has a great amount of information for others to learned about. Thank you, Cheryl A. Joseph

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