Members’ Tour Day
Each year the Arnold Arboretum hosts a morning of staff-led walking tours for members of the Friends of the Arnold Arboretum. Members’ Tour Day 2019 will be held on Saturday, October 19 from 9:30am to noon. Members’ Tour Day is an exclusive benefit of Arboretum membership—to participate in Members’ Tour Day and receive other great benefits, please join or renew your membership for the coming year.
Fall 2019 Tours for Members’ Tour Day
Tour A: The Museum of Modern Plants
Jonathan Damery, Associate Editor, Arnoldia
Location: Hunnewell Building to Explorers Garden and back
Plant exploration is deep-rooted at the Arnold Arboretum. As early as 1872, the year the Arboretum was founded, an emergent network of botanists began providing wild-collected seed and plants for the collections. But the modern era of plant exploration launched in 1977, with an expedition to Korea and Japan. On this tour, we will see and hear stories about plants from that expedition, as well as from other expeditions that took collectors throughout China and the United States in the 1980s and 1990s. This tour will loop from the Hunnewell Building to the Explorers Garden and back.
Tour B: Explore Arboretum Introductions
Tiffany Enzenbacher, Manager of Plant Production
Location: Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden, Dana Greenhouses, and Bradley Rosaceous Collection
The Arnold Arboretum has introduced many spectacular taxa to the West as a result of our rich history of botanical exploration and global collaboration. Additionally, throughout our nearly 150 years, we have recognized exceptional trees and shrubs in our own collections, developed through selection, breeding, or natural mutations, which have been released as named cultivars in the horticultural trade. With stops at the Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden, Dana Greenhouses, and Bradley Rosaceous Collection, explore some of the intriguing stories and outstanding characteristics of Arboretum introductions.
Tour C: Tracing the Origins of Maples
Jake Grossman, Putnam Fellow
Location: Maple Collection
Over the last 60 million years, the maples have radiated from their evolutionary origins in China to populate much of the northern hemisphere. Roughly half of the resulting 120+ species can be found in the Arboretum’s nationally-accredited maple collection. On this tour, learn about the ecology and evolution of the maple genus while visiting some of the Arboretum’s prized specimens and hidden gems.
Tour D: Ecologically Valuable (and Edible) Plants for Yard and Garden
Brendan Keegan, Arboretum Gardener
Location: Hunnewell Building to Birch Collection
The Arboretum’s diverse plant collection provides many benefits to both urban wildlife and urban people. On this tour, participants will examine the landscape as a habitat and an urban food source, identifying trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants that are important to New England’s wildlife and edible to humans as well. Many of these plants are perfect for gardens and yards, enhancing the ecological value of a landscape while providing benefits to homeowners. Participants on this tour will learn how to identify and forage from several species; in order to sample plants or products from them, you will be required to sign a waiver and are requested to bring a mug or cup from home.
Tour E: Roots, Fruits, and Foliage
Jeffrey Scott Phillips, Horticultural Technologist
Location: Willow Path, Maple Collection, Bradley Rosaceous Collection
It is likely that humans have used plants as medicine for as long as we have existed. Archeological excavations dated as early as 60,000 years ago have found remains of medicinal plants, such as opium poppies, Ephedra, and Aronia. For much of humankind, possessing plant knowledge, or having access to a person who did, made the difference between life and death. In fact, much of the world still relies on traditional medicine, and even in industrialized countries, botanical remedies are still used to treat illness every day. Beginning with the peanut butter bush (Clerodendrum trichotomum) outside of the Hunnewell Building, we will explore some of these plants as we walk along Willow Path through the maple collection and into the Bradley Rosaceous Collection.
Tour F: Distant Cousins Reunited: Disjunct Plants at the Arboretum
Elizabeth Spriggs, Putnam Fellow
Location: Hunnewell Building to Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden
Since the middle of the nineteenth century, naturalists have recognized remarkable similarities between the floras of eastern Asia and eastern North America. Many plant lineages occur only in these two regions of the world thousands of miles apart, and often the species in the two areas look very similar to one another. At the Arboretum these disjunct lineages grow side-by-side, reunited after millions of years of independent evolution. Visit a series of North American/Asian disjuncts and learn how researchers investigate their migration and evolution through the fossil record and DNA sequencing.