Why do white oak species germinate in the fall?

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
November 20, 2017

Why do white oak species germinate in the fall?

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Over the past few weeks, I have been repeatedly drawn to the North American oak collection on the southwest flank of Bussey Hill. There is something truly grand about this cathedral-like space, with soaring trunks and arched canopies meeting to create a magnificent vaulted ceiling overhead. You enter this architectural and botanical space and are set […]

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A small grab bag of early August in the Arnold Arboretum

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
August 15, 2017

A small grab bag of early August in the Arnold Arboretum

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The lianoid Dutchman’s pipe (Aristolochia macrophylla, 43-92*C; left image), growing on the fence around the garage at the Hunnewell Building, is still putting out tender new leaves. The curve in the young stem tells the tale of a plant seeking out structures to curl around for support. The wonderful mass of buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis var. […]

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Old is new again: Meet the new James Arnold Mansion

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
May 3, 2017

Old is new again: Meet the new James Arnold Mansion

James Arnold Mansion

The Restoration of the James Arnold Mansion James Arnold (1781-1868), in whose honor our institution and grounds are named, was a successful whaling merchant who made a generous bequest to be used for “…the promotion of Agricultural, or Horticultural improvements.” During early 1872, Harvard College combined Arnold’s gift with 123 acres of land donated by […]

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Twisted trees in the Arboretum

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
February 27, 2017

Twisted trees in the Arboretum

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With snow still on the ground, but temperatures rising fast, last Monday I came upon the gnarled and pendulous cultivar of the white mulberry (Morus alba ‘pendula’ 5165*A) on Bussey Hill – acquired by the Arnold Arboretum in 1903. It appeared as some sort of sea serpent (well, snow serpent in this case) emerging from the lower […]

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Beautiful blizzard in the Arboretum

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
February 13, 2017

Beautiful blizzard in the Arboretum

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Thursday’s blizzard, while impressive, was hardly of historic proportion. But, with bone-chilling temperatures, occasional thunder, stiff winds, and sideways falling snow, there was no better time for a couple of walks in the collections. The grounds were dominated by a sense of landscape and the brilliant work of Frederick Law Olmsted who designed the Arnold Arboretum […]

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Orange Bark

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
January 17, 2017

Hemlock Hill viewed from Bussey Hill, 1920

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
October 13, 2016

Hemlock Hill viewed from Bussey Hill, 1920

Hemlock Hill viewed from Bussey Hill, 1920

Hemlock Hill, fall, ca. 1920 Alternate Title: Hemlock Hill viewed from Bussey Hill Photograph by J. Horace (John Horace) McFarland (1859-1948, American) Hemlock Hill, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, United States 1920 A larger version of this image is available in HOLLIS, the online catalog of Harvard Library. J. Horace McFarland was a prolific publisher […]

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Mountain laurels fling pollen!

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
June 4, 2016

Mountain laurels fling pollen!

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This week has been close to perfect when it comes to rhododendrons and azaleas at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University. Both belong to the Ericaceae, a family of plants that also includes blueberries, cranberries, and the mountain laurel, Kalmia latifolia. The Arnold has two stunning groupings of mountain laurels, and they are just beginning […]

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Torch Azaleas on Bussey Hill near South Street, 1940

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
May 12, 2016

Torch Azaleas on Bussey Hill near South Street, 1940

Bussey Hill, spring, South Street, 1940

Bussey Hill, spring, South Street, 1940 Alternate Title: Torch Azaleas (Rhododendron kaempferi) near South Street Photographer unknown Bussey Hill, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, United States May 1940 A larger version of this image is available in Harvard University’s HOLLIS+ catalog. Bussey Hill formed the nucleus of The Arnold Arboretum in 1872. The 118-acre estate […]

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A tale of two cities

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
February 28, 2016