NestWatch program connects science and birdwatching

by Brendan Keegan, Landscape Crew Gardener
June 17, 2019

NestWatch program connects science and birdwatching

bluebird

This spring, the Arboretum’s Visitor Engagement department launched our inaugural “Arboretum NestWatch” volunteer program. Since then, our small group of trained volunteers have been diligently monitoring the 30 nest boxes located on our grounds and submitting their observations to the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s NestWatch project, a citizen science initiative that uses data gathered from […]

Continue reading


Flowering habits

by Jonathan Damery, Associate Editor of Arnoldia
May 1, 2019

Visitors, Crabapple Sunday, 1936

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
March 13, 2019

Visitors, Crabapple Sunday, 1936

Crabapple Sunday

Visitors, Crabapple Sunday, 1936 Photograph by Donald Wyman Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, United States May 10, 1936 The Arnold Arboretum offers public events and education programs throughout the year to promote “understanding and appreciation of plant life in its full complexity.” These activities are designed for a range of audiences, from children to adults […]

Continue reading


Freshmen musings from New Mission High

by Ana Maria Caballero, Nature Education Specialist
October 2, 2018

Carbon tax on beech trees!

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
October 1, 2018

Carbon tax on beech trees!

Beech drops

A serendipitous encounter with a magnificent population of beech-drops on Peters Hill has really made my week. Beech-drops (Epifagus virginiana) is a flowering plant whose ancestors lost the ability to photosynthesize. It obtains all of its organic carbon by invading the fine roots of American beech trees (Fagus grandifolia). Not a touch of green can […]

Continue reading


How the pear got its spots

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
September 3, 2018

How the pear got its spots

Pyrus bretschneideri

Rarely, if ever, have I wandered through the pear (Pyrus) collection at the Arnold Arboretum and seen another person. So, this is a plea to venture to unfamiliar territory and enjoy looking at some wonderful pear fruits in various shades of green, with different fungal patinas—and take in their lenticel-spotted surfaces (more on lenticels below). […]

Continue reading


Peter’s Hill, spring, White Oak (Quercus alba), 1970

by Larissa Glasser, Library Assistant
October 19, 2017

Peter’s Hill, spring, White Oak (Quercus alba), 1970

Peter's Hill, spring, White Oak (Quercus alba), 1970

Peter’s Hill, spring, White Oak (Quercus alba), ca. 1970 Alternate Title: Peter’s Hill with crabapples (Malus) and a White Oak (Quercus alba, center) Photograph by Pamela Bruns, American Peter’s Hill, Arnold Arboretum, Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts, United States ca. 1970 A larger version of this image is available in Harvard University’s Hollis Images catalog. Our Crabapple […]

Continue reading


Goatscaping – Biological Control for Invasive Plants

by Jon Hetman, Director of External Relations & Communications
October 4, 2016

Goatscaping – Biological Control for Invasive Plants

Goat_2

For the past month, a team of four goats have been munching their way through weeds, overgrowth, and brush in the Arboretum landscape. This new pilot program offers a novel approach to controlling noxious and invasive plants that prove difficult to contain by other means. The goats are contained in a small, electrified enclosure, which is moved […]

Continue reading


Leaf shadows on Peters Hill

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
June 18, 2016

Leaf shadows on Peters Hill

Leaf Shadows_directorsBlog47_featuredIMG

This week, I wandered the east side of Peters Hill, admiring the landscape, taking in long views of the collections of crabapples, pears, poplars, and ginkgoes. I dove into the deep understory darkness of the old dawn redwood grove down near the railroad tracks. I was dazzled by the extraordinary work of the Arnold Arboretum […]

Continue reading


Notes on late-hanging crabapples

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
December 21, 2015

Notes on late-hanging crabapples

crabapples_DirectorsBlog22

Sooty blotch and fly speck – sounds bad, doesn’t it? While supermarkets encourage the worship of seemingly “perfect” blemish-free apples, the “imperfect” are often far more interesting. Weird shapes, surficial scars, and even a coating of fungi may have little or no effect on flavor. Recently, I have been enjoying the late-hanging fruits, in their […]

Continue reading