In the eighteenth century, plant collector William Bartram wrote of his encounter with Franklin trees in Georgia that he saw the trees “in perfect bloom as well as bearing ripe fruit” — a rare phenomenon in deciduous tree species. Today, during the fall months, we can make the same observation at the Arnold Arboretum. Parts of the pollinated flowers of Franklinia alatamaha remain on the tree during the winter months, and only develop into fruits when spring arrives, eventually ripening at the same time that the tree flowers again. It remains unknown however, when fertilization and seed growth occur in this rare reproductive cycle. Kristel Schoonderwoerd, a Graduate Student in the Friedman Lab at the Arboretum, will speak about her research into the reproductive mysteries of the Franklin tree. Meet at Acc. # 2428-3B on Bussey Hill in the Explorers Garden on Tuesday, October 27 at 3:45pm.
Parking: Park on Bussey Street. Enter the Arboretum through the Bussey Street Gate. Walk along Hemlock Hill Road to Beech Path, to Explorers Garden, following the Tree Mob signs. Or enter through the Centre Street Gate (limited parking) and walk uphill on Bussey Hill Road to Explorers Garden.
Public Transportation: Take the T to Forest Hills. Exit at the upper level of the station. Cross South/Washington Streets and head uphill on South Street toward the State Laboratories at 305 South Street. Continue beyond the facility’s parking lot to a gated entrance into the Arboretum on the right. Enter and follow the path uphill to Beech Path. Turn left and following the signs to the Tree Mob. Allow 15 minutes.