Arnold Arboretum Restoring Wild Populations of New England Blazing Star

The Arnold Arboretum is dominated by trees and other woody plants that by and large originated elsewhere— primarily from wild, temperate habitats around the globe. But staff have historically preserved areas of the Arboretum landscape where native understory plants are encouraged to grow spontaneously and by design, and in recent years we have begun collecting and reintroducing herbaceous species that were once common on our grounds. Like our accessioned trees, these plants may be immediately familiar and plentiful in the wild, or threatened and quite rare. One example of a species poised for a comeback in our landscape is New England blazing star, a plant reintroduced through a collaboration with Zoo New England. For the Arboretum, this species is significant to both history and conservation—the last confirmed wild population in all of Suffolk County was documented in our landscape almost 90 years ago.


Boston Children’s Chorus Film Environmental Justice Themed Opus at Arnold Arboretum

More than 90 members of Boston Children’s Chorus recently gathered in the Leventritt Shrub & Vine Garden at the Arnold Arboretum to film this year’s Opus Nuovo Now is the Time focused on environmental justice against the scenic backdrop of beech and maple scenery. “We think that as a place to showcase the beauty of the natural world, the Arboretum is second to none," said CC Executive Producer Robbie Jacobs. "We were able to capture the distinctive New England fall colors as the backdrop for sharing our message and [were] delighted to partner with our ecologically minded friends at the Arboretum to share this critical message about preserving the environment for generations to come.”

Singers lip-synced during the film and recorded their voices later on their phones to accompany the visuals. More details about the production process can be found on the Arnold Arboretum's website.


Photos: Birds! Birds! Birds! In The Arnold Arboretum

Blue jays, cardinals, hawks and chickadees -- oh my! The Arnold Arboretum is always atwitter with fine feathered friends. Check out these fantastic  photos by Chris Lang at the Arnold Arboretum. Click here to see more photos or purchase images by Chris Lang Photography.


Arnold Arboretum Welcomes Tanya Holton as Director of Institutional Advancement

With more than 30 years of experience Holton will play a pivotal role for the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University ahead of its 150th anniversary in 2022. As Director of Institutional Advancemen, Holton will cultivate and steward relationships with members, donors, and the public to help others understand our shared past, the power of plants, and the work being done to create a better world for future generations—ensuring the Arboretum’s relevancy and vibrancy into the next century. “Tanya has been an agent of change in nonprofit fundraising, administration, and programming in Boston for over three decades,” said William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum. “As we prepare for the Arboretum’s sesquicentennial in 2022, Tanya’s respect for the healing power of nature, along with her deep experience in transforming nonprofits, will be essential for galvanizing support around our bold vision for the future. We are excited to welcome her onboard.”

She attended Stanford University, and received her BA and Masters from the University of Cambridge in England.


Photos: JP Resident Has Spent Decades Capturing Arnold Arboretum

Local photographer and JP resident Shaheen Pooladvand has spent decades taking photos of the Arnold Arboretum's plants, flowers, trees, and more. And now Pooladvand would like to share those photos with people to enjoy them. "I grew up in a large cosmopolitan city made up of glass, stone and concrete with a couple of small parks and almost no green space. I was stunned at the sight of Arnold Arboretum when I went there in late '90s. I’ve been walking through the park ever since," said Pooladvand.


Dozens of Turtles Relocated During Arnold Arboretum Ponds’ Restoration

Turtles, toads, frogs, and catfish were all relocated this spring as part of the Arnold Arboretum's dredging project of two of its ponds. If you've been by the trio of the Arboretum's ponds recently you probably noticed there was roping and fencing around Rehder and Faxon ponds. There were also floating and bucket traps set generously provided by Zoo New England, which caught turtles more than 80 times since April 20, said Arnold Arboretum Horticulturist Brendan Keegan to Jamaica Plain News. Keegan stressed that visitors not go around the roping and fencing, as it can stress out the Arboretum's wildlife. The number of individual turtles caught are probably in the 50 to 60 range, said Keegan.


A Walk in the Arboretum: Digital Photocollages by Amy Ragus

Virtual Art Exhibition

Photographer Amy Ragus specializes in multiple frame images of New England landscapes—digital photocollages. Before and during the pandemic, Ragus spent time in the Arboretum, particularly interested in its role as a public space, its open access to everyone. Her work captures the discoveries she found just off a road or path, as well as the people who share this space and enjoy nature throughout the seasons. Explore her sensitive, creative depictions of walks in the Arboretum in this virtual exhibition.

Wild Collection and Propagation of Rare and Endangered Plants Webinar

Sean Halloran, Arnold Arboretum Propagator

In Massachusetts alone, plants make up more than half of the total native species that are officially considered Endangered, Threatened, and Rare. In this talk, we will focus on how ex-situ plant conservation, coordinated plant collection efforts, and plant propagation play vital roles in preserving biodiversity and slowing the deleterious effects of climate change. We will discuss how collection trips are planned—and how citizen science now plays a role in these efforts—while providing a behind-the-scenes look at the planning process. A large focus will be plant propagation techniques such as seeds, cuttings, and grafting, and how these fit into various strategies for plant conservation. Free, registration required.

Arnold Arboretum Celebrates Plant Graduation Class of 2021

Plant graduation season, an annual rite of passage at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, is an occasion for pomp and circumstance as well as a reminder of our connections to nature and the power of plants. The Plant Graduation Class of 2021 took place on April 2 and featured more than 500 plants, some rare and endangered, graduating from the nursery and finding placement throughout the 281-acre landscape of the free and open museum teaching the world about plants. Before the plants officially graduated from the greenhouses for their new “careers” out in the field, a commencement ceremony was held to honor the budding and burgeoning Class of 2021. “The fact that there are more and more plants being planted and groomed and protected and nourished shows the importance of this place," said District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley. “At the Arnold Arboretum we do conservation, education, and we are trying to make sure people understand their responsibilities to the planet and to their fellow species,” added Ned Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum.