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Autumn In New England, October 19-21, 2018

The meeting this year will be in Connecticut and Massachusetts on October 19-21st. We will be touring multiple retail nurseries, some wholesale nurseries, gardens, and arboretums. On Saturday we will be touring the Arnold Arboretum, which has one of the most amazing plant collections in the United States.

 

Broken Arrow Nursery

This mail-order nursery is a retail garden center that provides many unique rare plants including a large selection of beautiful maples and other woody ornamentals. Every time I am in the area, I must make sure I stop by to see what is neat that they have that I don’t. The propagation and plant development manager is our newly elected vice-president, Adam Wheeler. This is a garden center you will want to be able to browse through and pick something out.

Summer Hill Nursery

Owned and operated by Mike Johnson, this wholesale nursery provides plant material for retail garden centers throughout new England. After talking with Mike, I thought it was quite interesting that he produces some maples both by grafting but also by rooted cutting. This nursery comes heavily recommended as must when visiting the area.

O’Brien Nursery

The gardens at O’Brien Nursery is full of both herbaceous plants and woody ornamentals. While it is beautiful to stroll through the well-crafted gardens, many of these plants are also available for retail sales when we visit. While O’Brien Nursery may be known for their large selection of hosta, they do have an expansive selection of conifers and unique maples available as well. The original Acer palmatum ‘Noel’ resides in this garden. John O’Brien, the owner, is a good friend that helped tremendously in organizing this meeting.

The Arnold Arboretum

The above photo is John Waskiewicz of Wancyk Evergreen Nursery standing in front of one of the original 1907 E.H. Wilson’s accessions of Acer griseum. This is the first paperbark maples in the United States. The Arnold Arboretum is full of many gems like these (Photos by John Waskiewicz).


Acer shirasawanum ‘Palmatifolium’


Acer pubipalmatum


Acer pseudosieboldianum

Here are a few excerpts from their website: The Arnold Arboretum has an extensive collection of maples (Acer spp.), containing 141 of the approximately 230 botanical taxa from around the world. Because of its diverse and numerous holdings of wild-collected maples, the Arnold Arboretum is designated as one of the Plant Collection Network’s maple collection sites. Our collection is especially rich in rare and unusual Asian maples, including a number of endangered species. Because of these valuable accessions, the Arboretum’s maple collection was ranked as the most significant in the world for conservation purposes in a report by Botanic Gardens Conservation International. This organization, which promotes plant conservation efforts at botanic gardens and similar institutions, analyzed the maple collections of 228 institutions in 37 countries and found that the Arboretum holds the greatest number of Acer species listed as endangered or critically endangered in the wild. Maples are valued as garden ornamentals, shade trees, and timber, and of course there’s also maple syrup, the tasty result of collecting and reducing the sap of sugar maple (Acer saccharum). Many maples are noted for their outstanding displays of autumn foliage in shades of yellow, orange, and red. While less showy than the fall color, maple flowers are also quite beautiful upon close inspection when they bloom in spring.

Link to a maple tour on Arboretum Explorer. Many maples can be seen from the Arborway Gate and along Meadow Road to the main maple collection. Some highlights along the way include:

  • Several beautiful specimens of three-flowered maple (Acer triflorum) grow in front of the Hunnewell Building. While many maples have simple leaves (think sugar maple or red maple), A. triflorum has compound leaves composed of three leaflets. This maple develops excellent orange to red fall color and has attractive amber bark that exfoliates in narrow curls.
  • Just across the road from the Hunnewell Building is the original specimen of Acer rubrum ‘Schlesingeri’ [pdf], a red maple cultivar introduced by the Arnold Arboretum. It is one of the earliest red maple cultivars to show fall color, often as early as mid to late August.
  • Over 100 feet tall and over 100 years old, the large silver maple (Acer saccharinum, accession 12560-C) [pdf] along Meadow Road is a favorite with visitors and is thought to be the tallest tree at the Arboretum. This tree survived the big hurricane of 1938 but did sustain some damage from Hurricane Irene in 2011.
  • The genus Acer holds a number of interesting examples of North American– Asian disjunct flora (closely related, similar-looking species that grow on separate continents). Among the Arboretum’s maples, note the similarities between the striking stripe-barked (or snake-bark) maples from Asia (including A. tegmentosum, A. davidii, and A. capillipes) and A. pensylvanicum(commonly known as striped maple or moosewood) from eastern North America.
  • The maple collection holds accessions of Japanese maple (Acer palmatum) and its cultivars, which are popular small ornamental trees. Similarly handsome species in the collection include A. pseudosieboldianum, A. japonicum, A. mono, and A. pubipalmatum.
  • Paperbark maple (Acer griseum) has long been favored by plant connoisseurs for its lovely exfoliating, cinnamon-colored bark and bright red-orange fall color. The Arboretum holds two of the first paperbark maples in the United States, grown from seed wild-collected in China by E. H. Wilson in 1907; look for one venerable specimen in the heart of the maple collection, and a unique, wide- spreading specimen in the Explorers Garden on Bussey Hill.

Search our inventory for additional accessions information or access our collections using your mobile device via Arboretum Explorer!

Mt Auburn Cemetery

Like many classic cemetarys, Mt Auburn Cemetery doubles as a beautiful garden. These gardens are expansive and beautiful with road names and paths named after plants. There are many large old maples in this garden. I have seen photos of this garden by so many friends of mine on social media. This garden comes in heavily recommended by all nurserymen in the area.

Wancyk Evergreen Nursery

This is a retail and re-wholesale nursery with large selection of interesting flowering plants, trees, and shrubs including conifers and maples. John Waskiewicz manages this nursery and is a rare plant connoisseur. John is another friend of mine that I have leaned on in helping plan this meeting. Trees will be available for sale at this nursery when we visit. Most of the trees are 3 gallons and larger.

Botanic Garden Of Smith College


Path to the Japnese Garden – Botanical Garden of Smith College

The 127 acre arboretum includes 1200 types of woody trees and shrubs, 2200 types of hardy herbaceous plants, 3200 types of tender herbaceous and woody plants in greenhouses, and 6600 different kinds of plants, giving a total of approximately 10,000 types of plants in a well-planned and designed setting.

Post Tour - October 22-25

New York Botanical Garden

Known world-wide for their expansive plant collection, the New York Botanical Garden is now featuring the Judy and Michael Steinhardt Maple Collection, focusing on specimen cultivars of Japanese maples.

Wave Hill Public Gardens

A 28 acre estate filled with gardens and a mansion that once was home Mark Twain and also to President Theodore Roosevelt.

Brooklyn Botanic Garden

A classic botanical garden known for its gardens, its Steinhardt Conservatory, and the C.V. Starr Bonsai Museum and Bonsai Collection

Private Gardens

We are in the works to possibly tour some the best private gardens in the United States. More information to come. Stay tuned!

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