The Arboretum has a long history of serving as a source of plant distribution as a result of the staff’s ability to collect and grow a diversity of plants from a wide variety of sources. This provides an opportunity to share the benefits of these efforts, helps to preserve germplasm, and introduces a wide gardening audience to new and unusual plants. Over the past decade, some of the most significant of the distributions have included the following species:
Of the many taxa collected by the Arboretum over the past twenty years, few arouse more excitement among professional and lay horticulturists than Corylus fargesii. The trees display exquisite, exfoliating tan and copper bark that rivals the most attractive birches, and is especially reminiscent of river birch (Betula nigra). The Arboretum, with a NACPEC team, collected seed of this species in China in 1996 and 2005, and trees grown from these collections can now be found throughout the Arboretum. In the mid-1990s, seedlings were given to numerous botanic gardens, resulting in the widespread distribution of this highly desirable species. Several years ago, seed from the 1996 trees was collected and began to germinate; this has been so successful that this past January, seedlings were sent to eight organizations, ranging from Massachusetts to Minnesota and south to Georgia.
Native Canada hemlock (Tsuga Canadensis) has been afflicted by hemlock wooly adelgid, resulting in the severe decline of native and cultivated populations across the central and southern portions of its native range. Chinese hemlock is resistant to the adelgid, providing an opportunity to function as a replacement for Canada hemlock in cultivated areas, and to possibly breed resistance into the native species.
Prior to the late 1970s, Chinese hemlock appears to have only been introduced into North America only once. Beginning in the early 1990s, the Arboretum and its NACPEC colleagues made a concerted effort to introduce this species. These efforts resulted in 33 collections of Chinese hemlock, the addition of 55 plants to the Arboretum’s own collections, and numerous seedlings being distributed to botanical gardens. The most significant of these distributions has been to the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, to whom 96 plants were provided during the past 10 years.
In recent years Anthony Aiello, the Director of Horticulture and Curator, has focused on Japanese flowering cherries and has surveyed public gardens in the northeastern U.S. to find rare and unique varieties. The goal of this project is to propagate and re-distribute the plants to a wider audience of public gardens and private collectors. This effort has resulted in a fast turnaround and this past spring, nine varieties propagated over the past three years were distributed to the Scott Arboretum and the New York Botanical Garden. The results of this work were recently published in Arnoldia.
Parking Lot Closed September 21, 22 and 23.
Morris Arboretum’s parking lot is being repaved September 21, 22 and 23. Our parking lot is a demonstration lot for its sustainability. Installed 25 years ago as one of the first of its kind, the parking lot has filtered into the earth about 31,863,304 gallons of precipitation from the Wissahickon watershed. But the time has come for it to be renewed.
The entire parking lot will be closed September 21, 22 and 23. Auxiliary parking will be available at the bottom of the hill (near the kiosk) and shuttle service will be provided to the top of the hill. ADA access will be limited. No buses will be permitted beyond the kiosk.
We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are committed to keeping our parking lot sustainable and our visitors safe. Thanks for your patience.The Arboretum is open as usual. Click here for hours.
Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.