Spring Pruning at the Arboretum

Recent Arboretum visitors may have noticed some unusual pruning, specifically in our Holly and Camellia collections.  The camellia specimens, located near the Lookout parking lot, will be re-propagated and planted in a different location to make space for the Pacific Connections New Zealand focal forest.  Large heading cuts were made to induce new epicormic growth, or watersprouts, which are ideal for propagation.   

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Cherry Blossom Season is Here!

Most visitors experiencing the beauty of our historic Azalea Way flowering cherries from now through May probably have no idea of how intensive maintaining their health and prolonging their longevity truly is for the UW Botanic Gardens horticulture staff.   Just ask our Integrated Pest manager, Ryan Garrison. Ryan with staff support spends many a day throughout the year monitoring and controlling the numerous diseases and insect pests our 175 plus cherries are prone to suffer from.  

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Sonic Tomography at the Arboretum

The University of Washington Botanic Gardens would like to thank Tree Solutions, Inc. for bringing the latest technology in tree risk assessment to the Washington Park Arboretum.  Tree Solutions assessed a large western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) using sonic tomography, a device which measures sound waves to detect decay and other abnormalities in wood. Assessing the risk associated with trees is a vital component to maintaining the urban forest.  

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Winter Plant Protection in Pacific Connections Gardens

No, aliens haven’t invaded the arboretum. The “straw tepees” (left), as Kyle Henegar, PCG gardener, aptly coins them, are to protect the newly planted Phormiums and other marginally hardy New Zealand plants make it through this cold spell that’s hit Seattle. It just wouldn’t seem fair to let these plants try to make it on their own since they were just planted late last summer and have yet to get their roots established. 

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Cherry Pruning Time

Our horticulture staff will begin pruning our cherry collection, mostly along Azalea Way, next week. October is our window to prune based on the life-cycle of the insect pest, Cherry Bark Tortrix -it’s not flying around seeking easy entry portals like fresh pruning wounds now. Most of our pruning focuses on  large dead branches, as well as, unwanted basal suckers below graft unions. 

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Holly Garden Project Notice and News

September through October is our window of opportunity before fall rains begin to commence development and improvement work in the Holly collection.  Scope of work during this period will focus primarily on construction  of  the southernmost Eurasian clade berm located at the north end (near Boyer Ave). See photo of Iain Robertson’s conceptual Holly collection plan – Eurasian clade berms are pink. 

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What's the story of Herb Robert at the Arboretum?

On July 14 a UWBG Facebook fan asked us what’s the story of Herb Robert at the Arboretum. UWBG Horticulturalist, David Zuckerman, replies with background information and his personal experience with this stinky weed. Herb Robert, aka, Stinking Robert. Geranium robertianum is an escaped ornamental herbaceous perennial native to Europe. It has quite a history of folklore and medicinal uses. It is a class B noxious weed in Washington(1998?) and first seen in our state in 1911, Klickitat. 

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Two Red Oaks Topple in Arboretum

Two leaning mature red oaks (Quercus rubra) fell last week in the arboretum. The one that went down at the north end of Azalea Way, near our famous propped Willow oak, was witnessed by several onlookers as our arborist Chris Watson was hurredly trying to stablize it from going over. He never had a chance. The popping and cracking noises from severing roots on the backside kept getting louder and more frequent. 

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