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Native See

Adkins Arboretum, a 400-acre native garden and preserve, promotes the conservation and restoration of the chesapeake region’s native landscapes.


Volume 15, Number 4, Winter 2011

Co n t e n t s Let ter from t h e D i r e c to r . ..





n e w m e m b e r s . ..






m e m b e r s h i p b e n e f i t s . .. .. 5 n u r s e r y n ot e s . .. .. .. .. .. 6 v o lu n t e e r o f t h e y e a r . ..










V o lu n t e e r o p p o r t u n i t i e s . .. .. .. .. .. 7 From the B o o k s h e lv e s . .. .. .. .. .. .. 8 tulip poplar: t r e e o f t h e y e a r . .. .. .. .. 9 N at i v e Pl a n t Lo r e . ..




M e m b e r s h i p F o r m . ..

10–11 ..

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summer i n t e r n s h i p s . ..




Program Listing Insert Ad u lt P r o g r a m s . .. .. .. .. 1 – 8 Landscape Design S e r i e s . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. . 2 – 3

Planting a Native Forest

By Christina Pax, Arboretum Docent

Plant a native forest and restore the environment

A r t s a n d C u lt u r e . .. .. .. .. .. 4 w r i t i n g p r o g r a m s . .. .. .. .. 5 T r i p s , wa l k s a n d e v e n t s . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 6 – 8 c h i ld r e n ’ s p r o g r a m s . .. .. .. .. .. .. .. 9 – 1 0 S u m m e r c a m p s . .. .. .. .. .. . 1 0 C a l e n d a r . .. .. .. .. .. .. . 1 1 – 1 2 AR b o r d ay r u n . .. .. .. .. .. . 1 2

A walk in the woods is a rejuvenating experience. Those living near a forest would readily agree that we enjoy views of the woods, that the forest edge is a great place for watching birds and other wildlife, and that it signals the change of seasons more dramatically and beautifully than anywhere else in the landscape.

Forests certainly feel good—they are wonderful places to spend time, to refresh the soul, and to breathe deeply. But they are also a tremendously powerful ally for our beleaguered environment. In fact, planting a forest is the single most powerful thing a homeowner can do for the environment. A forest helps reduce CO2 in the atmosphere by sequestering carbon, keeping it safely in use and locked away for many generations at a time. The strong wood of a tree is made up of carbon that the leaves have absorbed during photosynthesis. Through this miraculous process, a tiny leaf is able to soak up rays of sunshine and molecules of carbon dioxide, combine (continued on page 4)

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Adkins Arboretum is operated by the not-for-profit Adkins Arboretum, Ltd. under a 50-year lease from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Adkins Arboretum, a 400-acre native garden and preserve, fosters the adoption of land stewardship practices for a healthier and more beautiful world. Native Seed is published by Adkins Arboretum three times a year. 12610 Eveland Road P.O. Box 100 Ridgely, MD 21660 410-634-2847 410-634-2878 (fax) Hours 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily except Thanksgiving and Christmas Admission $5 for adults $2 for students ages 6–18 free to children 5 and under. Admission is free for members. Board of Trustees Officers Ms. Alicia Siegrist, President Mr. Luther Tucker, Vice President Ms. Margaret Worrall, Secretary Mr. Greg Williams, Treasurer Members Mr. Lawrence Blount Ms. Pat Bowell Ms. Sydney Doehler Ms. Mary Jo Kubeluis Ms. Barbara McClinton Ms. Nancy Jane Reed Ms. Judy Van Dyke Ms. Mary Ellen Valliant Mr. Alan Visintainer Trustees Emeriti Ms. Kathleen Carmean Dr. Peter Stifel Staff Ellie Altman, Executive Director Julie Barnett, Advancement Assistant Cathy Eiden, Administrative Assistant Joanne Healey, Nursery Manager Jenny Houghton, Children’s Program Coordinator Susan Mervine, Bookkeeper Kate Rattie, Director of Advancement and Planning Ginna Tiernan, Adult Program Coordinator Lynda Tison, Visitor Services and Facilities Coordinator Allison Yates, Facilities Maintenance Technician Jodie Littleton, Newsletter Editor Joanne Shipley, Graphic Designer Photos by Ann Rohlfing Illustrations by Barbara Bryan

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Dear Members and Friends:

They make it look easy. Arboretum visitors frequently comment on what a great place the Arboretum would be to work. And it is. Imagine beginning every day driving through the farm fields of the Eastern Shore to arrive at the Arboretum and walk across the entrance wetland bridge welcomed by the call of the wild birds and frogs, breathing in the fresh air embraced by a big sky and the ever-changing seasons. But it’s not so easy. Often I use this page to write a tribute to you, the members and supporters who are critical to sustaining the Arboretum. I am long overdue in recognizing the amazing staff that is also sustaining the Arboretum—the lucky people who have the pleasure every day of coming to this special place to work. I am honored to work with them. Truth be known, they keep me challenged, as I see my role as working for them while they are working diligently for you. Let me introduce the Arboretum staff. In turn, please introduce yourselves to them and seek them out for advice, to discuss ideas, to make connections, and to share your passion for our native plants and landscapes. In January, Joanne Healey, the Arboretum’s plant nursery manager, joined the staff to expand the nursery to grow and sell throughout the growing season the region’s largest selection of native plants. Joanne commutes from Chesapeake City, where she lives with her husband, David (author of many engaging regional history books), and their two children. She received her horticulture degree from the University of Delaware. She is vigilant about conserving resources (yes, I mean by this that she is tight), so we can rest assured the nursery will generate a profit to support the Arboretum’s operations. In the office next to mine is the Arboretum’s first Director of Advancement and Planning, Kate Rattie. Kate joined the staff in 2009 in the midst of what continues to be a difficult fundraising climate for all nonprofits. But with two lovely daughters happily settling into a new job, a marriage, and the pursuit of a graduate degree, and a menagerie of pets to bolster her optimism about the world (as well as a husband, Ron, who is glad to make dinner), she is constantly finding ways to expand the Arboretum’s reach. She’s a taskmaster in the best sense. There can be no shrinking violets on her team. Commuting against the crowd, Lynda Tison travels from her home in Arnold, MD, to be sure the Arboretum staff is doing the best job it can greeting visitors and orienting them to the Arboretum. Lynda is the Visitor Services and Facilities Coordinator. She seems to walk on air, and her good humor and bright demeanor delight everyone who meets her. Raising three children, living in Russia and the Middle East, and scheduling 1,800 field trips for the Chesapeake Bay Foundation for a decade give her all the skills and confidence she needs to move the Arboretum to new heights. These three individuals work full time year round, but there are also key roles filled by part-time staff. Ginna Tiernan, Adult Program Coordinator, is the person who plans the exciting array of excellent programs that demonstrate the Arboretum’s commitment to engage learners with many interests. Ginna lives in Easton with her husband, Stuart Clarke, and daughter, Althea. Though her family teases her about her irrepressible way of getting to know everyone—she’s a skilled social maven—it is this talent that makes her the beloved lynchpin at the Arboretum. How she accomplishes this AND coordinates a tremendous volunteer corps boggles our minds. Sequestered behind the scenes at the Visitor’s Center on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday and ensuring that we meet payroll every other week is bookkeeper


Sue Mervine. Sue is a talented pianist who has made a living running offices for numerous for-profit businesses. Though she’s new to the not-for-profit world, she is a fast learner. Ask her how many hummingbirds she attracts to her feeder. This nature lover has a special spirit. With a sharp eye, Sue has mastered numbers and budgets as well as trap and skeet shooting with a 12-gauge shotgun. Shake her hand and you too will be convinced she shares genes with Annie Oakley and Loretta Lynn. One early summer day, newly wedded Jenny Houghton, an award-winning French teacher and published poet, walked in and asked for a job. Double-take—how/ why/what would the Arboretum do with a French teacher and poet? Meet this feather of a lady, and you will understand why we quickly scrambled to find a way to recruit her to our team. She made that easy by being willing and able to take on any task. Four years later, as the Children’s Program Coordinator, Jenny is the mastermind behind the Arboretum’s popular preschool programs. She coordinates the annual Arbor Day Run and the Festival of Leaves (formerly the Fall Family Festival). She has a slight frame, so light I suspect it doesn’t trigger automatic doors, but she’s an amazing creative and prolific worker. Not many small nonprofits are blessed with the expertise of a professional editor to fix mixed metaphors and misplaced modifiers. You will see Communications Consultant Jodie Littleton’s handiwork in all Arboretum communications: press releases, website, newsletter, grants, and correspondence. Since 2007, Jodie has been setting the standards that have helped the Arboretum win numerous publication awards. Jodie works 24/7 from her home just across the river from Chestertown. She may be the newest Arboretum employee, but she is in total command of her job. Facilities Maintenance Technician Allison Yates’s spit and polish makes the Visitor’s Center shine. She handles chain saws, leaf blowers, and string trimmers as if they were extensions of her own arms. A leak here, an outage there, downed trees, paths to clear, and curbs to clean, she’s irrepressible. When word hit the streets that Julie Barnett was retiring from her full-time position, we wasted no time in making her a modest offer to join the Arboretum staff as the part-time assistant to Kate Rattie. These two dynamos are the Arboretum’s Development Department. Decades of fundraising experience, mostly for private schools, prepared Julie for her task. She brings a big-picture perspective to the myriad details she attends to. Since 2002, Cathy Eiden has welcomed visitors with grace and charm. She is the Arboretum’s face, and she takes this responsibility seriously. In this modern world where it is rare to find a real voice answering the phone, Cathy’s presence takes us back in time to value doing things in person. No phone could be programmed to achieve the subtleties of greeting and orienting a visitor that Cathy knows. With her careful observations and attentiveness, she connects every visitor to the Arboretum’s many resources. Thank you to this great staff for making it look easy! My best,

Amelanchier spp. shadbush

Ellie Altman, Executive Director


The Arboretum welcomes and gratefully acknowledges its new members. Mr. and Mrs. Ramesh K. Agarwal Ms. Cindy Albright Mr. Kevin Baum Ms. Gwen Beegle Ms. Michele L. Bernier Ms. Sandra Bjork Ms. Molly Bond Mr. and Mrs. James Brofee Mr. Kenneth Burlingame Mr. and Mrs. Dan Campese Mr. Burton L. Carlson and Ms. Andrea P. Wood Dr. Agnes Case Mr. Tom Clark and Ms. Anne Highfield Mr. and Mrs. James A. Clauson Mr. Dennis J. Dabrowka Mr. Jeff Davis Dr. Jamie Davis Mr. and Mrs. Alan J. Dean Mrs. Paula A. Degen Mrs. Marie H. Dempsey Ms. Lynn Desautels Mr. Jeff J. Fahrman Mr. and Mrs. Gary Fennell Ms. Catherine Fenselau Ms. Susan Gold Ms. Cheryl Grabenstein Mrs. Susan F. Hook Mr. and Mrs. Scott Hopson Mrs. Barbara L. Houghton Mr. and Mrs. J. Stephen Huebner Mr. and Mrs. Kevin Huff Ms. Parke John Ms. Jane Keller Mr. and Mrs. O. James Lighthizer Mr. and Mrs. Horace Lowman Mr. John Masone Ms. Michele Masten Ms. Linda Mazzaccaro Mr. and Mrs. Gene Mazzatenta Ms. Debbie Mitzel Mr. Gordon L. Morrison Mr. and Mrs. Richard Morvillo Ms. Ilene Nathan Ms. Dimitra N. Neonakis Mr. David J. O’Neill Mr. John Paradis and Ms. Lani Clark Ms. Patricia Pastor Ms. Judith Paynter Ms. Janet Pfeffer Ms. Jane E. Pilliod Ms. Paula Pippin Ms. Susan Potts Mr. and Mrs. Paul Prager Ms. Leslie Quirion Ms. Ashley Salas Ms. Carol Sargeant and Mr. Martin Wells Ms. Stephanie Shauck Ms. Hedy Sladovich Ms. Anne V. Stafford Ms. Karen Sutter Mr. John W. Taylor Ms. Jane Thomas Mr. and Mrs. Robert Van Fossen Ms. Judy Wolgast Mr. William L. Yeager

(Plant a Native Forest continued from page 1)

Some of the best native shrubs for winter interest and wildlife value also grow voluntarily into colonies. While this suckering tendency may seem unwelcome in a traditional landscape bed and is sometimes discouraged in that setting, this characteristic is a tremendous advantage in a forest setting, where the eye perceives the forest in layers and the repeating pattern of the arching branches or up-reaching shoots can delight the eye. Wildlife, of course, also appreciate this quality, as it provides greater security for nest-building and shelter from cold winter winds.

it with water brought in by the tree’s root system, and create fibrous strength for the tree’s growth into a mighty canopy that can span 100 feet or more. Forests also help clean the Bay and replenish local aquifers. Leaves of a tree soften the fall of raindrops, collecting them before they strike the soil. Water trickles down the trunk, hugging the bark all the way down into the tree’s roots, percolating gradually and more deeply into the earth. Without trees, raindrops splash directly onto the ground or lawn and quickly glide over the surface, becoming part of the “sheet flow” that collects sediments and toxic substances and brings them, unremedied, directly to our waterways. The leaf litter and ferns that grace the forest floor also capture and slow runoff, creating a moist microclimate as the water gradually evaporates.

If your forest contains Corylus americana, American filbert, these leaves will nourish more than 131 different species of caterpillars alone. This shrub is one of many that provide good cover for birds. And filbert nuts can last well into the winter, providing an important winter food source for ruffed grouse, ring-necked pheasant, blue jay, and hairy woodpecker.

Oaks and hickories, the tall backbone of Eastern hardwood forest canopies, together are capable of supporting over 734 different species of moths and butterflies in their larval form. Wild turkeys and ducks eat acorns by swallowing them whole, while various woodpeckers and blue jays are able to peck open the nuts to eat them. Eighteen species of birds are known to eat mockernut hickory nuts (Carya tomentosa)—sometimes relying on messy squirrels to do the cracking and leave some of the interior behind, uneaten. The dogwood shrubs—Cornus amomum (silky dogwood) or Cornus racemosa (red-panicled dogwood)—are excellent shrubs for a native forest. Both produce berries within their first few years, and their leaves generously support many types of insects. Silky dogwood, a coastal native, prefers moist to wet conditions, while red-panicled dogwood thrives in drier environments. The berries ripen just as the leaves turn, and are a preferred food for woodpeckers, bluebirds, and many thrushes.

Forest edge

Although a mature forest with full-scale benefits may take a long time, there are at least two excellent reasons to begin planting a forest as soon as possible. One is that many of the benefits start to occur within a short time period. Another is that young forests, sometimes called successional forests, are dynamic and beautiful in their own right, like children growing into adults. Perhaps the most immediately tangible and rewarding benefit of planting a native forest is the sudden boost to biodiversity. Even a newly planted native forest of young saplings sets in motion a chain of positive events that can quickly result in a flourishing new community of wings, feathers, and fur. Lindera benzoin (spicebush) is a Delmarva native that attracts spicebush swallowtail butterflies to lay their eggs where their larvae can feast on its leaves. Their larvae, in turn, hatch out sometime after Lindera’s delightful yellow bloom in early spring and become food for birds that need the larval protein to feed their young. In early autumn, the dainty red, oval-shaped berries of spicebush feed more than 13 different species of birds, including the wood thrush and veery, that benefit from the high lipid content of these berries. w w w. a

Rainwater is guided down into the earth along a tree’s massive root system.


(Members continued from page 3)


A well-designed forest will include canopy, understory, and shrub layers, and will also include the vitally important ground layer. A suitable ground layer is critical to keeping your native forest native, rather than overrun with the non-native invasives that are poised and waiting for an opportunity to move into disturbed areas. What helps keep these thugs out is a thick planting of vigorous native groundcover that is well matched to the soil texture, acidity, and moisture conditions of the site.

More than ever, your Arboretum membership brings privileges. Where else in the Chesapeake region can you enjoy four miles of paths that wind through native meadows and forests? Where else can you walk your dog, cross-country ski in season, bird watch, or simply enjoy the serenity and peace of the Arboretum’s 400 acres of native gardens and woods? With access to the more than 200 unique education programs offered each year at special member rates, Arboretum members can also choose from a diverse curriculum of programs focusing on the environment, landscape design, nature, art, culture, history, and more for both adults and children.

Even with a well-matched ground layer, the young forest’s caretaker will need to monitor for invasive thugs—especially during the first few years—and remove them before they take hold. But a good thick cover of ferns or sedges can certainly help in the task of defeating unwelcome intruders. There are also many suitable flowering native perennials that work well as forest groundcover, such as Chrysogonum virginianum (greenand-gold), Viola spp. (violets), or Eurybia divaricata (white wood aster). All of these are host plants to various species of insects (some of them endangered) and/or support beneficial insects.

Not only does membership bring privileges to members, it also is vital to the Arboretum. Membership dues help support the work done here—from providing a growing variety of compelling programs, lectures, walks, and talks that focus on the important connection between land stewardship and the environmental health of the region and our own backyards, to purchasing needed supplies for the native plant nursery and maintaining the Arboretum’s paths and grounds.

Certainly a planted forest will not duplicate what nature is able to create over hundreds of years in an old-growth forest, and these places need to be protected and cherished as unique and irreplaceable. But compared to the desolate monoculture of a lawn, or the sparse wildlife value of conventional nonnative planted beds, a native forest provides a rich source of good things for humans, wildlife, and the benefit of our larger natural environment.

This year brings several changes to make membership even more special, including expanded general membership privileges enjoyed by all members, a new membership level especially for grandparents, and enhanced membership benefits for those joining at the philanthropic membership levels. Individual membership ($45 per year) includes all general membership privileges and unlimited free admission for one adult. The new Household membership level ($60 per year) entitles two adults and all children 18 and under in the same household to unlimited free admission and all general membership benefits. The new Grandparent membership level, available for $60 a year, provides all general membership privileges plus unlimited free admission for two grandparents and all grandchildren age 18 and under.

Sources: Stephen W. Kress, The Audubon Society Guide to Attracting Birds; Douglas W. Tallamy, Bringing Nature Home.

2011 GENERAL MEMBERSHIP PRIVILEGES All Arboretum members receive: • Free subscription to the Arboretum newsletter, Native Seed • Weekly e-newsletter • Arboretum decal • Free audio tour with visit • Special member rates for lectures, exhibitions, classes, and tours • Special member rates for children’s programs and camps • 10% discount on plant purchases from the Arboretum native plant nursery • 10% discount on books, gifts, and wearing apparel from the Arboretum gift shop • Invitations to special members-only events • Borrowing privileges from the Arboretum library • Access to the online native plant database • Free parking • Free access to the Children’s Garden • Free access to Arboretum paths for bicycling, dog walking, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing (in season) • Reciprocal privileges with more than 250 botanical gardens and arboreta in the U.S., Canada, and Cayman and Virgin Islands

Members joining at the Contributor level ($100 per year) will automatically be enrolled in the Nursery Discount Program, offering substantial discounts on plants and gardening supplies purchased at more than a dozen local nurseries. Contributor-level members can also take advantage of free admission for two guests (a $10 value) every time they visit the Arboretum. Members at the Supporter level ($250 per year) will receive all Contributor-level benefits, plus a free one-year Household gift membership for the recipient of their choice and an invitation to the annual Director’s reception. Sustainer-level members ($500 per year) will receive all Supporter-level benefits plus a by-request private guided walk at the Arboretum for eight. The Leon Andrus Society honors the vision of the Arboretum’s founder to promote the appreciation and conservation of native plants on the Delmarva Peninsula. Members of the Society ($1,000 per year) will receive all Sustainer-level membership benefits as well as invitations to special Arboretum programs, tours, and exhibit previews; an invitation to the annual Leon Andrus Society dinner; and special recognition in the Annual Report. For more information about the Arboretum’s membership benefits, call Julie Barnett at 410-634-2847, ext. 30, or e-mail

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Nancy Beatty named 2010 Volunteer of the Year

Nursery Notes By Joanne Healey, Nursery Manager

For close to a decade, Nancy Beatty has touched countless facets of the Arboretum. From working in the Native Plant Nursery and gardens, to leading nature walks and education programs, to planning for special events, her talent and enthusiasm are evident in all she does. In November, Nancy was named Arboretum Volunteer of the Year for 2010. An avid gardener and a former preschool teacher, Nancy had brought children to the Arboretum for many years. She was unaware of the many volunteer opportunities, though, until she made contact with Arboretum staff while selling home-grown flowers at a local farmers market.

Spring always holds many surprises for the gardener: the uncertainties of weather, plants appearing in new places—and disappearing in others—and this year your favorite nursery will open its greenhouse doors three weeks earlier than usual. The Arboretum Native Plant Nursery, offering the largest selection of ornamental native plants to Chesapeake gardeners since 1985, will open for the 2011 spring season in mid-April with a showcase of native plants at the Visitor’s Center. The second weekend in May— the traditional date for the Spring Native Plant Sale—is rather late in the spring gardening season. Serious gardeners have been busy buying and planting for weeks by the time the Arboretum Nursery opened. The opening weekend will be Friday, April 15 for members, and Saturday and Sunday, April 16 and 17 for the public. Thereafter, the Nursery will be open to the public Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. until fall.

“My last child was going off to college, and the Arboretum seemed like the perfect fit to fill the spaces,” Nancy says. “I have been interested in gardening since I was very young, and I have always believed in trying to garden organically, so I think that is one thing that led me toward native plants.” She began volunteering in the Native Plant Nursery. “Working in the nursery on Tuesday mornings was a great experience for me. I was able to meet some really great folks.” In addition to nursery work, Nancy is a volunteer docent naturalist, leading guided nature walks and participating in the popular Soup ’n Walks program. She has proven an invaluable addition to the Arboretum’s series of seasonal events, from working at plant sales, to driving hay wagons for the Fall Family Festival (now the Festival of Leaves), to leading sold-out natural decorations workshops for the Holiday Greens Sale. Her talent as a garden designer and floral arranger—she is proprietor of Sweet Bay Garden and Floral Design—parlays into stunning native arrangements that grace the Visitor’s Center during holidays and at the Arboretum’s special events.

One of the top priorities for the Arboretum in 2011 is to operate a fully functional native plant nursery that propagates native plants from seeds collected from the Arboretum’s collection. This nursery-propagated stock will then be used for the Arboretum’s own site restoration as well as for sales to members and other Chesapeake gardeners. A generous gift from the Van Dyke Family Foundation is making it possible for the Arboretum Native Plant Nursery to restore the greenhouses and propagation house and to acquire equipment needed to expand its propagation capabilities.

“Exploring the Arboretum forest and meadows is something I truly enjoy,” Nancy says. “It’s peaceful and quiet and a great place to unwind and take in and appreciate the wonderful things we tend to overlook when we are busy and life gets too hectic. The falling leaves and the water flowing through Blockston Branch in the late fall are especially soothing. It’s always fun in late winter to search for the first skunk cabbage and in spring to watch the ferns unfurl.”

The ability to propagate plants from locally collected seed and to take cuttings from stock plants offers a number of benefits to the Arboretum, including: • Protecting wild populations of native coastal plain species; • Ensuring the provenance of plant stock;

“Nancy is a gardener and flower arranger extraordinaire,” says Arboretum Executive Director Ellie Altman. “The Arboretum is showered by immeasurable gifts when Nancy shares her talents by helping with plant sales, teaching flower arranging and natural ornament-making, leading nature walks, decorating for special programs and events—the list is long, and her years of service are just shy of a decade.”

• Offering gardeners nursery-propagated native plants that are more likely to survive; and • Reducing costs to the Arboretum. This gift and the support of the Arboretum volunteers who work at the Nursery make it possible for the Arboretum to offer the largest selection of ornamental native plants to the Chesapeake gardener.

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Nancy will be honored at a volunteer appreciation brunch in January. She and her husband live in Royal Oak, Talbot County. They will welcome their first grandchild in June. 6


Teach, interpret, plant, enjoy! VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES Visitor’s Center Attendants

Volunteer Orientation

Help staff the Visitor’s Center and greet and orient visitors.

Tuesday, March 15, 10 a.m.–noon

Children’s Programs and Summer Camps

Learn about the Arboretum’s conservation and stewardship mission, meet the staff and other volunteers, and find your niche. Then join the bimonthly Scuttlebutt Volunteer Luncheon from noon to 1 p.m. to meet more volunteers and hear what they are up to at the Arboretum.

Help teach children about native plants and the environment.

Special Events Volunteer for the Arbor Day Run, Native Plant Sales, or Holiday Greens Sale.

Maryland Master Naturalist Program

Community Outreach Promote the Arboretum’s mission at community events.

The Maryland Master Naturalist Program is a training program for volunteers who want to learn and share knowledge of the natural world in Maryland.

Nursery Work Crew Join the nursery work crew on Tuesdays and learn about plant propagation and care in preparation for the Arboretum’s annual plant sales.

Thursdays, February 3 through March 31, 9 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Fee: $200 Adkins Arboretum is honored to be the first host site for the Maryland Master Naturalist Program for the Coastal Plain. This program will serve as the Arboretum’s docent training.

Grounds Work Crew Help maintain the woodland and meadow paths and assist with other maintenance projects.

Individual Volunteer Projects

Individuals accepted into the Master Naturalist training course receive 48 hours of instruction, including hands-on experience outdoors. All classes are taught by experts in the subject. The curriculum includes: Maryland Natural History, Flora & Fauna, Ecologic Principles, How Humans Affect the Landscape, The Science of Science, and Teaching & Interpretation.

Propose your own volunteer project. Ongoing projects include maintaining bluebird habitat and teaching the public about native plants and sustainable horticultural and gardening practices. For more information, including volunteer schedules, contact Ginna Tiernan, Adult Program Coordinator, at 410-634-2847, ext. 27 or at

After training, participants serve as University of Maryland Extension volunteers in their communities. At least 40 hours of approved service must be documented each year. A wide variety of volunteer work is possible, including environmental restoration projects, education and public awareness campaigns, and research in the field.

Application forms can also be obtained at the front desk or downloaded at

For more information about the Master Naturalist Program and to obtain an application, visit and/or contact Ginna Tiernan, Arboretum Adult Program Coordinator, at

Sassafras albidum sassafras



From the Bookshelves By Arboretum Librarian and Maryland Master Gardener Carol Jelich

year, so you can precisely locate where to plant; the amount of protection provided by various sizes of trees; and appropriate species to plant. A section titled “Designing the Realm of Plants” offers advice on how to obtain an energy-efficient landscape without sacrificing beauty. The author encourages the reader to add to the definition of beauty, an awareness of the energy needed to produce or sustain it. This added awareness can inspire the gardener to adopt the practices detailed in the book. There are chapters on creating healthy working ecosystems, lawn size reduction, and wise water use, all filled with actions that can be taken as well as background information on why these actions are effective. A section on “Designing the Whole Property” details how to select a building site, and where to locate structures and utilities (e.g., the driveway) to best conserve energy on the site. The “Construction and Care” section details specific actions to use in installing and maintaining planted areas; constructing patios, paths, walls, and wood structures; and building new homesites.

Energy-Wise Landscape Design: A New Approach for your Home and Garden by Sue Reed. New Society Publishers, 2010.

A final section, “Generating Energy in Your Landscape,” provides information on how to go beyond conservation to make your own electricity, through solar, wind, water, and geothermal systems.

You know a garden advice book will be different when the Acknowledgements pay tribute to an electrician, a handyman, and a physics teacher, in addition to landscaping and native plant experts. This book offers practical advice on how to reduce energy use by making small but significant changes in the way landscapes are designed and built.

Photographs and illustrations in every chapter provide many examples to support the text. Interesting sidebars are located throughout the book, ranging from technical (“Albedo, Climate Change and Trees,” to practical (“How to Prune a Branch”) to simply interesting (“The Myth of Goldenrod Allergy,” “What Is Topsoil?”). Appendices include various calculations, plant lists, and resources, as well as a bibliography and endnotes.

Two methods for reducing energy use are detailed in the book: (1) arranging gardens to cool or warm buildings and (2) incorporating energy efficiency into landscape management practices.

As the author notes in the concluding chapter, “This book aims to teach and inspire, to encourage and reassure and to nudge us all toward a new understanding. Every property—no matter how casual or ornate, simple or complex, modest or grand—is a place where we can save energy and contribute to a better world while also satisfying our own dreams and ideals.”

Simple language is used throughout the book to detail many energy-saving practices, although some fairly technical explanations are included as well.

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Sue Reed, author of Energy-Wise Landscaping, taught at the Conway School of Landscape Design. She will speak at the Arboretum on Friday, March 4. The book is available for sale in the Arboretum Gift Shop.


As a Master Gardener advising landowners on “Bay-Wise” landscape practices, I encourage people to plant deciduous trees on the south side of their house to provide shade in summer, and evergreen trees to the north and west sides to protect from winter winds. This book provides great detail on how to do so, including how to find true north; how and why the angle of the sun changes through the course of a day and a

Tulip Poplar Named Arboretum’s Inaugural Native Tree of the Year By Joanne Healey, Nursery Manager

Liriodendron tulipifera tulip poplar

The Arboretum has designated 2011 the year of the tulip poplar. This native tree of merit will be highlighted all year long through articles, classes, tours, and outreach initiatives in a new annual tradition of naming a Native Tree of the Year. The Arboretum’s signature tree, the tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) is beautiful and majestic. Easily the tallest tree in Eastern North America, it grows to upward of 100’ tall. Its 6- to 8-inch-wide tulip-shaped leaves and greenish orange flowers make it highly identifiable.

The Arboretum bookstore stocks several books extolling the virtues of Liriodendron tulipifera. Titles of note include Native Trees, Shrubs and Vines by William Cullina and Native Trees for North American Landscapes by Guy Sternberg with Jim Wilson. A title of historic interest is America’s Famous and Historic Trees from George Washington’s Tulip Poplar to Elvis Presley’s Pin Oak by Jeffrey G. Meyer and Sharon Linnea. The Internet is an immense source of information about the tree and offers hundreds of beautiful photos. There is even a Facebook page dedicated to the love of Liriodendron, apparently created by some passionate horticulture students.

A quick-growing tree that loses it lower branches as it ages, the tulip poplar boasts a straight, smooth trunk with few knots, making it a favored wood for loggers. The flowers provide nectar for ruby-throated hummingbirds and honeybees. The Arboretum’s Native Plant Nursery is home to several beehives whose inhabitants rely on the tulip poplar as a key food source. The seeds persist into the winter and provide food for birds and mammals, including finches, cardinals, quail, mice, squirrels, and rabbits. It also tolerates salt spray, making it a good choice near the Bay, and is not a food source for the gypsy moth caterpillar.

Liriodendron tulipifera is a fitting tree to be named the 2011 Adkins Arboretum Native Tree of the Year. It is the first of many great native trees to be celebrated with this honor.

This large member of the magnolia family is the state tree of Indiana, Tennessee, and Kentucky. George Washington planted tulip poplars on his Mount Vernon estate that stand today at more than 140’ tall. Daniel Boone used tulip poplar logs to make his 60-foot dugout canoes. Abraham Lincoln’s cabin was most likely built from this same wood. Lore has it that the Cherokee Indians used the bark for a wide range of medicinal remedies, from pinworm to gastrointestinal problems to curing “hysterics and weakness” in women.

At the Arboretum annual meeting in October, Alicia W. Siegrist was elected president of the Arboretum Board of Trustees. Chair of the Department of Astronomy, Chemistry, Physics and Physical Science at Anne Arundel Community College, she previously served as Board vice president. Luther Tucker was elected vice president and president-elect. Margaret Worrall and Greg Williams were re-elected as secretary and treasurer, respectively.

A more compact form for the smaller landscape is available in the trade, as is a beautiful variegated leaf form and an interesting narrow-and-columnar form. The Arboretum Native Plant Nursery plans to make available some of these different types. The common species is always available in a variety of different sizes.

The Board also named outgoing Board president Dr. Peter Stifel trustee emeritus. He joins Kathy Carmean among the Arboretum’s trustees emeriti. Pictured from left to right are Margaret Worrall, Greg Williams, Peter Stifel, Alicia Siegrist, and Luther Tucker.


Native Plant Lore

The Fallen Oak

By Beverly Gemmill, Arboretum Docent and Delaware Master Gardener

On New Year’s Eve 2008, a powerful windstorm blew through Adkins Arboretum.

from the soil, the soil came with them and left a deep hole where it had been growing. People who study forests call this a pit and mound. The pit and mound is important for the ecology of the forest. The tearing of roots from the soil brought up subsoil clinging to the roots that will mix with the duff, or leaf litter, and provide minerals needed for plant growth. The hole left by the roots is called the pit. Now it is filled with water, and gradually it will fill with organic material. Moisture-loving plants, amphibians, and other organisms will colonize the pit. The root ball of the oak stands tall, but as time passes and the roots decay it will form a wider mound. Plants and organisms needing drier soils will colonize the mound, thus increasing the diversity of the bottomland floor.

In the wooded wetlands surrounding Blockston Branch, a large old red oak (Quercus sp.) growing in the wet bottomland soil began to tremble as the wind speed increased and swirled through the canopy. Pressure was put on the roots clinging to the wet soil. Back and forth the wind buffeted that tree. One would think the crown would snap off, but no, the wind threw that tree to the ground. As the roots were torn from the soil, three smaller trees growing close by toppled along with it. In falling, it took a canopy from another tree and flattened a medium-sized ironwood tree. It saddens me to see the remains of that mighty oak. I avert my eyes to avoid looking at it. The gardener in me wants to clean it up, but it has been left there to return to the soil.

In the two years since the oak fell, the tree limbs have been covered with various mushrooms. One can recognize the common turkey tail and other bracket mushrooms. These are leathery mushrooms from the polypore family. Some mushrooms have gills on the underside of the cap, but if you turn over the mushrooms growing on the fallen tree you will see microscopic pores, not gills. Though boletes are another common polypore that typically do not grow on dead wood, they can be found on the dead wood of the fallen oak. The mushroom is the visible part of the fungus, but creeping through the cells of the dead tree are the mushroom mycelia, a network of threadlike structures called hyphae. These help break down the wood of the tree to release important nutrients to the soil. Insects chew their way into the weakened areas, and birds such as woodpeckers and others that eat insects or feed them to their young will search for these insects by scratching or pecking and thus aid in the tree’s deterioration. Moisture is retained in the soil beneath the trunk, creating a prime habitat for amphibians. Later, larger creatures will carve out nesting sites and dens to raise their young. Interestingly some birds can carve a nesting hole from the harder new-fallen wood, whereas others need to wait for it to deteriorate to a softer stage, and still others will use cavities that have been made by previous residents, another example of diversity provided by the fallen tree.

Today when we climb toward the upland on the Tuckahoe Valley Trail, we can see what is left of that magnificent oak. It is lying on its side with a massive root ball standing so high you must crane your neck to see the top. When the roots were torn


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This oak log retains moisture and stores nutrients and energy as it decays. Young trees can sprout from seeds dropped in crevices by wind and wild creatures such as birds, ants and other insects, and seed- and fruitloving animals. Because the Arboretum oak is massive and has many downed limbs, it can affect the flow of water and slow erosion in the floodplain. Some have suggested that it could even change the route of Blockston Branch in that area. We will have to wait and see. When this tree fell, it opened a gap in the leaf canopy, allowing sunlight into the understory. Canopy gaps can be caused by many things. Fire, logging, and windstorms or tornados are common occurrences that come to mind. The size of the gap depends on the cause. In this case only a small gap was made, but studies of gap size have shown that the effect of sunlight on the ecology of even a small gap is great. Trees are already growing in the understory and will have less competition for resources. Herbaceous plants that need more sunlight to germinate and grow will be able to sprout. Currently many netted chain ferns are growing in the area, in addition to poke berry at the top of the root ball, brambles, catbrier, and several small sweet gum trees. Recently sprouted trees in the herbaceous layer will use nutrients set free by the downed tree and will have access to the sunlight necessary for photosynthesis. Studies also show there will be more flying insects and birds in the gap.

The next time I walk up the path by the downed tree, I will not see that sad downed oak, but smile and think of all the benefits the tree is providing for that bottomland community. The author would like to thank Dr. Susan Yost of Delaware State University Herbarium, Dover, DE, and Dr. Sylvan Kaufman for their help in reviewing this article. Resources: Dead Trees as Resources for Forest Wildlife, W-18-04, Ohio State University Extension Fact Sheet, School of Natural Resources, Columbus, OH43210


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Adkins Arboretum P.O. Box 100 Ridgely, MD 21660 410-634-2847

Summer Internship Opportunities Adkins Arboretum offers three- to six-month paid internships to college students or recent graduates with expertise in natural resource management, ecology, wildlife biology, environmental science, public horticulture, landscape architecture, or related fields. Interns become valuable members of the Arboretum’s professional staff, participating in all aspects of the organization’s operation. Responsibilities include native plant nursery and greenhouse care, land stewardship and landscape maintenance, interpretive and curatorial tasks, assistance with volunteer and visitor services, and participation in events and educational programs for children and adults.

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Interns also conduct an independent project selected in collaboration with staff, and plan their own field trips to other conservation organizations, natural areas, and public gardens.

Non Profit Org US Postage PAID Mail Movers

This is an excellent opportunity to learn about the operation of a small nonprofit organization, while gaining practical ‘hands-on’ experience in areas of land conservation, native plant propagation and sales, and environmental education. Applicants must demonstrate that they are self-motivated, independent, professional, and enthusiastic about working outside and participating in a wide variety of tasks. Summer housing is needed for interns. If you have an extra room or apartment available and would be interested in hosting one of the Arboretum’s summer interns, please contact Nursery Manager Joanne Healey at or 410-634-2847, ext 32. To apply, send a cover letter, résumé, and three references by Friday, March 4, 2011 to Joanne Healey, Nursery Manager, Adkins Arboretum, P.O. Box 100, 12610 Eveland Road, Ridgely, MD 21660 or

Native Seed - Winter 2011  

Native Seed is the award-winning newsletter of Adkins Arboretum

Native Seed - Winter 2011  

Native Seed is the award-winning newsletter of Adkins Arboretum