Monday, December 17, 2012

Integrated Pest Management Training

by Stephen Pyne, Martha J. Wallace Plant Propagation Intern

One of the benefits of being an intern at Morris Arboretum is the opportunity to take some of the amazing classes that the arboretum offers. I just finished taking an especially good one: The School of Arboriculture’s Integrated Pest Management Training. This three day class was taught by two entomologists from the University of Maryland; Dr. Michael J. Raupp, and Dr. Paula Shrewsbury. Three days is a lot of time to spend in the classroom, but the presenters made sure that we were never bored. It was obvious that Dr. Raupp and Dr. Shrewsbury both love their work, and their enthusiasm was infectious. Their presentations were full of interesting anecdotes and stories, and yet they always steered the class back to real life and practical information that I thought would be very applicable in my work as a horticulturalist.

During the breaks we were able to look at the professors’ extensive collections of bugs and see examples of specific insect damage. Breaks also were a great time to talk to the other people taking the class -- a diverse and interesting group of horticultural professionals.

At the end of each day we had some lab time. On the first day we walked out into the arboretum grounds where we looked at plants, identified their problems and the pest causing those problems, and came up with ideas for a remedy. The second day had us dissecting bagworm bags to find eggs, signs of parasitism, and other clues to help form a plan of treatment. We also looked at scale and several other examples of problem insects. Finally on the last day our tasks were feeding and observing beneficial insects. The young praying mantises were not all that hungry (they had just eaten a bunch of fruit flies), but the lacewing larvae chowed down on the aphids we provided.

I think you can tell from the photos, we all had a great time, and learned a lot.

Learn more about upcoming classes by visiting:

Monday, December 10, 2012

Crafting Holiday Cheer

by Stephen Pyne, Martha J. Wallace Plant Propagation Intern

It is a very special time of year… that time between Thanksgiving and the winter holidays… that time when Morris Arboretum’s horticultural staff gets together and makes Holiday Wreaths!

The Arboretum gives hand-decorated wreaths and swags as special gifts and it is quite a process to put them together.  We gather material from all over the Arboretum, trim, and prepare it for mounting on the wreath. Anyone who has worked around a holly can imagine just how prickly it is to wrap individual leaves onto a wooden pick. Our natural ornaments range from pine to Platycarya cones, magnolia leaves to boxwood branches.  Once we have enough material assembled, we start on the wreaths.  It is not a quick process, nor is it without some pain, but it is very rewarding.  Every year that I have done this project, I am amazed at the beauty of the finished wreaths and the creativity that goes into making them.

Morris Arboretum also has a variety of Continuing Education classes for holiday decorating.
Register for our upcoming Holiday Table-top Tree Workshop on December 13.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Glee is coming to Morris Arboretum...

...the Penn Glee Club that is!

Morris Arboretum welcomes the return of the Penn Glee Club for their Annual Holiday Concert on December 8 at 2:00pm.

The Penn Glee Club upholds a 151-year-old tradition of musical excellence at the University of Pennsylvania, beginning in 1862 with just 8 founding members. The Club has toured internationally since 1959 and has traveled to nearly all 50 states in the United States and more than 40 nations and territories on five continents. Since its first performance at the White House for President Calvin Coolidge in 1926, the Club has sung for numerous heads of state and world leaders.

We are pleased to bring their distinctive blend of choral excellence and theatrical showmanship to the Arboretum and its visitors again this season. Stop by on Saturday, December 8th for hot cocoa and cookies, and help us spread holiday cheer with the Penn Glee Club!

To learn more about the Penn Glee Club, visit their website: