WPA Tree Removal Notice

June 26th, 2012 by UWBG Horticulturist

Several standing dead UWBG tree collections are scheduled for removal beginning this week. Removals, public safety and postings, all handled via UWBG tree crew.

The list includes:

  • 225-89-B Cupressus guadalupensis – Pinetum 34-4W
  • 1550-45  Oxydendrum arborea – Rh. Glen 12-7E
  • 52-10  Araucaria araucana – PC Ch. Gateway 1S-4E
  • 164-49-A Acer tegmentosum – Asiatic Maples 27-B
  • 37-02-A Clerodendrum trichotomum – GVC 42-4E
  • 418-55-A Sorbus japonica – Sorbus 20-4E

Thank you,

David Zuckerman

Manager of Horticulture and Plant Records

UW Botanic Gardens

VM 206.543.8008

FX   206.616.2971

dzman@uw.edu

 

 

 

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Park in the Dark

June 26th, 2012 by Lisa Sanphillippo

Boy was I worried about the weather on Saturday June 23rd. It was awful – cold, rainy and windy. Would anyone come out for the scheduled Park in the Dark at Washington Park Arboretum? I was just about to give up hope, when suddenly and miraculously, the skies cleared just in time for the night hike we had planned!

About 20 people (kids and adults) joined me for a delightful walk learning about nocturnal animals and how they use their senses to get around in the night.

Early on in the walk, we talked a little about the possibility of seeing barred owls (Strix varia). The Horticultural Staff and Garden Guides had been seeing the adults and their young for a couple of weeks. I played the Park in the Dark guests the barred owl “Who Cooks for You” call and the ascending high pitched sound the youngsters make when begging for food on my iPad. That way we could listen for their call and let our ears lead the way.

Lucky for us, we didn’t even have to use our ears, because as we were walking down Azalea Way, a very kind man said that the owls were out and about in the big leaf maple tree (Acer macrophyllum) just before the Winter Garden. Our large group quickly, and not so quietly, hustled to the spot.

Eureka! Three juvies were very low in three different trees begging for food. Their beg sounds a lot like they are whining, “Pleeeeaaaase!” We were all mesmerized. We probably stood and watched them for about 15 minutes.


Photo by Stephanie Colony

We decided to move on to another activity and give the owls some space. We played a fun game called Bat and Moth in the Winter Garden and walked to one of my favorite spots in the Arboretum, Loderi Valley. The King George Rhododendrons (Rhododendron ‘Loderi King George’) look like upside down people; heads under the ground and limbs above reaching outward and upward.

On the ground we found leaf skeletons from the many varieties of magnolias that surround Loderi Valley. Among the leaf litter, one little girl found an Almond Scented Millipede (Harpaphe haydeniana).


Photo by Franco Folini

These garden friendly critters release hydrogen cyanide when threatened. It smells like almonds, but tastes really bad to birds. Almond scented millipedes are excellent at breaking down the leaf litter and freeing up nutrients for other organisms.

On our way back to the Graham Visitors Center we stopped by the big leaf maple to see if the owls were still there. They were! Still making their whiney “feed me” call.

It was a great night and I hope the rest of our Park in the Dark night hikes are filled with as many surprises as Saturday’s.

Park in the Dark
July 14 8-9:30pm
August 25 8-9:30pm
September 15 7-8:30pm
October 13 7-8:30pm
$8.00 per person
Register online here

Lisa Sanphillippo is a Program Assistant and Garden Guide for Education and Outreach at UW Botanic Gardens.

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Horticulture Vignettes from a Busy Spring in the Gardens

June 25th, 2012 by UWBG Horticulturist

“Something old…”

OK, so there’s the “old”, as in “enough already”, cold wet spring weather that seems to be continuing into summer and creating a monster weed season for us. And, there’s the “old” as in a staff milestone reached in age by none other than Riz Reyes, Soest Gardener.  Sure, compared to most of our seasoned horticulture staff, he’s still just a sapling in the woods at 30, but ever so slowly, he’s beginning to put down roots and develop heartwood, true elements of perennial long-life. Happy BD Riz! It’s about time….

In our special gardens: “Old” as in “they only flower once, set seed and then die”, a condition known as monocarpism. We are fortunate to have 7 giant flowering stalks, of our Cardiocrinum giganteum, Giant Himalayan lilies, ready to open. This is a “do not miss opportunity” found in the China entry garden of Pacific Connections! Don’t delay, check ‘em out today…

Giant Himalayan Lilies ready to flower

 

“Something new…”

We just completed what I consider to be an unprecedented year of planting in the Botanic Gardens. A total of 375 plants, includes transplants, representing 157 taxa (different kinds) have been planted out for the 2011/2012 planting season. Highlights include significant additions to our core collections: maples, hollies, oaks and conifers; as well as, our special gardens, Cascadia focal forest, Woodland and Winter Garden. Of note, there were 21 large, mature specimens, mostly witch-hazel family members, transplanted by Big Trees Inc of Snohomish, from our current Pacific Connections construction project footprint to various other gardens throughout arboretum grounds. If interested in viewing our 2011/2012 planting roster, please contact dzman@uw.edu

Also, exciting new interpretive signage has been installed in our Winter Garden and Holly collections. Winter Garden signage was funded by Lake Washington Garden Club, Unit III and includes 4 interpretive signs and 1 place ID sign. The holly signage was funded by our partner Century Link Pioneers for their centennial project of 2011 and includes 5 interpretive signs and 1 place ID sign.  These new signs follow our 2004 Interpretive and Wayfinding Plan that can be viewed on-line at: http://depts.washington.edu/uwbg/docs/finaliwplan.pdf

New Interpretive Sign in Hollies

“Something borrowed…”

Thanks to being able to borrow Iain Robertson’s precious time, we now have a renewal plan for the McVay courtyard. This spring, CUH horticulture staff and volunteers, re-graded and replanted the westernmost bed, closest to the Commons. We hope to be able to implement the rest of the plan in September when the NAIOP group comes in to give CUH a new facelift! We’ll keep our fingers crossed…

Perhaps a stretch here, but certainly an important arboretum story, is the latest on the fate of the original ‘Joe Witt’ maple located along Arboretum Dr E in the Peony section. We fear it is not long for this world suffering from a malady of trunk cankers and stem girdling roots.  To make matters worse, we have lost 2 of 3, with the 3rd one barely hanging-on, of the newly planted ‘Joe Witt’ cuttings in the renovated Winter Garden bed. We have asked the Arboretum Foundation’s Pat Calvert propagation group to come to the rescue and establish new cuttings from the original tree this summer. In the meantime, Roy Farrow, just planted a large ‘Joe Witt’ specimen we procured from Molbak’s nursery last week. We’ll keep our fingers crossed that this story has a happy ending.

“Something blue…”

“Blue”  NOT as in the blue trees in Westlake Park downtown or along the Burke Gilman trail or the Blue poppies at Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden, but “Blue” as in “I gots da blues…” This column would not be complete without a bit of sad news.

We had to remove one of the City’s largest Henry Lauder’s Walking Stick or contorted hazel-nut specimen located in our Winter Garden last week due to the pervasive Eastern hazelnut blight disease. This specimen was particularly dear to my heart since I was in on the original procurement and planting back in 1993. Alas, it is no longer w/ us, but fond memories will live on in my heart forever. If you want to hear its amazing story, it’ll have to be over a Guinness at my favorite pub…

And, now on to a productive summer of new plant care in the Botanic Gardens…

 

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High School Students – Be a Junior Garden Guide this Summer

June 21st, 2012 by Sarah Heller, Community Programs Coordinator & Fiddleheads Forest School Director

Ever wanted to learn how to engage kids in nature? Did you love playing outside as a kid? Do you like hanging out with kids? Do you want service/volunteer hours? The Arboretum Summer Camps still need Junior Garden Guides to assist during our camp program. High school volunteers will pair up with one of our staff to lead a group of up to 12 students on adventures, hikes and nature-based activities in the Arboretum. The commitment is one day of training and a minimum of two weeks of camp. What better way to spend your summer than outside in one of Seattle’s most stunning parks playing with kids and exploring the Arboretum!

Here is the position description:

Job Description:  2-5 weeks of camp and one day of camp training (must commit to at least 2 weeks of camp + 1 day of training)

Dates and Times: July 2nd, 3rd, 4th or 5th (pick one to come in for training), July 9-13, 16-20, 23-27, July 30-August 3, and August 6-10. 8:30am-3:30pm each day.

Camp Overview: Our day-camp curriculums are designed in support of our mission:  to promote environmental conservation through education and recreation.  To achieve this we focus on hands-on exploration, play and the concept of “learning by doing”.  Depending on the weekly theme, campers may become ethnobotanists, urban farmers or field biologists all while learning about the importance of teamwork and sustainability.

General Duties: This position is ideal for high school students interested in working with children outside in nature. No experience is necessary, just enthusiasm for kids, playing outside and gaining leadership skills. Junior Summer Camp Guides will assist Summer Garden Guides to plan and provide an exceptional day camp experience. Each Summer Garden Guide will be paired with a Junior Summer Camp Guide and together they will be responsible for a group of up to 12 campers. Junior summer camp guides will collaborate with their Summer Garden Guide to determine their role and responsibilities within the group.

Junior Summer Camp Guides will have the opportunity to lead games and activities with the guidance of their Summer Garden Guide. This position is designed to provide experience and skills in teaching and working with children, expand environmental knowledge and guide teens in developing leadership skills.

Essential Tasks:

  • Assist Summer Garden Guides
  • Engage, interact and play with campers
  • Attend training
  • Perform related duties as required

 

  • Requirements:

-          Must be 16 years old at start of camp (exceptions might be made for mature students)

-          Strong work ethic, punctual, and dependable

-          Excellent interpersonal skills with staff, children, and parents

-          Must be able to comply with and maintain a smoke-free and drug-free work environment

Desirable:

-          Ability to work outdoors in all types of weather

-          Interest in working with children

-          Some background in ecology, botany, biology, environmental education or related areas

-          Flexible and open to new experiences

-          Exhibits patience and responsibility

-          Can role model mature behavior

-          Ability to work as a team member

Compensation:

-          Fulfillment of high school volunteer or service-learning requirements (up to 185 hours)

-          Letter of recommendation upon request following a successful completion of the internship

 

Department Contact: 

Interested? Contact Sarah Heller, sshort@uw.edu or call (206) 221-6427 with questions or to request an application.

 

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Plan your event at the 2012 Vendor Showcase

June 19th, 2012 by Heidi Unruh, UWBG Communications Volunteer

The 2nd annual vendor showcase is coming up in July! Are you planning to attend? You can now RSVP via Facebook.

Nearly 50 caterers, rental companies, photographers, entertainers, florists and many other vendors will be on hand to showcase their specialties. Our lawns, outdoor patios, large hall and classrooms are available for events such as  business meetings, conferences, graduations, weddings, bar/bat mitzvahs, auctions, memorial services and parties.

Event Details:

When:  Thursday, July 26, 2012 from 3 – 7 pm.

Where:   Center for Urban Horticulture, 3501 NE 41st St. (directions).

RSVP:  Via Facebook, by phone 206-221-2500, or email uwbgfac@uw.edu with your name and # attending.

Price: Free

Questions:  Contact Lauren S. Fortune, UWBG Facilities & Rental Program,  206-685-1706, laurenf@u.washington.edu

See many more photos of last year’s Vendors Showcase at photographer Lauren Kahan’s website.

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Family Ecology Tours

June 14th, 2012 by Arboretum Education Supervisor, Patrick Mulligan

We’re excited to announce a new focus area for UWBG’s Education & Outreach Program at the Washington Park Arboretum – families!  We’ve done School Fieldtrips since the 80′s and will be offering Summer Camps for 1st – 6th graders for the second year come July, but we’d like to engage an older audience too. adults, after all, are really just big kids.


So be on the lookout for our new “Family Ecology Tours” and help us bring our fun, hands-on version of environmental education to “kids” of all ages.

Our first program is this Saturday, so come join us!

 

(“Park in the Dark” night hikes just around the corner)

June 16th: Citizen Science: Water Works for 6-12 year olds, 1-3pm

Help us kick off our participation in the “World Water Monitoring Challenge” – an international education and outreach program to build public awareness and involvement in protecting water resources around the world by engaging citizens to conduct basic monitoring of their local water bodies. Come learn about our watershed, water quality testing and the world of water. We will collect our first set of water quality data from Lake Washington, play some games, dip for macro invertebrates and dive into ways to keep our water clean.

 

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More Service Learning at the Arboretum

June 12th, 2012 by Arboretum Education Supervisor, Patrick Mulligan

Posted on behalf of Will Pleskow, UW student and UWBG volunteer service learner


 

I never thought weeds would be so endless and time consuming but I certainly have a new perspective on weeding after many back-breaking hours digging out seemingly endless little green plants. All of the planting and weeding that I have done and will do take place right outside the greenhouse in a secluded part of the Arboretum used for plant propagation. The vegetable garden has lain fallow for many months so as you can imagine the weeds were quite healthy at the start of the quarter.  The two primary weeds are shotweed (Cardamine hirsute) and horsetail (Equisetum sp.).  Horsetails were some of the first land plants to evolve on planet earth and continue to make their impact on gardens as well as my back.

Shotweed is a small  plant that has green leaves and sometimes a yellow-white flower budding from the middle. It’s native to North America, Europe, and Asia. It’s part of the mustard family and is the only weed I encountered at the Arboretum that is edible. Shotweed flowers early in the spring up until autumn.  After budding Shotweed develops seeds in pods that are highly sensitive and will often burst upon being touched “shooting” its seeds flying in a close proximity to its mother plant. The easy distribution of seeds is what makes this plant multiply and infest so quickly. Often times removing all of the shotweeds visible with the naked eye is not enough as their seeds may still lie around buried in the soil.  Due to shotweed distinct qualities it makes it a difficult weed to eradicate and is therefore very prevalent in many parts of the world.

Horsetail is about 1 – 2 feet tall and sticks straight up with whisker-like leaves coming off the sides that give it its distinct look and name. Horsetails, like ferns, are plants that reproduce with spores rather than seeds. Despite its irritating affect when dealing with in the garden, this fascinating plant is a “living fossil” and one of the oldest land plants on earth dating back some 375 million years. This remarkable weed is found everywhere in the world except Antarctica. The horsetail prefers wet sandy soils but is adaptable to almost any type of soil. The stalks start deep beneath the ground, which make it hard to dig out, and also very enduring. In addition, it is also unaffected by many herbicides so the only way to remove this weed is by hand. Horsetail along with shotweed makes for a very lethal duo in the garden and creates a situation where one must constantly be weeding to sustain a healthy garden.

With the new experience I have gained by volunteering at the Arboretum this quarter, I plan to grow and cultivate a sustainable and environmentally friendly garden of my own. This ties directly with what we have been discussing in class and the strong importance professor Litfin places on “knowing where your food is coming from.” I hope one day to have a garden of my own where I can grow my own plants and provide food for myself from my very own garden. This service learning project has been a great opportunity to get hands-on experience with growing and cultivating food in an environmentally friendly and healthy way.

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June Color Appears at the Washington Park Arboretum

June 11th, 2012 by Pat Chinn-Sloan

Selected cuttings from the Washington Park Arboretum for 6/4/12-6/18/12

1)   Argyrocytisus battandieri  (Pineapple Broom)

  • Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce the Latin name; the common name tells it like it is.
  • Yellow, “pineapple”-scented, leguminous flowers with silvery foliage.
  • This drought-tolerant shrub from Morocco is one tough plant that thrives in poor soils.
  • Named for the French pharmacist and botanist, Jules Aimé Battandier.
  • Located along Arboretum Drive in our Legume Collections.

2)   Crataegus x lavallei  ‘Carrierei’ (Carrière’s Hawthorn)

  • Our signature Woodland Garden tree
  • Now a common small landscape hawthorn used around Seattle.
  • Glossy, dark green quasi-evergreen leaves with clusters of white flowers in the spring.

3)   Hydrangea anomala ssp. petiolaris  (Climbing Hydrangea)

  • White blooms, yellow fall foliage, and exfoliating cinnamon bark create multi-seasonal interest.
  • “There is no better climbing vine,” says Donald Wyman, authority on woody plants.
  • Native to western Korea, Japan and Taiwan.
  • Several located in the Arboretum, climbing up Douglas Firs as high as 60 feet!

4)   Leptospermum lanigerum  (Woolly Tea Tree)

  • Handsome erect shrub approximately 9 feet tall. All parts are covered with soft down.
  • Native to Australia.
  • Located in the Australia Entry Garden of the Pacific Connections Garden.

5)   Pterocarya macroptera  (Large-winged Wingnut)

  • Deciduous tree native to China, quite striking in fruit.
  • As its name suggests, the Wingnut produces winged nuts but unlike the walnut, they are not generally eaten.
  • Located in the old nursery, off of Arboretum Drive.
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Summer Kayak Tours at the Arboretum

June 8th, 2012 by Arboretum Education Supervisor, Patrick Mulligan

Paddling through the cattail marsh last summer.

 

Discover Hidden Water-ways on a Guided Kayak Tour of the Washington Park Arboretum.

The UWBG is unique among other botanic gardens in the country in that our “grounds” include quite a bit of water. Owing to our location around Lake Washington, our approximately 300 acres include the longest stretch of freshwater marsh in Washington State. There is no better way to enjoy this wetland ecosystem than by kayak.

The Agua Verde Paddle Club in partnership with the UWBG is pleased to offer guided kayak tours of our Foster Island Wetlands to the public for the third consecutive summer. Tours are approximately 90 minutes in length and push off from “Duck Bay” at the north end of the Washington Park Arboretum.

During the tour you will learn a little about the history of the area and have a chance to meet some of our plant and animal residents.  All proceeds will go from Agua Verde Paddle Club to the UWBG for the Agua Verde Scholarship fund. This fund will help provide educational opportunities to students and schools with limited resources.

No experience necessary. Double kayaks, safety equipment and a brief training session will be provided by Agua Verde Paddle Club. Youth & children under the age of 18 must be accompanied by their parent/guardian.

Tour Dates & Times:

Wednesday, Aug. 29th: 11am & 3pm

 Thursday, Aug. 30th: 11am & 3pm

Wednesday, Sept. 5th: 11am & 3pm

Thursday, Sept. 6th: 11am & 3pm

Friday, Sept. 7th: 7am (“early birders”), 11am & 3pm

Cost & Registration:

Space is limited to 12 participants per tour, so pre-registration is required. Cost: $30/person; ($5 discount for early registration before August 1st)

Register online

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Green Weed Managment

June 8th, 2012 by Arboretum Education Supervisor, Patrick Mulligan

Posted on behalf of UW student and UWBG volunteer intern, Mitch Halliday.

Mitch volunteered at the Arboretum this past quarter as one of our “Greenhouse and Vegetable Garden Caretakers”.  The endless task of weeding the garden beds obviously had an impact. 


Mitch and his girlfriend planting beets, beans & kohlrabi

 

Vinegar Weed Killer:

Vinegar contains a weak acid, Acetic acid.  By applying this vinegar to the soil, it lowers the pH, increasing the acidity, of the soil from a range that is tolerable to an intolerable level.  Most vinegars have an acid content of around 5%, a more concentrated solution of 10% to 20% will more effectively kill weeds.  This is not however a miracle solution, at the right strength this organic weed killer will kill the leaves of any plant it comes in contact with, but not the roots.  Which makes this treatment most effective on young weeds which do not have enough energy stored in their roots to successfully regrow.  Repeated applications will be needed to permanently disable more established weeds.

Vinegar Weed Killer Recipe[1]

• 120 mls (4 ounces) Lemon juice concentrate

• 1 liter (1 quart) white or cider vinegar

Spray bottle for applying organic weed killer Simply mix the two ingredients together in a spray bottle and you have your organic weed killer formula.

Spot spray it directly on the weeds, being careful not to spray desirable plants. For the most effective result the best time to spray is during the heat of the day.

 

Weed Killer #2[2]

  • 1 tbsp gin
  • 1 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dish detergent
  • 1 quart water

Mix all ingredients in a large bowl and pour into a spray bottle. This method will kill the roots, but will prevent growth afterwards for 3-5 days, so it should be used  in an area that you do not intend to plant in.

 

Traditional Methods[3]:

  1. Weeding, we all know how tedious and back-breaking it can be, but it is the most effective natural method of controlling weeds.  To make things easier on yourself weed after it has rained or wet the ground around weeds to make them easier to pull out.  An investment into a few weeding tools will go a long way as well.
  2. Pour boiling water on weeds.  Making pasta or boiling potatoes for dinner?  Instead of pouring that hot water down the drain, pour the water your weeds and they will shrivel and die in a few days.
  3. Blackout.  All plants need sunlight to survive, weeds are no different.  By layering newspaper or scrap paper (it’s biodegradable) over the weeds and blocking out the sunlight they will die.
  4. Eat ‘em.  Many of the weeds present in our gardens are in fact edible.  Dandelion leaves, for example are excellent in a tossed salad.  I would suggest picking up a book about wild-forage from a library or book store.
  5. The hardest of all, Learn to love them.  Maybe it’s time to appreciate these little plants for their natural beauty, hardiness, and pervasiveness.

 


[1] “Organic Weed Killer Formula: Natural Homemade Vinegar Weed Killer Recipe..” Sustainable    Living on a Small                                Farm the Permaculture Way. Web. 6 June 2012. <http://www.small-farm-permaculture-and-sustainable      -living.com/organic_weed_killer_formula.html>.

[2] Richford, Nannette. “DIY: How to Make Organic Weed Killer.” Yahoo Voices.  Web. 6 June 2012.                                               <voices.yahoo.com/diy-organic-weed-killer-1393951.html>.

[3] Yeager, Jeff. “Homemade Organic Weed Killers.” The Daily Green. Web. 6 June 2012.                                                                   <http://www.thedailygreen.com/green-homes/latest/homemade-weed-killers#fbIndex1>.

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