Power Plants Exhibit Planned for June 2008

Plants may be the key to meeting future energy needs, and the arboretum is taking the lead in showcasing potential biofuel crops in an exhibit scheduled to open on June 21st. Power Plants, as the exhibit is called, will consist of 21 circular plots, each with a different crop that shows potential for biofuel production. It will be located along the new Flowering Tree Walk between the National Herb Garden and the Friendship Garden. Each crop will have an interpretive sign that visitors can use to learn about its unique characteristics and potential for biofuel production. Construction of the path and soil preparation will take place in early winter.

Power Plants is a temporary exhibit that is intended to remain at the arboretum for two or three years. It will be completed just prior to BioEnergy Awareness Day 2 –June 21, 2008. This day, when the amount of solar energy reaching the United States is at a maximum, is intended to raise awareness of renewable sources of energy from plants.

The plants in the exhibit range from hardy annuals that prefer cool temperatures such as Camelina sativa, a mustard relative, to perennials such as switch grass, to tropical plants such as sugar cane. Oil palms will be featured, as will algae. Many of the plants will be grown in a greenhouse through winter and early spring so they reach mature size in early summer for the dedication of the exhibit. The exhibit will help arboretum visitors and those visiting the arboretum web site to learn more about these plants that may play an important role in meeting future fuel needs.

The new Power Plants exhibit will be installed to the west of the National Herb Garden along the Flowering Tree Walk.
The new Power Plants exhibit will be installed to the west of
the National Herb Garden along the Flowering Tree Walk.

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Fern Valley Native Plant Collection Renovation Begins

A new main entrance to the Fern Valley Native Plant Collection and a new path providing a more direct and accessible connection with the National Capitol Columns are under construction. The project will greatly improve accessibility and will provide for improved pedestrian flow. The project should be completed by Summer 2008.

The project helps to achieve goals outlined in the arboretum’s 2000 Master Plan. A core concept of the plan is to develop linkages between the collections adjacent to the ellipse meadow. To accomplish this, some collections must be reorganized to provide access directly from the meadow. The current Fern Valley entrance is located on Crabtree Road where it faces a small parking area. It places pedestrians and vehicular traffic in the same space and is often congested during periods of peak visitation. The new entrance will draw visitors directly off the Flowering Tree Walk path.

The Flowering Tree Walk provides a much shorter and more pleasant link to Fern Valley. The new connecting portion of the path will be constructed of colored and textured concrete to match the existing walk paving. The pathways in the Fern Valley Native Plant Collection will be constructed of compacted crushed stone to provide a dark surface that will aesthetically blend with the colors of the forest floor. A boardwalk will be constructed in the prairie, and wetlands adjacent to the Fern Valley Pond will be bridged with boardwalk as well. The project includes rebuilding existing bridges and creating hand-made free-form benches made of branches and split pieces of wood.

The current work represents the first of two phases of the project. The second phase will continue the accessible path to the east, ending near Hickey Run. Ultimately, the accessible path will continue through the Flowering Tree Collection and the Holly Magnolia Collection to the Asian Collections, Dogwood Collection, and Conifer Collection.

New path construction as seen from the National Capitol
New path construction as seen from the National Capitol
Columns. The new path will be located close to the black
silt fence seen here.

Some paths in Fern Valley will remain closed until the
Some paths in Fern Valley will remain closed until the
construction is completed.

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Flowering Tree Walk Fall Planting Completed

After some much needed rain greatly improved planting conditions in November, staff added 50 trees to the Flowering Tree Walk as part of the third phase of planting installation. The selections include new and unusual cultivars of witchhazel such as Hamamelis ‘Orange Peel’; a locally discovered red buckeye called Aesculus pavia ‘Fort McNair’; a new, disease-resistant pink-flowering American dogwood called Cornus florida ‘Appalachian Spring’; and three new sweet bay magnolias rarely found in the trade. The trees will add year-round seasonal interest to the flowering tree walk with blooms beginning as early as late January and continuing throughout the summer months. The selections, representing the “latest and greatest” offerings from the nursery industry, will help the arboretum introduce new and unusual small flowering trees to the public. The goal is to encourage gardeners to plant these often overlooked trees in their own landscapes, thereby increasing diversity in home gardens.

The Bartlett Tree Experts Rockville office generously donated staff time to help place the larger trees.

The Flowering Tree Walk links the major collections on and surrounding the central ellipse. The completed portion of the walk unites the National Capitol Columns, the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum, the National Herb Garden, the Azalea Collections, and the Columns Overlook. An additional piece of the walk will be added when the new entrance to the Fern Valley Native Plant Collection is constructed. Future sections of the walk will join features on the south side of the ellipse, most of which, like a new visitor center, remain unfunded. For now, a mowed path represents the approximate location of the un-constructed portions of the walk.

Each section of the new plantings corresponds to the nearest collection and its existing plant communities. Once the walk is complete and visitors walk it in its entirety, they will experience a glimpse of the adjacent collections.

From left, D.J. Nelli, Bartlett Tree Experts; Doug Reed,
From left, D.J. Nelli, Bartlett Tree Experts; Doug Reed,
Reed Hilderbrand Associates; Jon Heaton, Bartlett Tree
Experts; and Joseph James, Reed Hilderbrand Associates,
place new trees for planting along the Flowering Tree Walk.

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Astronauts Visit the National Arboretum

What happens when the National Arboretum and The Herb Society of America form a unique partnership with NASA and the Department of Education to celebrate International Education Week? The answer is an out-of-this-world school field trip that was held on November 15th for 72 fourth grade students from the Arlington Science Focus School in Arlington, Virginia.

The arboretum welcomed space shuttle STS-118 crew members Scott Kelly, Commander; Barbara R. Morgan, Educator and Mission Specialist; and Dave Williams, Canadian Space Mission Specialist. The astronauts visited with the students who presented lunar plant growth chambers they created as part of the 2007 NASA Engineering Design Challenge to a panel of experts. The astronauts answered the students’ questions about the growth chambers and space missions. Following the presentations, the students attended special presentations and tours by the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum and National Herb Garden staff and volunteers of the Herb Society of America.

The panel members included Bette Siegel, a NASA engineer; Dr. Shelly Canright, NASA Education Specialist; Dr. Betsi Shays, Deputy Director of International Affairs for the Office of the Secretary of Education; and Dr. Richard Olsen, a Research Geneticist at the National Arboretum. As the students presented their growth chamber experiments, the panel commented on the students’ designs and asked questions about the challenges the students faced during their work on the project.

The August 2007 STS-118 space shuttle mission carried ten million cinnamon basil seeds that are part of the Design Challenge. The Arlington students who participated in the challenge were the first to receive the seeds to grow in their chambers. The arboretum also received a supply of the seeds to grow in the National Herb Garden.

Katrinka Morgan, Executive Director of the Herb Society of America, was the catalyst for this unique event. After she learned that basil seeds had flown in space, she created the partnership of non-profit and government organizations to help showcase the value of herbs in science education. The Herb Society of America provides support for the arboretum’s National Herb Garden and is dedicated to promoting the knowledge, use and delight of herbs through educational programs, research, and sharing the experience of its members with the community.

Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics Dr. Gale Buchanan welcomed the students on behalf of the Department of Agriculture and answered questions about the National Arboretum.
Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics
Dr. Gale Buchanan welcomed the students on behalf of the
Department of Agriculture and answered questions about
the National Arboretum.

Astronauts Morgan, Williams, and Kelly answered students’ questions about science in space.
Astronauts Morgan, Williams, and Kelly answered
students’ questions about science in space.

 

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Visitors Enjoy Sights, Tastes, and Sounds at the Chinese Moon Festival

The arboretum grounds came alive after sunset during a perfect fall evening for the third annual Chinese Moon Festival. This year’s event, held on September 22nd, featured chrysanthemums and offered a wide range of activities for the whole family.

Some 315 festival-goers were treated to both traditional and contemporary Chinese dance by the Mu Ping Dance Group and choral music by the JinHua Children’s Chorus. Visitors also had the opportunity to meet viewing stone expert Kemin Hu, and watch a costumed calligrapher portray a gentleman scholar in his study brushing ink on rice paper to make graceful symbols. Children and adults alike found a creative outlet in painting smooth river stones with delicate designs in gold, silver and white, inspired by the viewing stones on display. Other craft stations offered instruction and materials to fashion boats, lilies, and fans from brightly colored paper.

Volunteers served special teas along with a variety of sweet and savory dim sum. No moon festival would be complete without moon cakes, a special confection dating back over 700 years that symbolizes the circle of life, the abundance of the harvest, and remembrance of family and friends near and far.

Arboretum horticulturist Scott Aker constructed a mountain of chrysanthemums, stones, pine boughs, eucalyptus, and other floral material to greet visitors entering the lobby. The floral masterpiece enchanted adults and children alike, who posed with it for snapshots. Experts from the Potomac Chrysanthemum Society were on hand to answer questions about growing mums, and the Arbor House Gift Shop provided moon festival- and chrysanthemum-related books and gifts.

The Flowering Tree Walk glowed with candlelight as participants journeyed up to the Capitol Columns for the closing ceremony, which included a poetry recitation by Dr. Beverly Hong Fincher, a children’s choir performance, and a launch of paper boats in the reflecting pool.

The Friends of China Garden at U.S. National Arboretum and Friends of China Garden, Inc. partnered with the arboretum in procuring the artists, refreshments, performers, and volunteers for this unique event. The moon festivals are intended to create awareness of and interest in the arboretum’s planned Classical Chinese Garden and provide visitors with a sampling of Asian cultures.

A four-foot “chrysanthemum hill” intrigued visitors with
A four-foot “chrysanthemum hill” intrigued visitors with
its lush cascades of flowers and foliage over rugged stones.
As if on cue, a nearly-full moon illuminated the Flowering
As if on cue, a nearly-full moon illuminated the Flowering
Tree Walk and Capitol Columns, site of the evening’s
children’s choir finale.

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McMinnville, Tennessee, Nurseries Benefit from Arboretum Research

In a demonstration of the practical application of their research, staff working at the arboretum’s Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit’s (FNPRU) worksite in McMinnville, Tennessee, invited Beltsville, Maryland-based unit leader Dr. John Hammond to join them in visiting two McMinnville nurseries. The November trip revealed arboretum maple introductions in full color at Little Creek Nursery, a wholesale nursery specializing in trees and shrubs: Acer ‘Brandywine’ and ‘Sun Valley’ were standouts among the 350-acres of trees and shrubs. The nursery’s general manager, Jerry Blankenship, is chair of the FNPRU’s Liaison Committee.

At the second nursery, Botanico Inc., the group saw a major expansion of that nursery’s pot-in-pot production area in progress. This production technique is one focus of research done by McMinnville scientist Dr. Donna Fare, who is continuing her work on pot design by experimenting with different types of nursery containers and how the pot size and shape affects the quantity and quality of root production. This work is important because root formation affects the way that a container-grown tree establishes after planting in the landscape, and because container-grown plants can be harvested, shipped, and planted essentially throughout the year, while trees grown in the ground and shipped either bare-root or balled in burlap are limited to much narrower windows for shipping and planting. Among other results of Dr. Fare’s work are the demonstration that growers can achieve faster tree growth by planting ‘whips’ directly into larger containers, saving both time and labor otherwise used in transplanting into progressively larger containers.

Two FNPRU scientists—Drs. Sandra Reed and Donna Fare—and their support staff are located at the Tennessee State University (TSU) Otis L. Floyd Nursery Research Center. The McMinnville station is located in the midst of the highest concentration of nurseries growing woody landscape plants for shipment around the country. The timing of Dr. Hammond’s visit was perfect to see fall color on some of Dr. Reed’s breeding populations of oakleaf hydrangea under evaluation in the field; their fall color is an added benefit of plants that Dr. Reed is selecting for compact size and superior flowering quality. She is also breeding interspecific and intergeneric hybrids to combine the cold tolerance of Dichroa febrifuga, Hydrangea arborescens, or H. paniculata with the flower color of H. macrophylla, which lacks good cold tolerance. Other projects include breeding superior forms of Clethra (summersweet) and Styrax (Japanese snowbell). In 2006 Dr. Reed released Callicarpa ‘Duet’.

An individual plant of oakleaf hydrangea.
Individual plant of oakleaf hydrangea
and research field in flower.

Field planting of smaller oakleaf hyndrageas from Sandy
Field planting of smaller oakleaf hydrangeas from Dr. Reed’s breeding program, showing fall color.

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Arboretum Scientists Participate in the International Plant Propagators Meeting

Several Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit (FNPRU) members participated in the International Plant Propagators’ Society tour and the Southern Region of North America’s annual meeting. Dr Richard Olsen, Research Geneticist, helped kick off the October IPPS tour by hosting the International Board on a tour of several research areas and garden highlights at the National Arboretum. The board group then traveled through Virginia, North Carolina, and Tennessee on a 14-day tour of nurseries and historical places. The board met with the Southern Region of North America at their annual meeting in Chattanooga, Tennessee, at the end of October. The Southern Region hosted over 320 attendees, who included propagators, nursery managers, scientists, and students from 11 countries and 18 states. During the educational session, Dr. Sandra Reed, Research Geneticist, presented an invited talk on “What Molecular Genetics Can Do for the Nursery Industry.” Horticulturist David Kidwell-Slak presented a poster “Cercis Breeding at the National Arboretum: Improving Redbud Rootability,” co-authored by Research Geneticist Dr. Margaret Pooler.

The IPPS attendees toured several nurseries in Franklin County Tennessee, including Don Shadow’s Nursery, Tennessee Valley Nursery, Hidden Hollow Nursery, Commercial Nursery, Oak Grove Nursery, and Schaefer Nursery. A second day of visits included Pleasant Cove Nursery, Zelenka Nursery, Bouldin Greenhouse and Nursery, and Little Rest Nursery. The tours ended at the Tennessee State University Nursery Research Center in McMinnville where FNPRU scientists Drs. Sandra Reed and Donna Fare are located. The attendees toured research projects, plant evaluation plantings, and laboratory facilities at the center. Donna Fare, Research Horticulturist, was the Southern Region host for the annual IPPS meeting. The IPPS provides researchers with the opportunity to meet experienced plant propagators and to interact with many key industry leaders.

Dr. Sandra Reed demonstrates controlled pollinations techniques with hydrangeas during a visit by members of the International Plant Propagators’ Society.
Dr. Sandra Reed demonstrates controlled pollinations
techniques with hydrangeas during a visit by members of
the International Plant Propagators’ Society.

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Arboretum Scientists Speak at Local and National Meetings

In addition to conducting research on ornamental horticulture, part of the job of an arboretum scientist is to present the results of these investigations to stakeholders, including scientists, industry groups, and other end users. During the past several months, several scientists traveled throughout the county to attend meetings and present talks and papers.

Qi Huang attended the annual meeting of the American Phytopathological Society in San Diego late July and presented two papers: “Clove oil as an effective biopesticide to control Ralstonia and other bacterial plant pathogens” and “16S rDNA phylogenetic analysis of isolates of Rhodococcus fascians.”

Richard Olsen attended the 10th Biennial Southern Plant Conference, sponsored by the Southern Nursery Association, Inc. in Mobile, Alabama, in September, where he presented an invited talk “Exploring the U.S. National Arboretum—lost treasures and new impressions.” He also participated in the September 2nd annual “Speaking of Gardening” Symposium at the North Carolina Arboretum in Asheville, North Carolina, where he spoke on “Asa Gray, Charles Darwin and Disjunct Flora: Insights into plant speciation and hybridization from the Southern Appalachians.” More locally, Richard presented a talk in October titled “80 years of tree breeding at the U.S. National Arboretum” for the Social Club of Agriculture Research Scientists (SCARS) of the Beltsville Agricultural Research Center, Greenbelt, Maryland.

Display sign at the Mobile Botanical Gardens in Alabama for a collection of kurume azaleas imported from Japan by former arboretum director Dr. John Creech in the 1970s.
Display sign at the Mobile Botanical Gardens in Alabama
for a collection of kurume azaleas imported from Japan by
former arboretum director Dr. John Creech in the 1970s.

Margaret Pooler attended a gala for the Crapemyrtle Trails of McKinney, Texas, in September. She spoke on crapemyrtle history and the National Arboretum breeding program as the featured dinner speaker. In October, she attended the Mid-Atlantic Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture in Hagerstown, Maryland, where she presented a talk “Plant genetics and new introductions from the USNA” and participated in a “banter with the best” session.

Scott Warnke attended the annual meeting of the Crop Science Society of America in New Orleans in early November and presented a paper “Superoxide Dismutase Gene Variation in Ryegrass.”

Alan Whittemore attended the conference "Invasive Plants: Research, Removal, Renewal" in Philadelphia in August, where he gave a talk "Hybridization, invasiveness, and the impact of exotic plants." Along with colleagues Richard Olsen and Margaret Pooler, Alan also presented information on invasive species problems facing the nursery industry and developing non-invasive nursery crops to the Invasive Species Advisory Committee during their visit to the National Arboretum in October.

During an October visit of the Invasive Species Advisory Committee to the National Arboretum, Drs. Olsen, Pooler, and Whittemore gave presentations on invasive species problems facing the nursery industry and on developing non-invasive nursery crops. The Invasive Species Advisory Committee advises the Federal Invasive Species Council, which is an inter-Departmental council that helps to coordinate and ensure complementary, cost-efficient, and effective Federal activities regarding invasive species.

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Scientist Participates in Grant to Preserve Germplasm

Dr. Kathryn Kamo, Plant Pathologist in the Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit, is one member of a team of scientists working on a collaborative grant on “Preservation of germplasm.” Dr. Maria Cantor, professor at the University of Agricultural Sciences, Cluj-Napoca, Romania, Department of Floriculture, is the principal investigator. The grant is funded by the European Union. Kamo and other grant collaborators Dave Ellis (USDA, Fort Collins, Colorado) and Andrew Fieldsend (University of Debrecen, Hungary) were invited speakers at a symposium in Romania funded by the grant. The symposium “Conservation of Horticultural Germplasm” took place in September 2007. Following the symposium, the invited speakers toured the University’s Biotechnology Center, Horticulture and Biology Departments where they met with Ph.D. students and faculty members to learn about their research projects. The speakers visited the government’s Horticultural Institute to meet with the scientists. The director of the Botanical Garden in Cluj and his graduate students met with the speakers and showed them their museum, greenhouses, and herbarium. The Romanians are very interested in international collaborations with scientists. The scientists joined their Romanian colleagues—a professor of horticultural landscape, a scientist who works on tissue culture of various horticultural crops, and the director of the Horticultural Institute—to tour sites in Romania.

Dr. Kamo, left, with Dr. Cantor during a visit to the National Arboretum
Dr. Kamo, left, with Dr. Cantor during a visit to the
National Arboretum.

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Scientists Attend Annual Far West Trade Show

Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit scientists Sandra Reed, Richard Olsen, and Alan Whittemore traveled to Oregon in August to attend the Far West Trade Show and the annual meeting of the USDA Woody Landscape Plant Crop Germplasm Committee, which Dr. Reed chairs, in Portland and to visit nurseries in the area. Northwestern Oregon is a major center of the American nursery industry, and this trip gave these National Arboretum scientists a chance to tour a variety of nurseries, gardens, and government and private research centers in the area and to discuss current and future collaborations with Oregon nurserymen.

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Arboretum Collections Weather Drought with Minimal Losses

Although the whole Mid Atlantic area suffered under a protracted drought this summer, the arboretum was spared the devastating impact experienced by many local farmers and nurseries. The abnormally dry summer and autumn seasons caused many farmers to lose their entire crops. The arboretum suffered too, and the effects of the drought may not be realized for many years. “We have lost more mature native oaks this summer than I can ever remember,” stated Joan Feely, curator of the Fern Valley Native Plant Collection. “It’s rare to lose these large oaks, and this summer we lost several.” Chris Carley, Integrated Pest Manager, worries about the effect the drought will have in the coming years. “Drought-stricken plants are more susceptible to insect attack, particularly borers. I think we will be seeing the demise of many trees, two or three years from now, due to borer attack.”

Much of the devastating effects were mitigated at the arboretum by developing a water management strategy, which promoted conservation of the available water supply and cooperation among staff members to share this resource. Although many of the grassy and meadow areas dried out and went dormant, curated collections were irrigated only when needed and then were watered deeply and thoroughly. This provided adequate moisture for the woody plants in each collection.

The long, dry months this summer reinforced the benefits of the automated irrigation systems at the arboretum. Since there is a limited supply of water provided to the arboretum, it is impossible to irrigate all the collections during working hours. To maximize efficient water use and retain minimal water pressure, some watering must be done in the evening and nighttime hours. The collections that have automated systems were able to schedule watering during off-peak times.

The arboretum is expanding its automated systems to eventually cover all the curated collections. Design plans for some of the larger collections, including the Azalea Collections and Boxwood Collection, will be drawn up this spring, with construction beginning next fall. These automated systems, all controlled at a central computerized station, will coordinate watering and will provide adequate moisture while avoiding waste and conserving the limited supply of water.

This maple, with leaves showing
This maple, with leaves showing
drought damage, and many like it,
suffered through one of the driest
growing seasons in decades.

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Elm Planted to Mark Centennial of Bartlett Tree Company

An Accolade™ elm was planted near the top of China Valley in the Asian Collections in August to mark the centennial of Bartlett Tree Experts, Inc. The planting was part of the company’s 100 Trees in 100 Days celebration of community service efforts. Trees were planted in 23 states, 2 Canadian Provinces, Ireland, and Great Britain as part of the celebration. Bartlett Tree Experts have played an important role in maintaining health for key trees at the arboretum. In 2004 Bartlett arborists completed a root excavation of the lacebark pine in the Morrison Garden that has restored the vitality of this rare and valuable tree. They have planted numerous maples in the Maple Collection and completed much of the planting of the Flowering Tree Walk.

The Accolade™ elm is a Dutch elm disease-resistant cultivar developed at the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. It is a hybrid between a Japanese species, Ulmus davidiana var. japonica and Ulmus wilsoniana, a Chinese species. It has a growth habit and leaf characteristics very similar to our native Ulmus americana.

D.J. Nelli and Mike Sharp of Bartlett Tree Experts plant the Accolade™ elm in the Asian Collections.
D.J. Nelli and Mike Sharp of Bartlett Tree Experts plant the
Accolade™ elm in the Asian Collections.

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Capitol Christmas Tree Makes a Stop at the Arboretum

The arboretum hosted a distinguished guest from the Green Mountain National Forest on the evening of November 25th. The 60-foot balsam fir started the day at the Lebanon, Pennsylvania, Veterans Administration Hospital and made its way to the Bethesda Naval Hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, and the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., before coming to the arboretum.

The tree was accompanied by a caravan of 16 vehicles, including antique trucks owned by members of the Green Mountain Bull Dawg Chapter of the Antique Truck Club of America. Club members provided transportation for the tree and for companion trees that were left at stops along the way. All vehicles were parked for the night in the New York Avenue parking lot. The tree departed early Monday morning for its final two mile journey to the Capitol.

A large balsam fir and ornaments made by Vermont school children were left at the arboretum, where they were on display outside the entrance to the Administration Building during the holidays.

Many of the convoy vehicles remained at the arboretum’s
Many of the convoy vehicles remained at the arboretum’s
New York Avenue parking lot during the morning of
November 26 while the Capitol Christmas tree was delivered.
Companion trees made the journey with the Capitol
Companion trees made the journey with the Capitol
Christmas tree. Many were delivered to stops along the
way, including the arboretum.

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Ragsdale Joins Gardens Unit Staff

Jeanna Ragsdale joined the Gardens Unit staff in December to fill the gardener position vacated by Hannah Mullen when she became the arboretum’s Volunteer Coordinator. Ragsdale will spend most of her time in the Fern Valley Native Plant Collection. She comes to the arboretum from Technical Resources International, where she worked with a hazardous substance data bank. Ragsdale has a master’s degree in soil and water science from the University of Florida. Preceeding her work with TRI, she worked in the seven-acre garden at the Tawes Center, home of Maryland’s Department of Natural Resources. She also holds a degree in geography.

Ragsdale joined the Gardens Unit Staff December 10.
Ragsdale joined the Gardens Unit Staff in December.

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Year-long Interns Hired

Two interns joined the Gardens Unit staff this fall to spend a year working in the Asian Collections and the National Herb Garden. Kimberly Zitnick was hired for the position in the Asian Collections, and Jeanette Warriner will assist in the Herb Garden.

Warriner hails from Dayton, Ohio. She attended the University of Akron and Cedarville University and holds a degree in world religion studies. After college, she worked at Stutzman’s Nursery in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and Merrifield Gardens in Fairfax, Virginia. With her keen interest in languages, culture, and plants, Warriner should find the National Herb Garden the perfect place to hone her horticultural skills and pursue her interest in world-wide people-plant relationships. She hopes to pursue horticulture as a career after completing her internship at the arboretum.

Zitnick is a graduate of St. Mary’s College, St. Mary’s City, Maryland. She holds a degree in biology with an emphasis on plant biology. Zitnick served as the Flowering Tree Walk intern during the summer months. Prior to her internship in the Flowering Tree Walk, she was a foreman at an organic farm. During her internship in the Asian Collections, Zitnick will be working with the curator on a project involving wild-collected Hemerocallis from the arboretum’s Korean collections.

Warriner and Zitnick are the first interns to be hired at the GS-5 level. Previously, all interns served at the GS-2 level; however, this level of salary did not make year-long arboretum internships as attractive as many others in the area because of the difficulty in obtaining suitable housing at this lower pay level.

National Herb Garden intern
National Herb Garden intern
Jeanette Warriner.
Asian Collections Intern Kimberly Zitnick.
Asian Collections intern Kimberly Zitnick.

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Last Updated   January 29, 2008 5:42 PM