Plant of the Month
Amelanchier laevis ‘Snowcloud’
Location: Grid S-13 on the west side of the east side gravel road, just north of the lower pond
This is a patented cultivar of the Eastern North American native Allegheny Serviceberry, selected for the extra profuse white flowers in early spring.
Although I cannot vouch for this (and can’t recommend anyone trying it from the Arboretum since we use re-claimed water for irrigation), some references say this is the best tasting of any of the Serviceberries, somewhat resembling large blueberries in size, color and even taste.
The tree in the Arboretum was planted on March 30, 2001, so just like me it has now been in the Arboretum for 20 years!
Serviceberries in their natural habitat tend to grow as large multi-stemmed shrubs. I think that characteristic is why most of the Serviceberries in the Arboretum that were trained to a single trunk lean or bend. They would normally have a group of somewhat equal sized trunks supporting each other and when they don’t have that support they lean over from the wind and the weight of winter snow.
April has continued the earlier trend of remarkably mild weather (although night time lows have stayed stubbornly low, with several nights in the 20’s). The bad weather news is that it has been really dry. I don’t remember a time in my 20 years that it has been as dusty when we are mowing as it has been this year. Due to restrictions on the permit the University has to use re-claimed water for irrigation we cannot turn on the sprinklers until May 1. Most years that has not been an issue, but this year it looks like I will be needing water as soon as I can get it.
So far it is shaping up to be a pretty good flowering year in spite of the chilly night time temperatures. Forsythias were especially nice this year, probably because we didn’t see any severe cold over the winter. It seems to me that cherries, plums and magnolias were a little delayed this year, usually I think of them overlapping with the Forsythia, but this year the Forsythia is nearly done while the others are just getting started.
If you have visited the Arboretum on Tuesday or Thursday afternoons this semester you may have seen a collaboration between the School of Music and the Theater Arts program on campus. They are filming ‘Hansel and Gretel’ in various spots in the Arboretum.
CANCELED - Arboretum Associates Annual Plant Sale
The plant sale will not be held this year, but we are already looking forward to the biggest, best sale ever in 2022!