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Arboretum Summer Nights are back! July 19

Our evening concerts on select Fridays in July and August begin this Friday, July 19, when Streetlight Cadence opens the series with its alternative folk pop.  Bring family and friends for picnicking and children’s crafts.  Doors open at 5, concert at 6pm. $8 general public; $4 children 5-12; Arboretum members free. Presented by MonteCedro.

After the Fire photo exhibit in the Library

After the Fires, the Forest Recovery Project is a visual documentary of the devastating Station Fire of 2009, which destroyed a quarter of the mature trees in the Angeles National Forest and homes along the lower flanks. The 10-year project by Corina Roberts records the loss and comeback of the forest.  The exhibit is on view in the Library; members free; included in admission.


Summer Nature Camp continues. Kids love it!

Children ages 5-11 will enjoy their summer exploring and learning about nature. We get children outside and away from screens to observe and explore wildlife in a natural setting. The Nature Camp runs from June 3 through August 5.  Full session, daily and extended care available.

Reading tree rings: New labs sprout to do the job.

The New York Times provides a wonderful read about tree as “giant organic recording devices. The oldest can tell ancient stories about our world — and even galactic events.” Labs around the world are involved in the data gathering. Read all about it.


Library Spotlight – Vintage Nursery Catalogs

Looking for early nursery catalogs for the region of Southern California? The Arboretum Library has catalogs going as far back as the late 1800s that are still applicable for today’s horticulturalists. During your visit to the Arboretum, members and non-members of the garden are always welcome to browse our nursery catalogs in our library’s collection!

“Germain Seed Co.” (1907)

Library Spotlight – Catalog Updates

Hello, folks!  The Arboretum Library’s catalog now has social networking features, including Facebook and Twitter, so that you may share any library material(s) you have found in the catalog, with your friends.  Also be sure to check out and “like” the Arboretum’s Facebook page.

What’s blooming? Trumpet trees

A delayed start to this year’s blooms because of the much-need, extended rains is worth the wait! The pink trumpet trees are arguably the most spectacular blooming trees in the Arboretum’s collection. They punctuate the landscape here with their solid canopies of vibrant, almost hot-pink blooms. The tree,  Tabebuia impetiginosa,  is a South American native that produces its brilliant display of color in typically from early winter through spring. Tabebuias initiate bloom soon after most or all their leaves suddenly drop. This often leaves the tree covered only in its clustered trumpet-shaped pink blooms–a sight that takes eyes not used to such a brilliant display some time to get used to. It is almost impossible not to see them as they compete with the peacocks for the eyes of the Arboretum visitors. The Arboretum helped introduce Tabebuia impetiginosa and other related species into the horticultural market during the 1970’s, including an apricot-colored hybrid between Tabebiua impetiginosa and chrome-yellow flowered Tabebuia chrysotricha.

Library Spotlight - “Açaí”

The Arboretum Library has many journals and periodicals that cover a range of horticultural topics. These journals include articles about individual types of plants, including one that's been seen around a lot more recently – the açaí.  You've probably seen this ingredient in all sorts of products at the grocery store, but I didn't know much about the plant, or even how to pronounce it (it's AH-sigh-EE, apparently). This article touches on several interesting aspects of the açaí: the history and cultural significance (including traditional uses for this type of palm), modern research into possible health benefits and the impact and future of cultivation of the açaí palm.
Stop by the library and check out this article and look over some of the many others in the periodical collection.
Engels, Gayle. “Acai: Euterpe oleracea.” Herbalgram, no. 86 (May-July 2010): 1-2. Print.

Library Spotlight - “Lessons Learned: Managing Biological Invasion on Hemlock Hill”

The Arboretum Library has many journals and periodicals that cover a range of horticultural topics. These journals include articles by members of the Arboretum staff.
The article “Lessons Learned: Managing Biological Invasion on Hemlock Hill (Massachusetts)” by Richard Schulhof (CEO of the Los Angeles County Arboretum & Botanic Garden) in the journal Ecological Restoration details the challenges faced by the Arnold Arboretum in Boston by an invasion of Hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA). This introduced pest has been decimating hemlocks in the south and east. It was detected at the Arboretum in Boston in 1997 and they spent the next decade trying to mitigate the effects of the infestation and save their important stand of hemlock trees in an era of rapidly changing information.  This article talks about what decisions they had to make and what were their main questions and concerns.
Stop by the library and check out this article and look over some of the many others in the periodical collection.
Schulhof, Richard. “Lessons Learned: Managing Biological Invasion on Hemlock Hill (Massachusetts).” Ecological Restoration 28.2 (June 2010): 129-131. Print.

Raking Hay at Rancho Santa Anita

This image presents is a lovely pastoral scene at Rancho Santa Anita probably in the late 1880s or early 1890s. A man on a hay rake is gathering freshly cut hay, probably mown a day or two earlier and allowed to dry to feed the Ranch's animals.  
Closer examination reveals a number of other interesting aspects to this image. 

The man in the picture is African American. We know from photographs and newspaper stories from the time when this photograph was taken, that the owner of Rancho Santa Anita ,Elias J. Baldwin, needed laborers and recruited African American workers in North Carolina offering to pay their train fare to the San Gabriel Valley as part of the recruitment. The man in the photograph is the descendant of slaves and may in fact have been born into slavery in the South prior to the Civil War.
Employees at the ranch went on to become the founders of the African American community in the San Gabriel Valley and some of their descendants still live in the area today.
This type of hay rake is a type known as a Sulky Hay Rake because it is a light two wheeled cart known as a Sulky which would be drawn by one horse or mule. It is also noteworthy that these animals were introduced to North America by Europeans as well as the grasses that are being mown to feed these introduced domesticated animals. These grasses and the horses prospered and proliferated changing the landscape and the culture of Native Americans who quickly learned to ride. 
We can go further, the buildings on the right are undoubtedly built of wood imported from the Pacific Northwest and brought to the location by horse drawn wagon and train. It appears that the buildings were designed by Albert Austin Bennett, who also designed the Baldwin Hotel in San Francisco for Mr. Baldwin as well as the Coach Barn and Queen Anne Cottage still present on the Arboretum grounds. 
In the center middle ground of the image we can also see young trees which are probably Eucalyptus trees brought from Australia. In all likelihood Eucalyptus globulus,which were introduced for timber and stove wood since they were fast growing and wood was scarce in Southern California and local sources were quickly exhausted. Some specimens of these trees survive today on the Arboretum's grounds. Practices of plant tending and controlled burning by Native Americans in the area had shaped the landscape of Southern California into one of oak woodland and meadows which encouraged game and edible plants. Irrigation was applied to soils that had built up over millions of years with remarkable agricultural results. The underground aquifer and Baldwin Lake, fed by artesian springs from the Raymond Hill fault as well as local streams provided the water. 

After the Second World War, agriculture gave way to housing developments paving over some of the best agricultural land in the country as part of the urbanization of Los Angeles County. The water table sunk drying the springs feeding Baldwin Lake. 
In this photograph we can see the story of a region, the African diaspora, the introduction of new exotic species of plants and animals to Southern California and the displacement of Native Americans as well as the drastic changes caused by the influx of Euro-Americans with their accompanying agricultural practices, technology and culture. A process which continues to impact Southern California today with results and consequences that remain to be seen. The Arboretum property survives as rare open space and a remnant of what was once widespread. 
Mitchell Hearns Bishop
Curator, Historic Collections

© 2019 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden • 626.821.3222 • 301 North Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA 91007 • Website Design by Kirk Projects.

© 2019 Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Gardens

Phone: 626.821.3222

301 N. Baldwin Ave, Arcadia, CA, 91007

Site Design by Kirk Projects