A Historical Perspective on Chicago Area Botany
Hamilton, Clement W. .
The Morton Arboretum: 85 Years of Botany, Horticulture, and Conservation.
Research has been an essential part of the Morton Arboretumís mission since its founding by Joy Morton in 1922, particularly ďpractical scientific research . . . in the growth and culture of trees.Ē Early research was primarily observational, helping landscape professionals and gardeners with information gleaned from successes and failures of diverse trees and shrubs as the Arboretumís plant collection was built to its present level of 1,731 natural taxa of woody plants (3,120 including cultivars). Research increased in magnitude and scientific rigor in the 1960s, with augmented staff and establishment of focus on areas of applied research that persist to the present: tree health, tree improvement, and woodland conservation. In tree health, emphasis has been primarily on quantifying the effects of urban stresses, particularly as regards roots and the below-ground environment, and the improvement of arboricultural practices and planting conditions. Tree improvement has focused on botanical exploration, selection, breeding, and introduction of new woody plants for landscape use, with most noteworthy successes with elms. The Arboretumís conservation research has concerned the effects of different restoration and management practices on community health and sustainability, using 700 acres of natural areas (including one of the oldest successful prairie/savanna restorations) as a living laboratory; documenting the flora of the Upper Midwest and pre-European vegetation of northeastern Illinois; and helping conserve several rare and endangered species. Arboretum research is conducted to directly impact practices in tree-related professions, as well as to advance knowledge in botany, arboriculture, and ecology.
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The Morton Arboretum
1 - The Morton Arboretum, 4100 Illinois Route 53, Lisle, IL, 60532, USA
Presentation Type: Symposium or Colloquium Presentation
Location: Williford C/Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 10th, 2007
Time: 8:45 AM