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Cornell Plantations

Cornell Plantations
F.R. Newman Arboretum
F. R. Newman Arboretum in the Plantations
Location Ithaca, New York, United States
Area 4,300 acres (1,700 ha)
Established 1875

The Cornell Plantations are botanical gardens located adjacent to the Cornell University campus in Ithaca, New York. The Plantations proper consist of 25 acres (10 ha) of botanical gardens and 150 acres (61 ha) of the F.R. Newman Arboretum. The greater Plantations includes 40 different nature areas around Cornell and Ithaca, covering 4,300 acres (1,700 ha).

The origin of the Plantations dates back to Cornell's beginning in the mid-19th century and are part of the university's longtime interest in agriculture, forestry, and the natural sciences. The Plantations saw a major planting effort during the 1930s and assumed their present name in 1944. Gardens and facilities have continually expanded, including a construction program at the start of the 21st century. The Plantations also maintains four gardens on Cornell's central campus. The Plantations offers three courses for academic credit, are used as a resource by other classes, host a number of informal lectures and tours, and have played a part in many scholarly papers. As of 2009, the Plantations had a $2.9 million annual operating budget.

The botanical gardens at the Plantations specialize in trees and shrubs native to New York State. The themed herb garden is especially noted. The Plantations have been the subject of several books and films over the years, are open daily without charge, and have been recommended as a visitation site by a number of travel books and newspaper travel sections.


  • History 1
  • Current extent 2
    • F.R. Newman Arboretum 2.1
    • Botanical gardens 2.2
    • Nature areas 2.3
  • Academic role 3
  • Events and visiting 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


One of the ponds at Cornell Plantations

Prior to the founding of Cornell University, Ezra Cornell had a large farm on the East Hill above Ithaca, New York. As part of locating New York State's land-grant college in Ithaca, Cornell offered to donate the farm for use as a campus. In 1862, Cornell's first president, Andrew Dickson White, wrote a colleague that a great university should include a botanical garden: “It must have the best of Libraries – collections in different departments – Laboratory – Observatory – Botanical Garden perhaps…”[1] At the university's opening ceremony in 1868, Louis Agassiz, an internationally-known naturalist, remarked that no other area could compete with Cornell's surroundings in the opportunities offered for the study of natural history. From its inception, Cornell formed a reputation for creative means of research into the natural sciences, including the establishment of the pioneering College of Agriculture.[2]

When the university built its first women's dormitory in 1875, it included a conservatory for growing plants and a specimen tree collection.[3] Separately, the

  • Cornell Plantations
  • 2009 Plantations Annual Report

External links

  • F.R. Newman Arboretum
  • Botanical Garden
  • Our Natural Areas
General references for the lists in the "Current extent" section
  1. ^ a b "What is in a name?". Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  2. ^ a b c d e Jenkins, Mary Zuazua (1998). National Geographic Guide to America's Public Gardens: 300 of the Best Gardens to Visit in the U.S. and Canada.  
  3. ^ "Planations History". Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
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  5. ^ "Department History by R.T. Ogelsby (Emeritus), and H.B. Brumsted (Emeritus)". Cornell University. Archived from the original on 2007-10-07. Retrieved 2009-09-05. 
  6. ^ Donaldson, Alfred Lee (1921). A History of the Adirondacks, Volume II. New York:  
  7. ^ "CCC Camp SP 48 Carries on Work for Arboretum". The Cornell Daily Sun 61 (40). November 7, 1940. p. 5. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  8. ^ "Mayor Campbell Protests Against Abandoning CCC". The Cornell Daily Sun 60 (115). March 6, 1940. p. 3. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  9. ^ a b "Forum Hears of Vital Role of Floral Parks".  
  10. ^ "Heads Cornell Plantations". The New York Times.  
  11. ^ a b O'Connor, Lois (July 25, 1965). "Tourist Time High Above Cayuga's Waters". The New York Times. 
  12. ^ "Recycling".  
  13. ^ Fritts, Bill (September 6, 1970). "Close Look At A Forest Floor".  
  14. ^ a b "F.R. Newman Arboretum". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  15. ^ Narvaez, Alfonso A. (October 18, 1990). "Floyd Newman, 99, Oil Chief Who Gave Millions to Cornell". The New York Times. 
  16. ^ a b Rood, Bill (December 6, 1986). "Home, Garden Guide and Your Environment".  
  17. ^ a b Faust, Joan Lee (December 15, 1991). "Ingenuity Protects Trees From Thieves". The New York Times. 
  18. ^ Greg Williams; Pat Williams (November–December 1985). "The Seasons of the Garden".  
  19. ^ a b Wright, Emma (June 12, 2009). "Plant Thefts Perplex Cornell Plantations".  
  20. ^ a b c Ramanujan, Krishna (October 29, 2010). "Plantations dedicates new ultra-green welcome center".  
  21. ^ "2010–11 Financial Plan" (PDF). Cornell University. p. 29. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  22. ^ Lawyer, Liz (May 20, 2010). "New center to expand Cornell's Plantations' reach".  
  23. ^ "2010 Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence winners announced".  
  24. ^ a b Barry, Rebecca (October 25, 2002). "36 Hours: Ithaca, N.Y.". The New York Times. 
  25. ^ a b c d e f Silverman, Brian; Schlecht, Neil Edward; Acker, Kerry; Gavin, Tom (2010). Frommer's New York State (4th ed.). Hoboken, New Jersey:  
  26. ^ "Botanical Garden". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-03-20. 
  27. ^ a b c "A New Taste and Tell 'Library' for Herbs". The New York Times. July 17, 1974. 
  28. ^ a b c d Brennan, James (August 15, 2010). "College without the classes".  
  29. ^ "Gardeners' party to aid proposed herb garden".  
  30. ^ Walsh, Natalie (September 14, 2000). "Clipping foliage, covering plants can speed tomato ripening".  
  31. ^ a b c Callahan, S. Kent, ed. (1972). The Cornell Desk Book. Ithaca, New York: Cornell University New Student Orientation Committee. p. 84. 
  32. ^ "Our Natural Areas". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  33. ^ "Bald Hill". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  34. ^ "Beebe Lake and Woods". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  35. ^ "Bluegrass Lane Natural Areas". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  36. ^ "Carter Creek Preserve". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  37. ^ "Cascadilla Gorge". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  38. ^ "Cascadilla Meadows". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  39. ^ "Cayuga Marsh". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  40. ^ "Cayuta Lake". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  41. ^ "Fischer Old-Growth Forest". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  42. ^ "Lighthouse Point". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  43. ^ "McDaniel Meadow, Woods and Swamp". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  44. ^ "Mitchell Street Natural Areas". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  45. ^ "Mundy Wildflower Garden". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  46. ^ "Park Park". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  47. ^ "Purvis Road Natural Areas". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  48. ^ "Slaterville 600". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  49. ^ "Slim Jim Woods". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-01-10. 
  50. ^ "Warren Woods". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  51. ^ "McDaniel Meadow, Woods and Swap". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  52. ^ "2009 Annual Report" (PDF). Cornell University. p. 4. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  53. ^ a b c d Rakow, Donald A.; Lee, Sharon A. (2011). Public Garden Management: A Complete Guide to the Planning and Administration of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta. Hoboken, New Jersey:  
  54. ^ cornell plantations' – Google Scholar"'".  
  55. ^ "University Courses". Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  56. ^ EAS 220 Lab Book: EAS 220 Introduction to the Earth System. Cornell University. 2007. pp. 240–242. 
  57. ^ "Summer Session 1973". Cornell University Announcements (Cornell University) 65 (3): 52. March 1973. 
  58. ^ "About Cornell Plantations". Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  59. ^ "Location and maps". Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  60. ^ "Drilmun Hill Student Farm". Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-09-19. 
  61. ^ "Agricultural operations, policies, farms". Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  62. ^ "Affiliations". Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-11-08. 
  63. ^ Shepard, Laura (April 22, 2010). "7 Wonders of Ithaca". The Cornell Daily Sun. 
  64. ^ "Arboretums Are for Seeing and Learning". The New York Times. February 25, 1973. 
  65. ^ "Norma K. Regan, 95, Teacher and Sculptor". The New York Times. November 12, 1992. 
  66. ^ Faust, Joan Lee (February 15, 1987). "Home Video". The New York Times. 
  67. ^ Cornell University path guide' search"'".  
  68. ^ "2009 Annual Report" (PDF). Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-12-27. 
  69. ^ a b c AAA New York TourBook (2009 ed.). Heathrow, Florida:  
  70. ^ "Volunteer Program". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  71. ^ Landau, Susan (September 9, 1979). "What's Doing in Ithaca". The New York Times. 
  72. ^ Pasternack, Dorothy (May 19, 1985). "The Finger Lakes – 250 Miles By Bike". The New York Times. 
  73. ^ Lumdsen, Linda (August 20, 1989). "What's Doing in the Finger Lakes". The New York Times. 
  74. ^ Vida, Vera (August 20, 2000). "New York's Finger Lakes: A Treat to the Visitor".  
  75. ^ "Ithaca Forward: Activities to do here now that spring has come".  
  76. ^ "Some places to revel in nature".  
  77. ^ Harmsen, Debbie, ed. (2009). Fodor's New York State (2nd ed.). New York:  
  78. ^ Moon New York State (5th ed.).  
  79. ^ Dyson, Katharine Delavan (2007). The Finger Lakes Book: Great Destinations (Third ed.). Woodstock, Vermont:  
  80. ^ Blanks, Mary Lynn (2010). Fun with the Family: Upstate New York. Guilford, Connecticut: GPP Travel. p. 97.  
  81. ^ "Festival Planned". The Cornell Daily Sun 90 (27). October 5, 1973. p. 13. Retrieved 2011-01-13. 
  82. ^ St.Laurent, Simon (April 16, 2005). "Cornell Plantations to hold Arbor Day event". Living in Dryden. Retrieved 2010-12-28. 
  83. ^ "Reunion 2010". Cornell University. Retrieved 2010-12-27. 
  84. ^ "Discovery Trail". Ithaca, New York: The Discovery Trail. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  85. ^ "Friends of the Gorges". Cornell University. Retrieved 2011-01-09. 
  86. ^ Kim, Melissa (May 5, 2010). "Student Groups Organize 'Gorge Clean-Up' Projects". The Cornell Daily Sun. 


See also

[86][85] The Plantations is one of eight cultural and educational sites on the [83] and the Cornell Reunion 5 Mile Run.[82] a celebration of Arbor Day[81] The Plantations provide a venue for a number of annual activities, including a "Fall In" festival,

National Geographic's 1998 guide to the 300 best public gardens in North America has an entry for the Plantations.[2] The American Automobile Association's New York TourBook lists the Plantations as one of five arboreta and sixty gardens in the state; it does not get the "GEM" rating that one of the arboreta and ten of the gardens receive.[69] Fodor's travel book for New York State lists the Plantations as an ordinary entry and says the gardens have "interesting cold-weather colors and textures".[77] The Moon Handbooks volume for the state also lists it as a regular entry, without much commentary,[78] as does the Great Destinations series The Finger Lakes Book.[79] The Fun with the Family Upstate New York volume groups it with several other sights as "a real bargain" to explore for free.[80] Most enthusiastic is the Frommer's travel guide for New York State, which rates the Plantations as a one-star ("highly recommended") sight, saying the Plantations is "a real find and well worth a visit for garden lovers or anyone seeking a bit of solace."[25] The herb garden and knoll of rhododendrons come in for particular praise.[25]

The New York Times has recommended Cornell Plantations as a place to visit several times, calling it "a satisfying experience" in 1965,[11] one of the sights of Cornell in 1979,[71] a destination along a bicycling tour in 1985,[72] "another free diversion" in 1989,[73] and "one last outing before leaving [Ithaca]" in 2002.[24] The Boston Globe recommended the Plantations in 2000 as a "free to the public museum of living plants".[74] In 2007, The Ithaca Journal referred to it as "one of the area's gems"[75] and three years later said it "combines the best of walking with the eye appeal of well tended gardens".[76] The Buffalo News portrayed the Plantations in 2010 as one of the places that made Cornell worth a vacation for non-students.[28]

The Plantations are open daily without charge from dawn to dusk.[69] From the campus, one walks out Forest Home Drive past the College of Agriculture quadrangle;[31] the nearest highway is New York State Route 366.[69] Walk-up tours are offered twice a week.[25] Adult volunteers also serve as stewards, tour guides and special event staff.[70] Such docents are challenged by the large variety of plants; one joked in 2010 that, "The ones I don’t know the name of, I call Species Nocluesem."[28]

Events and visiting

Working with the Newman's Own Foundation and the Center for Plant Conservation, the Plantations are trying to restore the regional population of the American globeflower (Trollius laxus). The Plantations are trying to use predatory beetles (Laricobius nigrinus) to control the spread of the hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA).[68]

[67] was made during 1974–1975 and shown on Cornell Plantations A film [4], written by Ralph S. Hosmer, was published by the university in 1947, shortly after the gardens were so named.The Cornell Plantations The 200-page volume

A 1973 New York Times survey of public arboreta listed the Plantations as one of the 17 best in the Eastern U.S. for educational value.[64] The same paper characterized the Robison Herb Garden as "a student's living reference library" when it opened in 1974.[27]

The Plantations earned a relatively brief mention as a campus diversion in the 112-page Cornell Desk Book publication of 1972 aimed at incoming students.[31] The Cornell Daily Sun listed it in 2010 as one of the natural wonders of the Cornell and Ithaca areas that students frequently went past, or lived near to, without noticing.[63]

The Plantations operate side-by-side with Cornell's other programs. Cornell's academic buildings, which are owned by either the university or New York State (for statutory college buildings), are on a landscaped campus with Plantations' gardens interspersed among them; the Plantations maintains four such gardens on Cornell's central campus.[58] In addition, the College of Agriculture operates the Arnot Woods as a teaching forest, about 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Ithaca;[59] it was given to the university in 1927.[4] Near the Plantations, the College operates the Dilmun Hill Student Farm, which practices sustainable agriculture.[60] The College operates Campus Area Farms that comprise 11 different farms and 325 acres (132 ha) on campus and nearby.[61] The difference between the Plantations and these other adjacent properties is that the Plantations are open to the public and are designed for both instruction as well as leisure, while the other properties are closed to the general public and focused upon teaching and research. Aside from physical proximity, the Plantations has affiliations with a number of Cornell academic departments.[62] In fact, during the latter part of the 20th century, public gardens attached to colleges and universities such as the Plantations became a popular trend, due to the beneficial effects they had on campus unity and recruitment of students, creating bonds with and outreach to the local community, and providing a basis for ongoing research as well as establishing a living museum.[53]

In conjunction with the Department of Horticulture in the College of Agriculture, the Plantations sponsors a Graduate Fellowship in Public Garden Leadership, where students earn a Master of Professional Studies degree after a four-semester program.[53] The program of study requires an internship, selection of a particular topic of interest, and completion of an action project.[53] Numerous scientific papers have been published that relate to work done at the Plantations or written by academics affiliated with the Plantations.[54] The Plantations offers three courses for academic credit and a number of informal lectures and tours.[55] Lab work is done at the Plantations by students taking other courses in various subjects, including geology courses in the interdisciplinary Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences.[56] Indeed the greater Plantations has a connection of some kind to over a hundred courses at Cornell.[53] The Plantations' Director has also been responsible for summer session courses at the Plantations aimed towards alumni and horticultural enthusiasts.[57]

The Plantations' Director is funded as a professor of Horticulture in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, although 85 percent of the Plantations' budget comes from gifts. The Plantations continue to grow as it receives donations of environmentally-sensitive land throughout New York State.[51] As of 2009, the Plantations had a $2.9 million annual operating budget.[52]

Academic role

  • Bald Hill – Mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia) is abundant in this area.[33]
  • Beebe Lake and Woods – In 1828, to capture the waterpower of Fall Creek, Ezra Cornell help construct Beebe Dam on Fall Creek. The dam and Lake have since been upgraded.[34]
  • Bluegrass Lane Natural Areas – located near the Robert Trent Jones Golf Course.[35]
  • Brooktondale Meadow
  • Carter Creek Preserve – 244 acres (99 ha) of woodlands about 14 miles (23 km) southwest of Cornell.[36]
  • Cascadilla Gorge – a gorge formed as Cascadilla Creek drops 400 feet (120 m) from the campus to downtown Ithaca, with a walking trail and many waterfalls.[37]
  • Cascadilla Meadows – Cascadilla Creek was channelized when the Wilson Lab was constructed in this meadow flood plain.[38]
  • Cayuga Marsh – a low-lying wetland of cattails (Typha latifolia) at the north end of Lake Cayuga.[39]
  • Cayuga Lake – 95 acres (38 ha) on northeast shore.[40]
  • Etna Fringed Gentian Area
  • Fall Creek Valley North
  • Fall Creek Valley South
  • Fischer Old-Growth Forest – a 42-acre (17 ha) preserve containing rare examples of yellow oak (Quercus muehlenbergii).[41]
  • Hertel Bowl
  • Lick Brook
  • Lighthouse Point – a biological station located a bit over 3 miles (5 km) from campus on the eastern shore of Lake Cayuga.[42]
  • McDaniel Meadow, Woods and Swamp – 60-acre (24 ha) former farm about 7 miles (11 km) north of campus.[43]
  • McGowan Woods and Meadow
  • Mitchell Street Natural Areas – examples of abandoned agricultural land.[44]
  • Monkey Run
  • Mount Pleasant
  • Mundy Wildflower Garden[45]
  • North Campus Natural Areas
  • Park Park – Forest Home Drive near New York Route 366[46]
  • Polson Natural Area
  • Purvis Road Natural Areas – 43 acres (17 ha)[47]
  • Renwick Slope
  • Slaterville 600 – 600 acres (240 ha) that includes the Slaterville Wildflower Preserve and old growth forest,[48] given to the university by the Lloyd Library and Museum under condition that it remain forever wild.[4]
  • Slim Jim Woods – borders the arboretum.[49]
  • Steep Hollow Creek
  • The Tarr-Young Preserve
  • Turkey Hill Road Meadow
  • Upper Cascadilla
  • Warren Woods – 37 acres (15 ha)[50]

In addition to the gardens and arboretum, Cornell Plantations also manages an additional 3,500 acres (1,400 ha) of biologically diverse natural areas, including glens, meadows, and woodlands.[32] These areas contain some 9 miles (14 km) of walking trails.[25]

Fall Creek flows through the Cornell Plantations

Nature areas

Woodland Streamside Garden
A boardwalk through a boggy areas including royal ferns, blue and yellow flag iris, and Japanese primrose.
Winter Garden
Plants interesting in all seasons, including dogwood, willow, birch, hawthorn, and dwarf to midsize conifers.
Wildflower Garden
Wildflowers including skunk cabbage, trout lily, marsh marigold, and trillium.
Rock Garden
Rock garden, including Aethionema, Arenaria, Aubrieta, Cymbalaria, Dianthus, Erigeron, Globularia, Houstonia, Leiophyllum, Linaria, Penstemon, Pulsatilla, Sedum, Silene, Veronica, etc.
Rhododendron and Woodland Perennial Garden
Hundreds of rhododendrons and azaleas, set among white pines, ferns, hostas, etc.
Poisonous Plants Garden
Plants poisonous to livestock, including Atropa, Chelidonium, Cicuta, Digitalis, Lobelia, Phytolacca, and Rheum. (Although Cannabis was included in the garden for many years, it was removed by the early 1970s.[31])
Peony and Sun Perennial Garden
Over 90 cultivars of peonies, as well as a display of recent perennial cultivars suitable for sunny locations.
International Crop and Weed Garden
Crop plants and economically important plants from around the world, including cotton, grasses, and forbs (non-grass plants eaten by livestock); also a collection of weeds arranged in an attractive agricultural setting.
Heritage Vegetable Garden
Four beds, representing typical vegetables grown in the northeastern United States in the 18th century, the late 19th century, World Wars I and II, and today's gardens. Such gardens are not common.[2] The gardener in charge of it has been mentioned in newspaper columns as an expert in growing tomatoes.[30]
Robison Herb Garden
Opened in 1974 after 20 years of being envisioned and 2 years of construction,[27] it consists of 17 raised beds of herbs, arranged by theme[25] as follows: Ornamental Herbs; Herbs of the Ancients; Herbs in Literature; Bee Herbs; Salads and Potherbs; Edible flowers; Herbs of the Native Americans; Medicinal Herbs; Culinary Herbs; Economic Herbs; Dye Herbs; Tea Herbs; Fragrant Herbs; Sacred Herbs; Scented Geraniums; Savory Seed Herbs; and Tussie-Mussies and Nosegays. The sources to begin the garden came from around the world, with some species linked to cultures from antiquity.[27] More than 500 plants are included.[28] The design inspired plans for a similar herb garden in New London, Connecticut in 1980.[29]
A sundial at the Robison Herb Garden
Groundcover Garden
Groundcovers including Asarum, Athyrium, Cyclamen hederifolium, Dryopteris, Helleborus orientalis, Hosta, Lysimachia, Marrubium, and Pachysandra.
Flowering Shrub and Ornamental Grass Garden
Flowering shrubs, ornamental grasses, and perennials including daylillies. Shrubs include Hypericum, Hydrangea, and Potentilla; grasses include Calamagrostis, Chasmanthium latifolium, Festuca, Miscanthus, Molinia, Panicum virgatum, Pennisetum alopecuroides, and Saccharum ravennae.
Decorative Arts Flower Garden
A wide variety of flowers including sunflower, carnation, rose, poppy, peony, iris, lily, chrysanthemum, daisy, and tulip.
Deans Garden
Herbaceous and woody plants, many uncommon in the Ithaca area, such as Vancouveria hexanra and Stuartia pseudocamellia.
Container Gardens
Ornamental plants suitable for growing in containers, such as Agastache foeniculum, Agave, Alocasia esculenta, Amaranthus, Canna × generalis, Celosia, Coleus, Colocasia, Cordyline, Cuphea, Cycad, Duranta erecta, Eucalyptus cinerea, Fuchsia, Hibiscus acetosella, Iresine, Lantana camara, Melianthus major, Perilla frutescens, Phormium tenax, Salpiglossis sinuata, and Solenostemon scutellarioides.

The botanical gardens specialize in trees and shrubs native to New York State.[25] Overall, they contain a wide variety of ornamental, useful, and native plants on 25 acres (10 ha),[26] arranged into gardens as follows:

Botanical gardens

In addition, the arboretum features an extensive set of trails.[2]

Chestnut Collection
Established in 2000 with 5 transplanted, grafted chestnut trees for each of 5 cultivars. At present 4 trees remain, representing 3 of the 5 cultivars. Eventually 25 cultivars will be represented.
Conifer Collection
Several sites with 21 taxa of firs (excluding dwarf forms), 39 of pines, and 25 of spruces.
Flowering Crabapple Collection
83 cultivars in a new collection; many trees are quite small.
Maple Collection
One of the core collections. One site contains Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum), Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum), and Striped Maple (Acer pensylvanicum). Another contains an overstory of Acer x freemanii with an understory of shade-loving maples, including snakebark maples (Acer davidii and Acer tegmentosum) and small trees similar to the Japanese maple, such as Acer shirasawanum and Acer pseudosieboldianum. A third site consists primarily of small Asian Maples.
Oak Collection
50 oak taxa in a fairly young collection, with a goal of acquiring all species hardy in Zone 5.
Urban Tree Collection
Planted throughout the arboretum.
Walnut Collection
The oldest collection, planted in the early 1960s. 20 cultivars, representing Black Walnut (Juglans nigra), Butternut (Juglans cinerea) and Heartnut (Juglans ailanthifolia).

The F.R. Newman arboretum contains the following collections on 150 acres (61 ha):[14][24]

A panoramic view from Newman Overlook, one of the highest points in the arboretum and campus

F.R. Newman Arboretum

Current extent

At the start of the 21st century, the Plantations embarked on a construction program which included: Arboretum Center (2000), Horticultural Center (2001), Mullestein Winter Garden (2002), Ramin Administration Building (2003), Rowley Carpenter Shop (2004), Plant Production Facility (2007), and Lewis Education Center (2008).[20] The new $7.5 million Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center was dedicated on October 28, 2010.[20][21] Five years in the designing and building, the new facility was built to LEED gold standards and won a 2010 Award of Excellence from Canadian Architect magazine.[20][22][23]

During the 1980s, the Plantations experienced people stealing pines and firs for Christmas trees, with in some cases trees being taken that were worth several thousand dollars.[16] A successful countermeasure created by Gerardo Sciarra at the Plantations was covering the trees with a harmless yet visually unpleasant "Ugly Mix" spray that included hydrated limestone, an anti-desiccant, and water.[16][17] The technique was subsequently recommended to others worried about tree theft.[17][18] In 2009, the Plantations suffered from a series of thefts of new or rare plants.[19] A director at the Plantations, which had no security in place, said that the thieves must have been experienced horticulturalists and that the loss of research and species had been a demoralizing experience.[19]

In the mid-1960s, the sculpture garden was constructed in the middle of the Arboretum as a project of the College of Architecture Art and Planning. By 1965, the Plantations consisted of 1,500 acres (610 ha).[11] By 1970, the university was issuing a publication called The Cornell Plantations, which contained general articles on nature and environmental topics.[12][13] Beginning in the early 1970s, the Arboretum was upgraded with new roads and plantings funded by major gifts from oil industry figure Floyd R. Newman, and in 1982 the Arboretum was formally named in his honor[14] (as were several other buildings and facilities at Cornell over the years).[15]

In 1944, Liberty Hyde Bailey, the Dean,emeritus, of the College of Agriculture and a horticulturalist highly regarded around the world,[2] proposed the present name "Cornell Plantations" for an expanded department in a report that reflected the work of a number of botany and horticulture professors.[1][9] By 1948, the Plantations numbered 1,000 acres (400 ha) and the first Director was named, John F. Cornman.[10] During a 1949 broadcast on widely heard radio station WGY, Cornell emeritus professor Bristow Adams reflected upon the now five-year-old Plantations, and stated that the relationship between humans and things that grow were of utmost importance and that gardens, forests, and parks were everlasting collections that "have the care and trusteeships of generation after generation."[9]

Cornell's acquisition of off-campus forest land dates to 1898 and the founding of the New York State College of Forestry, which was the first forestry college in North America.[5] As a part of establishing that school, Cornell acquired a demonstration forest near Saranac Lake in the Adirondack Mountains. The harvesting of trees from that forest drew heated opposition from neighboring land owners.[6] Although political opposition caused Cornell to transfer the forest lands under the "forever wild" protection of the Adirondack Forest Preserve and to transfer Cornell's forestry education programs to its College of Agriculture, Cornell continued to acquire forest land remote from its main campus. In 1935, the decision to create an arboretum was finally made[4] and the university established the Arboretum as a separate department. From 1935 to 1940, the federal government's Civilian Conservation Corps Camp SP 48 devoted 170 to 200 workers to planting trees, constructing dikes, and building trails in order to develop the Arboretum.[4][7][8]

Houston Pond at the Arboretum; nearby is a site for events


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