Morris Arboretum

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is a historic public garden and educational institution. It promotes an understanding of the relationship between plants, people and place through programs that integrate science, art and the humanities.

The Arboretum conducts four major activities: education, research, outreach, and horticultural display. As the official Arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania provides research and outreach services to state agencies, community institutions and to citizens of Pennsylvania and beyond.

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is an important resource for extending an appreciation of the world's ecology, and an understanding of the importance of plants to people, in a biological, cultural, historical and aesthetic context.




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Now showing 1 - 10 of 182
  • Publication
    Creating an Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program for the Marion Rivinus Rose Garden at the Morris Arboretum
    (2015-01-01) Lauer, Jennifer J
    This project seeks to catalogue the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) approaches practiced in rose gardens throughout the mid-Atlantic region of the U.S. and beyond. It will begin with a section explaining the history of IPM at Morris Arboretum and the theory and practices currently surrounding IPM in a public rose garden setting. Then, priority issues in the Morris Arboretum Rose Garden are examined one at a time by synthesizing research garnered from interviews with other rosarians and academic sources. This information will be interpreted, at the end of the paper, to suggest a renewed IPM program for the Morris Arboretum Rose Garden. Suggestions will include templates for establishing thresholds, keeping records, and early identification and treatment of issues. Appendix A contains the survey tool I created to conduct the research for this project, with a list of all of the respondents. This network of gardeners and IPM specialists should be a future resource as we move forward with new approaches to managing pest and disease issues in the Morris rose garden. Appendix B contains a sample monitoring tool for recording rose performance, as well as threshold guidelines for fungal disease.
  • Publication
    Evaluation of the Crabapple (Malus) Collection and Assessment of the Crabapple Slope
    (2019-01-01) Christensen, Micah
    This project began in response to space on the slope for more crabapple trees and a need to evaluate the current crabapple collection. As such, this project examined the collection as a whole with special attention to the slope. The Morris Arboretum had 48 crabapple trees as of 2018. The vast majority were planted in two locations: the slope by the rose garden and on the farm between the community garden and the executive director’s residence. The initial examination of the collection showed only two native crabapple specimens (Malus coronaria) both with a provenance of Maryland. Propagation of a tree with more local provenance was done to improve and expand the Malus collection. The four parts to this project included development and implementation of evaluation criteria, soil testing of the slope, recommendations of crabapple cultivars to fill empty spaces on the slope, and propagation of a native crabapple (Malus coronaria) with local provenance
  • Publication
    Management Practices for Veteran Trees
    (2004-04-01) Ibrahim, Joseph
  • Publication
    Paper Mill Run Riparian Zone Management Plan and Partial Restoration
    (2017-01-01) Brown, Kevin
    The natural area at the Morris Arboretum is a quickly developing section of the garden. However, it has many unappreciated views and rarely visited areas that deserve more recognition. Unfortunately, it also has some neglected and under-developed areas that need revitalization. One such area is the riparian zone along the east bank of Paper Mill Run, beginning just after the Betula nigra HERITAGE grove planted between the wetland and Paper Mill Run, and continuing to where Paper Mill Run meets the Wissahickon Creek. This area was assessed, and the existing trees were documented considering tree health, size, importance, and work recommendations. This information was used to create a management plan designed to gradually improve the area over the coming years in terms of riparian buffer functionality as well as public appeal. The goal of this project was to define what a riparian buffer is and what it does; assess the riparian zone along Paper Mill Run on the property of the Morris Arboretum; design a long term management plan for the existing plants and for future plantings; and begin to restore one pre-determined section of the zone. A literature review of peer-reviewed journals was referenced to gain informed knowledge on what a healthy riparian zone is, and what it should do for the stream; direct evaluation of the zone along Paper Mill Run was carried out; management plan recommendations were developed to maintain and improve the area over time; and appropriate action to begin to restore part of the zone was accomplished.
  • Publication
    Building a Rain Garden to Address Stormwater Management in the English Park Section of the Morris Arboretum
    (2012-01-01) Fine, Lauren
    The area surrounding the Hillcrest building suffers from an ongoing problem of flooding and erosion during moderate to heavy rain events. Not only does the building itself succumb to flooding, but the gardens around it are constantly washed out. The stormwater runoff causes surface erosion and limits plant survival opportunities. The first objective of this project is to provide infiltration of stormwater runoff near the Hillcrest building by installing a rain garden. The rain garden will reduce erosion, flooding, and revitalize the aesthetic value of the area while providing an education component to incorporate learning opportunities. Currently, stormwater enters the garden along Hillcrest Avenue near the Hillcrest building and moves over the pavilion driveway and down the hill washing out the garden beds along the way. Erosion and flood control are the main objectives that will be met by this project. Cleanup from floods calls for many hours of work by maintenance and horticulture staff in addition to outside contractors. Diverting some of this stormwater runoff to a rain garden would reduce impact and damage, thereby decreasing the amount of time spent cleaning up after large rain events. The second aspect of this project is improving the aesthetic value of the area near the Hillcrest building. Revitalizing the garden beds and installing a rain garden will bring new interest to this vicinity. I plan to use low maintenance native plants appropriate for the ephemeral waves of flooding. Furthermore, I will repeat the plantings in the surrounding beds to create a node of unified plants. Finally, I would like to tie in an educational component highlighting the rain garden’s capacity to reduce runoff and demonstrate a passive technique for addressing stormwater runoff. This will include interpretive signage and an educational lesson to be used by the volunteer guides.
  • Publication
    Managing the Health of Hemlocks at the Morris Arboretum
    (2011-05-01) Beerley, Tracy K.
  • Publication
    From Past to Future: Revitalization of the Pollination/Meadow Garden and a Site Assessment for the Baxter Memorial
    (2013-01-01) Schmidt, Heather
    The primary objective of the project is the completion of detailed analysis work of the area currently known as the Baxter Memorial and the Pollination Garden. Located at a highly visual intersection of the Pennock Garden, Rose Garden, and Garden Railway areas, the site provides an opportunity for a gathering and educational space. Analysis work covered topics of context, historical analysis, existing conditions, current vegetation, circulation, soils, focal points, views-vistas, topography, and hydrology. This is all compiled into an opportunities and constraints (potential and problem areas) analysis, which is a discussion of the analysis results. Following the analysis phase is a research phase. This phase examined case studies of projects with similar themes, learning from their successes and failures. Potential site materials such as the path surfaces and furnishings were also studied. Regionally appropriate native plants were studied to understand their benefits and associated relationships to wildlife including: birds, bees, flies, butterflies, and biological control insects. The final objective is to create a design proposal for the site including a planting design and species list. This phase will also look at how the design will be implemented. The garden will educate visitors of all ages about the evolutionary relationships between plants, pollinators, and wildlife. This educational garden will include signage and potentially a sculpture (created by Greg Leavitt) to create an entry focal point. The sculpture will memorialize Samuel Newman Baxter and his horticultural contributions to the Philadelphia region. This is to be a multi-use space that connects and relates to the Arboretum through aesthetic, mission, and forward vision.