JC Raulston Arboretum e-Update - August 2016
treating for Dutch elm disease
Director's Note 
By Mark Weathington, Director

What an odd summer it has been for us here at the Arboretum. It has been brutal with week after week of temperatures in the mid and upper 90s, but rainfall has been relatively steady so far. The plants which aren't scorching are growing like gangbusters and if we dry up, they definitely won't be happy. Speaking of unhappy plants, those of you who have visited the JCRA may have noticed the decline of one of our signature trees, Ulmus alata 'Lace Parasol' or weeping winged elm.
Our 'Lace Parasol' is suffering from Dutch elm disease, otherwise known by its ominous initials - DED. Despite the name, the Dutch didn't cause the disease, they received the dubious honor of having it named for them after identifying the causal microfungi - Ophiostoma. The fungus is spread by elm bark beetles which bore into the trees and make galleries through the xylem (the "tubes" which bring water and nutrients from the roots up to the rest of the plant) to lay their eggs. The fungus, which is carried by the beetles, spreads in the xylem. As a last ditch effort to block the fungus from spreading throughout the tree, it will plug up its own water system causing branches and ultimately the entire plant to die.
The disease was first identified in the United States in the 1920s, perhaps fittingly coming in - most likely - on logs from the Netherlands. It really began spreading during the 1940s when war efforts took precedence over the quarantine controls that were in place. Now, the once ubiquitous street tree is known more from street signs than from actual plants although breeding and selection have produced some resistant selections.
With the help of Bartlett Tree Experts, our signature 'Lace Parasol' was injected with a fungicide to ward off the death of the tree. We will likely need to treat our prized tree annually to keep it alive and even if we succeed, it will be years before it begins to approach the graceful form it once had. Our plant is the original specimen of 'Lace Parasol' and illustrates the importance of the JCRA's mission of getting plants out to industry professionals and passionate gardeners. Even if we lose 'Lace Parasol' in the Arboretum, we can at least be assured that it lives on in gardens around the country.
flowering plant community
Tough Can Be Beautiful
By Arlene Calhoun, Assistant Director
"Horticultural Bright Lights: The Future of Gardening"

Friday and Saturday, September 23 and 24
Pretty as a picture. So we're told. Have the paintings of Monet and van Gogh influenced your idea of what a beautiful garden looks like? Are the images in our mind's eye obtainable, sustainable? Do our original ideas and plans for landscape design make sense anymore with urbanization and ecological balance issues?

Nature isn't just happenstance, we all know that. There is order and science behind our natural world. And, the interest is growing in creating urban wildlife habitats and gaining a better understanding of ecological garden design.

Meet Claudia West, one of the eight great speakers at our 40th Anniversary Symposium. Claudia is a landscape architect whose work is dedicated to marrying horticulture with ecology. Currently, her work is centered on the development of stable, layered planting designs and the devotion to bringing American native plants back into our landscapes.
"It's a rare occasion when I hear such a dynamic, informative garden speaker that really gets it. Claudia's talks make me want to stand up and applaud." - Tony Avent, Proprietor, Juniper Level Botanic Garden and Plant Delights Nursery.

Join us in September to explore how native plants will fit into our future landscapes and leave us inspired to create better native plantings. These plants are tough and beautiful.
Learn more about this superb speaker lineup. These horticultural bright lights are the future of gardening.
Online registration is now open! Early registration ends Sunday, September 4. Members registering before Monday, September 5 will qualify for the Japanese maple giveaway. One lucky member will be the recipient of a unique Japanese maple from Mr. Maple.
Have questions? Contact Chris Glenn at or (919) 513-7005.
Hibiscus _Fireball_
What's New on Your Plant Wish List?
By Kathryn Wall, Membership and Volunteer Coordinator

As we slog through the hottest days of the summer, spring garden dreams have often turned into a summer hangover - the sad reality of what barely survived or didn't grow as hoped. (Or grew more wildly than you expected!) Maybe there's an area in your yard that just bothers you when you see it each day. It gets those ideas stirring. Or maybe you've gotten inspired during your summer travels and have an idea for a new garden project. The summer doldrums can give the gardener a chance to dream anew and make plans for that great fall planting season.
I was excited to learn about the JCRA Members-only Preorder Plant Sale, which is coming up in September. Once again, we'd like to hear from you and get some suggestions of which plants you'd like to see offered.
If you have any suggestions, e-mail them to me at by August 12. Please put "plant wish list" in the subject line. I'll compile the list and get it to Mark Weathington, our director. He can't make any guarantees regarding which suggestions will make this year's list, but he is open to hearing suggestions and is very interested in both specific requests and general ones.
tree climbers
Recreational Tree Climbing at the JCRA 
By Patrick Brandt, Piedmont Tree Climbing
When was the last time you climbed a tree? Most of us remember the joy and freedom we felt when, as kids, we climbed our favorite tree. Maybe it was a magnolia tree in your front yard or an old oak along the river in your favorite corner of the woods. Now there is a way to safely recreate, or experience for the first time, the fun of climbing high into the canopy!  It's called recreational tree climbing and it is coming to the JC Raulston Arboretum on September 17!

Patrick Brandt of Piedmont Tree Climbing will teach adults and kids as young as six how to safely climb 50' or more into the heart of the canopy of two of the Arboretum's giant willow oaks. Climbers will use ropes and comfortable harnesses designed specially for tree climbing. Patrick has taught hundreds of kids and adults of all ages and abilities to climb into the trees. He has led climbs at the NC Botanical Gardens, the NC Museum of Natural Sciences, and at camps and county parks throughout North Carolina and Georgia. Patrick will provide all the gear and instruction. No experience is necessary, and you don't need to know how to tie a single knot!

Recreational tree climbing brings renewed appreciation for nature, trees, and the canopy ecosystems. Climbers overcome any trepidation in a safe and supportive environment. Each climber accomplishes something incredible no matter how high they go!

Anyone six years old and over can climb. A 50 minute climb is only $20.00 for members and $25.00 for nonmembers, and there are climbing slots available from 9:30 AM until 5:50 PM on September 17. Come see why Piedmont Tree Climbing was chosen by WRAL as one of the top 100 must-do activities this summer.

For more about Piedmont Tree Climbing see their Web site at or watch a video that aired on WRAL News earlier this month.

For more information about this program or to register, please contact Chris Glenn at (919) 513-7005. Six openings are available during each climbing time session (9:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, 3:00 PM, 4:00 PM, and 5:00 PM).
Villa d_Este
History of Gardening
By Bryce Lane, Alumni Distinguished Undergraduate Professor Emeritus and Lecturer Emeritus, Department of Horticultural Science, NC State University

Mondays, September 12, 19, 26, October 3, 17, 24, and November 7, 2016 - 6:30 PM-8:30 PM

Unlike many history courses which can be boring, this one is not! First, it's all about gardening, and second, it's about fascinating stories of past cultures, events, and people who made gardening what it is today. How did today's greenhouse come about, and what did a sickly Roman Caesar have to do with it. What did the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans do that contributed to horticulture as we know it today. Who is the Father of American Horticulture and what did he do to launch gardening into the 20th century? This seven week course will provide a series of historical snapshots that help to enhance our understanding of "modern-day" gardening. By deepening our understanding and appreciation of where gardening came from, we will, in turn, be better gardeners today and in the future!

The following topics will be discussed:
  • Ancient peoples and their contributions to horticulture.
  • Birth of a greenhouse, history of manipulation.
  • L. H. Bailey, the father of American horticulture.
  • Critical decades of horticultural advancement ... aka. "War and Peace."
  • The great plant explorers ... where they went and how they got there!
  • Bartram, Linnaeus, Le Notre, Mendel, and Johnny Appleseed ... "who are those guys?"
  • Great historical gardens from around the world.
  • Highlights of the 20th Century ... DDT, Rachel Carson, Agent Orange, IPM, and more!
  • The advent of the independent garden center, how the GI Bill changed everything.
For more information about the History of Gardening Course, please visit the JCRA's Web site or contact Chris Glenn at (919) 513-7005 or

butterfly and spider on Echinacea purpurea _Ruby Giant_
Creating a Sustainable Urban Wildlife Habitat for the Birds, Bees, and Butterflies
By Helen Yoest, Director, Bee Better

Wednesdays, September 14, 21, and 28 and October 12, 2016 - 6:30 PM-8:30 PM

Putting out bird feeders is a great way to direct where you want your wildlife to visit. Maybe it's the best viewing spot from the kitchen window or back porch. But have you considered giving the birds more? Helen Yoest, Bee Better, will teach you how to attract, identify, and fully sustain the birds, bees, butterflies in our area.

Bee Better in a local nonprofit working with homeowners and community gardens to build better backyards for the birds, bees, and butterflies. Our pleasure goes beyond watching the birds at the feeders, but rather, ensuring the birds have a fully sustainable place to thrive. We encourage supplemental feeders as well so you can get up close and personal with the bird, bee, and butterfly visitors. But our main pleasure is creating a habitat so we can support all their needs year round. Once we attract them, we want them to stay. Plants are the key, as is water, cover, and nesting sites.

The Creating a Sustainable Urban Wildlife Habitat for the Birds, Bees, and Butterflies course is divided into four parts. There's a lot of information to cover, so sign up with the desire to learn the ins and outs of building sustainable habitats. The good news? In general, what's good for the birds is also good for the butterflies and bees, with specific detail for each subject.

Consider your bird feeders you first step towards attracting and sustaining the birds, bees, and butterflies to your garden.

For more information about the Creating a Sustainable Urban Wildlife Habitat for the Birds, Bees, and Butterflies, please visit the JCRA's Web site or contact Chris Glenn at (919) 513-7005 or To register, please contact Chris Glenn.
Golden Gate Park
Friend of the Arboretum Membership Card-Don't Leave Home Without It!
By Arlene Calhoun, Assistant Director

Many of our members already know, if you're travel plans include the potential of visiting a public garden, take your JCRA membership card, it pays. Launched in 1990, the American Horticultural Society's Reciprocal Admissions Program offers free admission and/or additional benefits at nearly 300 gardens throughout North America and the Cayman Islands. This reciprocal program is a JCRA membership benefit and continues to be a favorite perk.

The above photograph was taken by longtime member and volunteer, Ellen Darst, on her San Francisco visit this year to the Conservancy of Flowers at the Golden Gate Park. Two of Ellen's party got in free after she presented her JCRA membership card. And by the way, to add perspective, Ellen's says the large green plant left of center in the picture above is a 6' tall fern!

Fellow member Ellen Kelly, enjoyed a special orchid exhibit free when she visited the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota, Florida. (See a glimpse of the exhibit in the photo below.) I know several members mentioned using this benefit for the same exhibit. I hear it was incredible.

And just as I was finishing this piece, we received a membership renewal with an additional donation from Steve and Arlene Lord with the following note:

"On our recent trip to TX, NM, AZ & CA we had free entry to the Dallas Arboretum and the Phoenix Desert Botanical Garden - all thanks to our Raulston membership. Hope you can use the $100 we would have spent!"

Thank you all for sharing your stories and for flashing our card across North American. Our seeds are far reaching and our garden ever growing!

Be sure to check it out for yourself, Reciprocal Admissions Program. Let me know or send me a photograph of your visit.
Upcoming Events

Artists in the Garden
Monday, August 1-Friday, August 5
9:00 AM
"40th Anniversary Tour-Scramblers and Ramblers"
Tim Alderton, Research Technician, and Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator
Tuesday, August 2
9:00 AM and 6:00 PM

Sundays, August 7, 14, 21, and 28
2:00 PM
Artists in the Garden
Monday, August 8
9:00 AM
Register (one spot left)

Sponsored by the JC Raulston Arboretum and the Triangle Carolinas Nature Photography Association
Friday, August 19
9:00 AM-6:00 PM - Entries Accepted
Saturday, August 20
7:00 PM-8:30 PM - Opening Reception
Sponsored by the Extension Master Gardeners and the JC Raulston Arboretum
"Fall and Winter Vegetable Gardening"
Rich Woynicz, Wake County Extension Master Gardener
Monday, August 22
10:00 AM

Hide and Seek in the Garden
Friday, August 26
10:30 AM
Saturday, August 27-Wednesday, September 7 with an optional extension through Monday, September 12

Many programs require advance registration. Please register early to reserve your spot.

Dates to Remember

Thursday, August 11
9:00 AM-3:00 PM

"Horticultural Bright Lights: The Future of Gardening
Friday and Saturday, September 23 and 24
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, November 4,5, and 6 and
Friday and Saturday, November 11 and 12
Fantasy Sweep

Coming Attractions
By Nancy Doubrava, Interpretive Specialist

Lycoris _haywardii
Lycoris ×haywardii
electric surprise-lily

Musella lasiocarpa
Musella lasiocarpa
Chinese yellow banana

Clematis reticulata _ C. texensis
Clematis reticulata × C. texensis
hybrid clematis

Tetradium glabrifolium
Tetradium glabrifolium
smooth bee bee tree

Lagerstroemia indica _Orchid Cascade_
Lagerstroemia indica 'Orchid Cascade'
ground cover crepe myrtle

Crinum _digweedii _Mahon_
Crinum ×digweedii 'Mahon'
hybrid crinum lily

Canna _Cleopatra_
Canna 'Cleopatra'

Curcuma 'Raspberry'
flowering pine-cone ginger
YouTube Channel Update
By Christopher Todd Glenn, Programs and Education Coordinator

Catch up on your JCRA videos while it's too hot to garden outside. There are more than 80 past Friends of the Arboretum Lecture, Plantsmen's Tour, Gardening Adventures with Extension Master Gardener Volunteers, and North American Rock Garden Society (Piedmont Chapter) Lecture videos on our YouTube Channel. No new videos were recorded in July.

Receive announcements about our latest additions by subscribing to our YouTube Channel.
Your Membership Makes a Difference

Please Join or Renew Today!

The JC Raulston Arboretum is free to the public, but it is not free to operate. Memberships keep the gates open and the gardens in top shape. Membership gifts are the primary support for the Arboretum's daily operations and vital for its success. Thank you for your support and advocacy of the JC Raulston Arboretum through the membership program. It's fast and easy to become a Friend of the Arboretum, and there are many great benefits for you and your family. Join or renew now using our secure Web site, or contact Kathryn Wall, membership and volunteer coordinator, at (919) 513-7004 or

The JC Raulston Arboretum's fund-raising efforts, including the 40th anniversary symposium, operate under the auspices of the North Carolina Agricultural Foundation, Inc., a 501(c)3 organization. Proceeds benefit the JC Raulston Arboretum.
Christopher Todd Glenn
Programs and Education Coordinator
NC State University
Campus Box 7522
Raleigh, NC 27695-7522
(919) 513-7005

You're receiving this e-mail because you're a member of the JC Raulston Arboretum. JCRA e-Updates are published electronically every month. If you are a member and need to update your contact information or wish to be removed from this mailing, please contact Kathryn Wall at (919) 513-7004 or Please do not use the links below to update your e-mail address or to unsubscribe.
JC Raulston Arboretum, NC State University, Campus Box 7522, Raleigh, NC 27695-7522
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