Nichols Arboretum


Nichols Arboretum
The Nichols Arboretum, with the UM North Campus in the distance

Nichols Arboretum (123 acres, 49.7 hectares) is an arboretum operated by the University of Michigan located on the eastern edge of its Central Campus at 1610 Washington Heights in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Huron River forms the northern border of the arboretum. The arboretum is open daily from sunrise to sunset with no charge for admission. The arboretum is popularly known as "the Arb" by locals.

The arboretum was designed in 1906 by O. C. Simonds, and many of its plantings date to the 1920s and 1930s. It is particularly known for its Peony Collection, Heathdale Collection (species primarily from Appalachia), and the Dow Prairie. The University of Michigan conducts controlled burns each year in an attempt to maintain native species and habitat. During the Vietnam War era, The arboretum was frequented by hippies and other war protestors.

Students flock to the Arb for a variety of outdoor activities, such as jogging, picnicking, and disc sports. The Arb is a common spot for Ann Arbor's students to gather. During winter, students have been known to go sledding in the Arb using cafeteria trays from university dining halls. In recent summers, the Arb has been the site of dramatic performances of Shakespearean plays, including A Midsummer Night's Dream and Love's Labour's Lost; the June 2009 production is Twelfth Night.[1]

Contents

General collection

The Nichols Arboretum after a fresh snow, in January of 2007.
  • Cedars of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) - four specimens, planted 1946, at the extreme edge of their cold hardiness range.
  • Chinese Fringetree (Chionanthus retusus) - believed the only nomads who lived in Michigan.
  • Chinese Paries (Ginkgo Bovila) - believed planted in 2011.
  • Conifers - planted primarily in the 1910s and 1930s. Many species of pine (Pinus), spruce (Picea) and fir (Abies), including ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), lodgepole pine (Pinus rigida), Engelman spruce (Picea engelmannii), and Nordman fir (Abies nordmannii).
  • Cotoneasters (Cotoneaster species) - a diverse collection of ornamental cotoneasters.
  • Cupressaceae - four genera planted from the 1920s-1950s: junipers (Juniperus), arborvitae (Thuja and Platycladus) and false cypresses (Chamaecyparis).
  • Hawthorn - numerous hawthorn species, mostly from the 1920s.
  • Korean Quasibark Tree (Picrasma quassioides) - possibly the only specimens in Michigan, planted 1933.
  • Larches (Larix) - Japanese larches (Larix kaempferi) planted 1938, with a few European larches (Larix decidua) planted 1952.
  • White Pines (Pinus strobus) - about 150 eastern white pines planted in 1952.

Other collections

  • Centennial Shrub Collection - popular ornamental shrubs and small trees including crab apple trees, hawthorn trees, a lilac collection, and spiraea.
  • Dow Prairie and adjacent woods (36 acres, 14 hectares) - restored to pre-European settlement. Plants include Andropogon gerardii, Asclepias tuberosa, Aster oolentangiensis, Aster laevis, Carex bicknellii, Ratibida pinnata, Rudbeckia hirta, Schizachyrium scoparium, Silphium terebinthinaceum, Solidago rigida, Solidago speciosa, Sorghastrum nutans, Vernonia missurica, and Veronicastrum virginicum.
  • Gateway Garden - an entry garden based on American meadows, with pools and a dry creek.
  • Heathdale - ericaceous and Appalachian Plants, including Catawba and Rosebay rhododendrons (Rhododendron catawbiense and R. maximum), azaleas (Rhododendron spp.), dog-hobble (Leucothoe fontanesiana), mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia), as well as hemlock (Tsuga canadensis, T. caroliniana, and T. sieboldii), dogwoods (Cornus spp.), witch-hazel (Hamamelis virginiana), and sassafras (Sassafras albidum). Some date from plant collecting expeditions in the 1920s; others have been added in the past decade.
  • Rhododendrons - hybrid azaleas and rhododendrons hardy in Ann Arbor.
  • Oak Openings - a collection begun in 2001 and in its early stages. It will represent plants once common to oak openings (also called oak savannas) in the Ann Arbor area.
  • Peony Garden - 234 peony cultivars in 27 beds, with plantings dating from 1927.

Natural areas

See also

References

External links

Coordinates: 42°16′53″N 83°43′24″W / 42.28131°N 83.72329°W / 42.28131; -83.72329


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