How to plant a tree

Step One: Find a young, healthy tree that’s been well-watered and cared for at the nursery.

Step Two: Gather shovels, a backhoe and watering truck. Roping in several young and strong student workers wouldn’t be a bad idea, either.

Step Three: Find a semi-shady location. An area in the Pinetum where several dead trees were recently removed is ideal.

Step Four: Use the backhoe to dig a hole and then carry the new tree from the nursery to the Pinetum.

Step Five: Have the horticulturists guide the tree into the hole, with the students standing by to debate if the trunk is positioned straight and the root flare level with the ground.

Step Six: Remove burlap from the root ball and loosen the soil around the edges.

Step Seven: Direct the students to fill soil in around the tree.

Students Michael DeWolf (left) and Noah Jacobson-Carroll help plant a young larch tree in the Pinetum.

Students Michael DeWolf (left) and Noah Jacobson-Carroll help plant a young larch tree in the Pinetum.

Step Eight: Water well.

Step Nine: Add mulch around the tree to keep the roots moist and discourage weeds.

Step Ten: Repeat as often as desired.
~~ Martha Van Artsdalen, plant curator

800 pounds and counting!

Alison Love, Jahzara Heredia and Aubrey DeLone (left to right) show off Haverfarm produce.

Alison Love, Jahzara Heredia and Aubrey DeLone (left to right) show off Haverfarm produce.

Summer officially arrives next Monday, but student gardeners have been harvesting wheelbarrows full of vegetables for weeks at the Haverfarm. Well into its third growing season, this outdoor classroom is part of Haverford’s Environmental Studies Program. It consists of seven plots, a small orchard and a nearly-completed greenhouse and classroom space.

Spring rains followed by sunny June days have meant a bountiful harvest of garlic, kale, five varieties of lettuce and baby greens, followed by herbs, mint, spinach and rhubarb. Produce is sold every Friday at a farm stand on campus, with a portion donated to the Ardmore Food Pantry. This season Haverfarm also serves 20 CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) members who receive a box of vegetables each week in exchange for working in the garden or financial support. A sample box this spring included broccoli, two heads of lettuce, a half-pound of arugula, one head of spring garlic and bunches of radishes and mint.

Harvest totals reached 800 pounds as of early June, reports Aubrey DeLone, Haverford’s first farm fellow. Aubrey oversees the student workers, including this year’s Center for Peace and Global Citizenship intern Alison Love ’18. Next year, Jahzara Heredia ’16 will assume Haverfarm operations.

The Harverfarm produce stand sets up most Fridays from noon to 1 p.m. in Founders Courtyard.

~ Martha Van Artsdalen, plant curator

Haverfarm sign resized

The ‘Fords Return

The Memorial Day holiday on campus featured lots of red balloons and banners. Two weeks after Commencement saw the Class of 2016 step out into the world, Haverfordians of past years arrived for Alumni Weekend. The Arboretum staff posted a display in the Whitehead Campus Center and welcomed early risers for a tree tour Saturday morning.

On the walk, horticulturist Carol Wagner covered everything from landscape history and the college’s 1833 founding, to class tree gifts, the new Peace Garden, and the threat of insects and fungal diseases to our campus trees.

Carol Wagner, right, stops by an American elm near Chase Hall and the Dining Center.

Carol Wagner, right, stops by an American elm near Chase Hall and the Dining Center.

Winning the prize for best representation on the walk—even though they couldn’t boast a class tree–were the Classes of 1961 and 1966. Then the food trucks arrived on Founders Green and it was nearly time for lunch under the tents. It was great to greet friends among the returning ‘Fords, catch up with the many things they’re involved in, and listen to memories of their time on campus.

Rachel Cholst, Class of 2011, catches up with Horticulturist Carol Wagner, left.

Rachel Cholst, Class of 2011, catches up with Horticulturist Carol Wagner, left.

– Martha Van Artsdalen, plant curator

Out go the tulips

Commencement exercises were held on a beautiful sunny Saturday morning, but now Alumni Weekend looms. This week a delivery truck pulled up to the greenhouse and unloaded racks and racks of annual plants: blue salvia, red salvia, yummy yellow and orange lantana, dragon wing begonias, multi-colored coleus and sweet potato vines.

Flats of annuals fill the greenhouse.

Flats of annuals fill the greenhouse.

Rain and cool temperatures meant a chilly spring for Haverford. But now, in anticipation of warmer weather, the Arboretum crew is going full steam ahead. In the next few days, annual plants will replace the spent spring-blooming bulbs. Look for bright blooms to fill containers and planting beds around campus. Summer must be just around the corner.

Summer student worker Noah Jacobson-Carroll '18 plants dragon wing begonias around a banana tree in one of the Coop patio containers.

Summer student worker Noah Jacobson-Carroll ’18 plants dragon wing begonias around a banana tree in one of the Coop patio containers.

– Martha Van Artsdalen, plant curator

Commencement’s coming!

Dave Tierney mows Commencement Green.

Dave Tierney mows Commencement Green.

The rain has (almost) gone away, the campus is looking very beautiful and green, and college staff are busy setting up for Commencement 2016 this Saturday, May 14. While cool temperatures have kept blooms on tulips at the Lancaster Avenue entrance, recent rainy days have made mowing the Commencement area in front of Roberts Hall a challenge.

Carol Wagner tackles weeds.

Carol Wagner tackles weeds.               

Last minute work includes mulching tree rings, planting containers with flowers, and, unfortunately removing a dead and hazardous English oak tree by Lloyd Hall.

A crane and crew remove the dead English oak by Lloyd Hall.

A crane and crew remove the dead English oak by Lloyd.

Everyone has fingers crossed that the sun will shine Saturday morning as we wish the Class of 2016 a fabulous future ahead.
Martha Van Artsdalen, plant curator