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Video: Arbor Day tribute to Nina Bassuk

Nina Bassuk, founder of Cornell University’s Urban Horticulture Institute, was awarded the 2015 Frederick Law Olmsted Award from the Arbor Day Foundation.  (See April 6 post.) Bassuk is a professor in the Horticulture Section of Cornell’s School of Integrative Plant Science (SIPS).

While Nina couldn’t be there in person to accept the award, the Foundation did profile her in this video:

Soil comes to new conservatory

Wednesday, workers began filling the Palm House section of the newly constructed Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory on Tower Road with 180 yards of soil. The growing medium is a mix of coconut coir, biochar and Turface (a clay-based soil conditioner). It is designed to resist compaction over the long term, says Andy Leed, greenhouse manager for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station.

Workers blow growinig medium into the new Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory.

Workers blow growing medium into the new Liberty Hyde Bailey Conservatory.

 

Andy Leed, greenhouse manager for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, inspects the growing medium.

Andy Leed, greenhouse manager for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, inspects the growing medium.

 

Celebrate soils at Mann Library

Celebrating soils at Mann Library

Celebrating The Year of Soils
Wednesday, April 29, 2015 at 9:00am to 4:00pm
Mann Library Lobby

Join Cornell and the School of Integrative Plant Sciences in celebrating The Year of Soils. The Soil and Crop Sciences Section has organized giveaways, snacks, amazing soil facts and demonstrations featuring Cornell researchers and graduate students.

Gummy worm snacks while they last.

Gummy worm snacks while they last.

Bailey Hortorium Herbarium stems from Cornell’s roots

The world’s largest seed, called a “double coconut,” from the fruit of a palm called a Coca de Mer from the Seychelles.

The world’s largest seed, called a “double coconut,” from the fruit of a palm called a Coca de Mer from the Seychelles.

Cornell Chronicle [2015-04-27]:

The fourth floor of Mann Library on campus houses the Liberty Hyde Bailey Hortorium Herbarium, a collection of more than a million dried and preserved plant specimens.

The roots of this botanical library of pressed leaves, branches, flowers and seeds go back to Cornell’s beginnings. In 1869, Andrew Dickson White purchased a collection called the Wiegand Herbarium for $1,000 from Horace Mann Jr., the son of an educator who helped develop the nation’s public school system and an acquaintance of naturalist Henry David Thoreau. Then, in 1935 Cornell plant biologist Liberty Hyde Bailey donated his private 150,000-specimen herbarium to Cornell.

The two herbaria were combined in 1977 under the umbrella of the Hortorium, a Cornell department in the Plant Biology Section.

Bailey coined the word hortorium to mean “a collection of things from the garden,” said Peter Fraissenet, assistant curator of the herbarium, one of the largest university-affiliated collections of preserved plant materials in North America.

Read the whole article.

Pi Alpha Xi spring garden trip

group shot

24 graduate students, undergrads, faculty, staff and family members visited The Niagara Parks School of Horticulture, Niagara Falls, Ontario, and Highland Park in Rochester, N.Y., during a field trip Sunday sponsored by Pi Alpha Xi, the horticulture honor society.

“The early spring flowers and the butterflies in the Butterfly Conservatory were lovely,” says Ed Cobb, research support specialist in the Plant Biology Section. “But the real highlight was seeing the magnificent mature trees.”

View more images on the Pi Alpha Xi Facebook page.

Another big stink coming with titan arum bloom

Paul Cooper, head greenhouse grower for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, poses with 11 young titan arum plants, all offspring of the university’s world famous ‘Wee Stinky’ plant’s first bloom in 2012 (the first of two).

Paul Cooper, head greenhouse grower for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station, poses with 11 young titan arum plants, all offspring of the university’s world famous ‘Wee Stinky’ plant’s first bloom in 2012 (the first of two).

[Cornell Chronicle 2015-04-23 via CALS Notes]

Researchers working with Cornell’s collection of rare titan arum plants are hoping three blooms will point them toward answers.

For those who may have missed it, one of Cornell’s titan arums – a tropical plant native only to Sumatra and famed for its giant corpse-scented flower – famously bloomed for the first time in the spring 2012. The event drew international media attention and thousands of visitors to the Kenneth Post Laboratory Greenhouses.

It also offered researchers throughout the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences a rare chance to study the complex biology of this unique reproductive spectacle. The massive bloom stayed open for days, lines of visitors snaked along hallways and sidewalks, and nascent insights into the subtle biochemistry of the bloom were born.

Read the whole article.

Hortus Forum honors Eames-Sheavly

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Hortus Forum, Cornell’s undergraduate horticulture club, revived a dormant tradition Friday: They planted and dedicated a tree to Marcia Eames-Sheavly, the club’s faculty adviser, in recognition of her service. The weeping cherry is located just northwest of Minns Garden.

“We give many thanks to our amazing adviser, Marcia Eames-Sheavly, to whom this lovely weeping cherry is dedicated! Marcia is a champion for her students, and never fails to see the beauty in those around her. Thank you for everything, Marcia, and we hope you enjoy seeing these blossoms from your new office!”

Walter De Jong on The Daily Show

If you fell asleep, Walter De Jong, potato breeder in the Plant Breeding and Genetics Section, appeared on The Daily Show last night in an investigative segment The Return of a Simplot Conspiracy.

“Walter does a great job explaining the science, even with potatoes being thrown at him, says Horticulture Section associate chair Steve Reiners.

‘Urban Eden’ students put a price tag on trees for Arbor Day

Nina Bassuk and Urban Eden students tag a Littleleaf Linden in front of Warren Hall.

Nina Bassuk and Urban Eden students tag a Littleleaf Linden in front of Warren Hall.

What’s a tree worth?

Students in Creating the Urban Eden: Woody Plant Selection, Design, and Landscape Establishment (HORT/LA 4910/4920) are helping to make people more aware of why trees are worth hugging by hanging bright green “price tags” on trunks around the Ag Quad.

The students entered data about the trees, such as species, diameter and location, into i-Tree — a state-of-the-art, peer-reviewed software suite from the USDA Forest Service. The application then calculates monetary benefits from reduced stormwater runoff, improved air quality,  carbon dioxide sequestration and energy savings to nearby buildings by blocking wind in winter and providing shade in summer.

“It’s really quite eye-opening for people who think that trees are just nice to look at and don’t have any other value,” said Nina Bassuk, professor in the Horticulture Section of the School of Integrative Plant Science, who leads the class alongside Peter Trowbridge, professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture.

There are also benefits that are not easily quantified, such as wildlife habitats and emotional responses, added Bassuk, who is also director of the Urban Horticulture Institute.

More Urban Eden tree-taggers:

Urban Eden students tagging trees on Ag Quad.

 

Urban Eden students tagging trees on Ag Quad.

Urban Eden students tagging trees on Ag Quad.

Urban Eden students tagging trees on Ag Quad.

Video: 150 Years of Plant Science at Cornell

In 1931, Barbara McClintock  published the first genetic map for maize. In 1983, she was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine -- the first woman to win that prize unshared -- for her work with transposable elements in corn.

In 1983, Barbara McClintock won Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine — the first woman to win that prize unshared — for her work with transposable elements in corn.

Just in time for Charter Day festivities …

150 Years of Plant Science at Cornell

Through vintage images, explore the history of plant science at Cornell — the students, the faculty, the Nobel laureates and other leaders and more.

Special thanks to Ed Cobb, Plant Biology Section, School of Integrative Plant Science, for collecting and compiling images and supplying historical information.

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