Fall at the Children’s Arboretum
Two Lectures co-sponsored by the Princeton Public Library
Sunday, October 13, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
William Bryant Logan: “Sprout Lands: Tending the Endless Gift of Trees”
The author discusses his latest book, “Sprout Lands: Tending the Endless Gift of Trees,” a rediscovery of the lost traditions of tree pruning that sustained human life and culture for thousands of years. Logan is a certified arborist and the author of the acclaimed books: “Dirt: The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth,” “Oak: The Frame of Civilization,” and “Air: The Restless Shaper of the World.” He is a faculty member at New York Botanical Garden.
About the book (from Amazon):
Once, farmers knew how to make a living hedge and fed their flocks on tree-branch hay. Rural people knew how to prune hazel to foster abundance: both of edible nuts, and of straight, strong, flexible rods for bridges, walls, and baskets. Townspeople cut their beeches to make charcoal to fuel iron works. Shipwrights shaped oaks to make hulls. No place could prosper without its inhabitants knowing how to cut their trees so they would sprout again.
Pruning the trees didn’t destroy them. Rather, it created the healthiest, most sustainable and most diverse woodlands that we have ever known. In this journey from the English fens to Spain, Japan, and California, William Bryant Logan rediscovers what was once an everyday ecology. He offers us both practical knowledge about how to live with trees to mutual benefit and hope that humans may again learn what the persistence and generosity of trees can teach.
Sunday, October 20, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Neil Pederson: “Accessing the Memories of Trees: Dendrochronology”
Neil Pederson, a forest researcher at Harvard University, will discuss how tree rings have provided centuries worth of precise, annual and seasonal details of climate, ecology, and competition.
Pederson, was one of the dendrochronologists credited with dating the Revolutionary War-era sailing ship found buried at the site of the World Trade Center. The team dated the outermost rings in the youngest of the ship’s timbers to 1773, and the evidence pointed to the ship being built in the mid-1770s, probably in a small shipyard, and probably in the greater Philadelphia region. (From the New Yorker)
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory/Columbia University
Currently, Neil Pederson is a senior ecologist at the Harvard Forest, an ecological research area of 3,000 acres owned and managed by Harvard University and located in Petersham, Massachusetts. The property, in operation since 1907, includes one of North America’s oldest managed forests, educational and research facilities, a museum, and recreation trails.