The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum announced that Morris Arboretum has been awarded a Level IV Accreditation. By achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens, Morris Arboretum is now recognized as an accredited arboretum in The Morton Register of Arboreta.
“This recognition acknowledges the Arboretum’s standing among its peers as one of the leaders in collecting, growing, and teaching people about our trees,” says Anthony S. Aiello, the Morris Arboretum’s director of horticulture and curator. “It is a testament to the work of all of staff in making the Arboretum a place where visitors can enjoy, learn, and study the life of trees and their importance in the world.”
Set on 166 acres at the outer edge of Philadelphia’s Chestnut Hill neighborhood, the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania Founded in 1887 as the private estate of siblings John and Lydia T. Morris. The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania was established in 1932 as a university-administered arboretum and public garden for research, education and horticultural display. It became the official Arboretum of the Commonwealth in 1988.
The Morris Arboretum’s collection of scientifically documented plants began in the late 1800’s. More than 12,000 labeled plants of over 2,500 types from the temperate areas of North America, Asia, Africa and Europe make its living collection. Some of these were collected by John and Lydia Morris, during their travels around the world. Plants collected in China by E.H. Wilson in the later 1800s and early 1900s form the foundation of the historic Asian collection. Significant plant collections include conifers, hollies, magnolia, oaks, maples, roses, flowering cherries and witchhazels.
Today, the Arboretum’s magnificent garden displays showcase the region’s best horticultural practices and plant selections. Arboretum staff lead plant collecting expeditions to Asia, Europe and in the United States, seeking to increase and conserve the diversity of plants available for today’s urban and community landscapes. Arboretum research on Pennsylvania’s plants and plant communities, the Flora of Pennsylvania, is a vital resource for environmental stewardship.
The Morris Arboretum encourages active participation in the garden with its members. More than 500 volunteers support the arboretum. Educational programs, from floral and landscape design to painting in the outdoors, are offered to the general public, while professional arborists can take courses in such specialized techniques as tree cabling and bracing.
The Arboretum remains an important regional open space and a national example of a Victorian eclectic garden. The Arboretum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is accredited by the American Association of Museums.
About the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program
The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum in cooperation with American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. This international initiative offers four levels of accreditation, recognizing arboreta of various degrees of development, capacity and professionalism. Accreditation is based on self-assessment and documentation of an arboretum’s level of achievement of accreditation standards. Standards include planning, governance, labeling of species, staff or volunteer support, public access and programming and tree science, planting and conservation. More information is available at www.arbnet.org.