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Plant Focus

A guest post by Matt Candeias, host of the In Defense of Plants podcast and blog

Bayard Cutting Arboretum

Bayard Cutting Arboretum is a 691-acre arboretum in Great River, New York, USA. It is located along the Connetquot River on the south shore of Long Island. Our mission is to "provide an oasis of beauty and quiet for the pleasure, rest, and refreshment of those who delight in outdoor beauty; and to bring a greater appreciation and understanding of the value and importance of informal planting." Keeping to that mission, the Arboretum boasts a unique collection of conifers—many being the largest in our region—a holly collection recognized by the Holly Association of America, vast natural areas that preserve the local ecology of Long Island, numerous specialty collections of woody shrubs, and an oak collection with great historic and horticultural importance.

Bayard Cutting Arboretum
The main house at Bayard Cutting Arboretum, framed by a Quercus velutina in the foreground © Bayard Cutting Arboretum

Oak Park, our ten-acre oak collection, was designed utilizing plans conceived by the noted landscape architecture firm of Fredrick Law Olmstead in 1887. Some of the original black oaks still stand in this area. We wish to preserve the historic integrity of this collection by making the necessary horticultural adaptations. The collection contains 30 species of oak and just over 200 specimens. While Quercus coccinea and Q. velutina are the most prevalent, making up half the collection, new species and cultivars are continually being introduced. In addition to the species native in this area, we are trying some from further afield and of uncertain hardiness here, such as Q. chrysolepis and Q. virginiana. We have also been growing oaks from southern provenances that will withstand climate change stress. The natural areas of the arboretum possess many of the native oaks of the northeastern United States.

Oak Park © Bayard Cutting Arboretum

The IOS has greatly influenced the direction of our oak collection.  We utilize relevant articles in International Oaks, the IOS Journal, to educate our interns, and with the assistance of Steve Roesch we have received acorns from various IOS members. We recently submitted our list of oak species to Cultivated Oaks of the World, the IOS project that pools data of oaks in collections worldwide.

The Arboretum in winter © Bayard Cutting Arboretum

We hope to become an active part of the Society going into the future and invite everyone to visit!

Arboretum Staff
Kevin Wiecks (center, bottom row), Landscape Curator, and arboretum staff

For more information, visit our website: www.bayardcuttingarboretum.com