Monthly Archives


Five years ago today…

On December 1, 2011 we awoke to massive destruction from the worst windstorm in recent history to strike the San Gabriel Valley.  We lost 235 trees and more than 700 required corrective pruning.  The Arboretum was closed from December 1 through Christmas day.  This three-week period saw intense cleanup involving as many as 16 public and private entities working in consort to clear the massive quantities of debris.  We opened on the 26th in a very limited way, allowing visitors onto only major roads; many areas were caution-taped off because they were not safe.  Cleanup continued well into 2012.  A positive result of the windstorm was a phenomenally successful exhibit, “Forces of Nature”, that paid homage to the trees lost in the windstorm.

James Henrich, the Arboretum’s Curator of Living Collections, reflected on the remarkable resiliency the plant kingdom demonstrates on a daily basis.  And finally, he said, “revel in the beauty of the Arboretum’s landscape today.”


Ongoing preservation of the Queen Anne Cottage

A recent comprehensive assessment of the Queen Anne Cottage was completed by Peyton Hall and his team at Historic Resources Group in Pasadena. Formally known as a Historic Structure Report, the assessment followed national preservation guidelines to provide the Arboretum with a planning tool to guide preservation management and ongoing care.  Click to read the report.

Mystery Lit presented a Sherlockian mash-up at the Santa Anita Depot

Audiences enjoyed a fiendishly clever mix of three stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle at the Santa Anita Depot November 5 & 6, 3-5pm presented by the immersive theatre trailblazers Unbound Productions, the creative minds behind Wicked Lit and History Lit. Read all about the play in BroadwayWorld.

Digital Nature: a weekend of techno-botanical art!

A weekend crowd of more than 1,300 gathered on Friday and Saturday in the garden to enjoy splendid installations of video and digital art by a group of acclaimed contemporary artists.  Have a look at highlights in the photos by Ritual Photowork.

Digital Nature, our art show, is in the news!

“The Los Angeles County Arboretum and Botanic Garden in Arcadia will become a cutting-edge art gallery when it presents Digital Nature” Friday and Saturday evening, writes Michelle Mills in a detailed article for the Southern California News Group. Exhibit curator Shirley Alexandra Watts explained, “I’ve always been interested in the intersection between technology and the natural world, like we come here to look at nature and yet we don’t let go of our cellphones. I thought what would be really fun would be to use video art in the garden.” Read more.


Why care about California’s urban forests? Because…

“It’s become more and more clear that life without trees is a lower quality of life,” tree guru Matt Ritter said in a talk to Arboretum members on Saturday. The professor of biology at Cal State San Luis Obispo explained trees buffer us from climate change, promote wildlife, create safer cities and promote happiness. Details.

Greenhouse gases could extend California’s drought for centuries

Clues from prehistoric droughts and arid periods in California show that today’s increasing greenhouse gas levels could lock the state into drought for centuries, according to a study led by UCLA professor Glen MacDonald.

The Queen Anne Cottage: Planning its Future

A recent comprehensive assessment of the landmark Cottage was completed by Peyton Hall and his team at Historic Resources Group in Pasadena. Formally known as a Historic Structure Report, the assessment followed national preservation guidelines and developed a plan to care for the Cottage. We thank the Dextra Baldwin McGonagle Foundation for its generous support of this study. Dextra Baldwin McGonagle (1901-1967) was the daughter of Anita M. Baldwin and the granddaughter of Elias Jackson “Lucky” Baldwin. Click here to download the report.


Nearly 2,000 new books added to our Library

The Arboretum Library has been busy in the last year acquiring 1,802 books of which  536 were e-books.  Arboretum members can check the books out and have access to the e-books from any computer, smart phone or tablet.  The books range from scholarly to popular about plants, wild or under cultivation, crafts and stories too.

Drought Irrigation: A how-to guide to watering

The guide outlines proper water techniques based on your irrigation system.  Any homeowner will find it useful to keep landscapes green and growing. The City of Arcadia produced the guide in cooperation with the Arboretum.

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