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Lean on Me: Recommendations for Heritage Tree Support at the Morris Arboretum

The history of the Morris Arboretum can be told through its eldest trees. Every scar and abnormality present on these immense specimens inspire awe, enrich visitor experience, and provide a glimpse into the past of the gardens. They also act as living representatives of a fundamental truth: our natural world, when tended to with care, can persist through even the most brutal and unpredictable of circumstances. Longevity does have its limits, however, and the past decade has brought the Morris Arboretum to face this tragic fact. Irreparable damage to two of the Arboretum’s most treasured accessions –Fagus engleriana and Quercus x benderii – has served as a reminder that even trees that have stood for centuries are not invincible. In response to these recent losses, the upkeep and protection of heritage trees has risen to paramount importance for the Morris Arboretum.