kids encyclopedia robot

Nichols Arboretum facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Nichols Arboretum
The Nichols Arboretum, with the UM North Campus in the distance.
Established 1907
Location 1610 Washington Heights, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48104
Type Arboretum and Botanical Gardens
Collection size Peony Collection, Heathdale Collection, Centennial Shrub Collection, Dow Prairie
Owner University of Michigan

Nichols Arboretum (123 acres, 49.7 hectares), locally known as the Arb, is an arboretum operated by the University of Michigan. Located on the eastern edge of its Central Campus at 1610 Washington Heights in Ann Arbor, Michigan, the Arboretum is a mosaic of University and City properties operated as one unit. The arboretum is open daily from sunrise to sunset with no charge for admission. The Huron River separates a northern section of the arboretum's floodplain woods; the railroad marks the northern border.

The arboretum was designed in 1906 by O. C. Simonds, and he used the steep glacial topography to include areas both for collections and natural areas. Many of the older plantings date from the 1920s and 1930s. It is particularly known for its Peony Collection, Heathdale Collection (species primarily from Appalachia), the Centennial Shrub Collection and the Dow Prairie. The University of Michigan conducts controlled burns of the prairie each year in an attempt to maintain native species and habitat.

Students flock to the Arb for a variety of outdoor activities beyond assigned studies, such as jogging, picnicking, and sun-bathing. Maps are posted, which include the length and type of trail (gravel, stairs, etc.). The Arb is a common spot for Ann Arbor's students to gather. During winter, students have been known to go sledding in the Arb using cafeteria trays from university dining halls. In recent summers, the Arb has been the site of Shakespeare in the Arb, dramatic performances of Shakespearean plays, including A Midsummer Night's Dream and Love's Labour's Lost; the June 2012 production was The Merry Wives of Windsor.

General collection

The Nichols Arboretum after a fresh snow, in January 2007.
  • Cedars of Lebanon (Cedrus libani) - four specimens, planted 1946, at the extreme edge of their cold hardiness range.
  • Chinese Fringetree (Chionanthus retusus) - believed the oldest specimen of the species in the state.
  • Ginkgo (Ginkgo biloba) - the oldest trees were planted before 1920.
  • Conifers - planted primarily in the 1910s to 1930s. Many species of pine (Pinus), spruce (Picea) and fir (Abies), including ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa), lodgepole pine (Pinus rigida), Engelman spruce (Picea engelmannii), and Nordman fir (Abies nordmannii).
  • Cupressaceae - four genera planted from the 1920s-1950s: junipers (Juniperus), arborvitae (Thuja and Platycladus) and false cypresses (Chamaecyparis).
  • Hackberries (Cannabaceae) - several species of hackberries (Celtis spp.)
  • Hawthorn - numerous hawthorn species, mostly from the 1920s are historically important and will be replaced.
  • Korean Quasibark Tree (Picrasma quassioides) - possibly the only specimens in Michigan, planted 1933.
  • Larches (Larix) - Japanese larches (Larix kaempferi) planted 1938, with a few European larches (Larix decidua) planted 1952.
  • Legume (Fabaceae) - Eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis), American yellowwoods (Cladrastis kentukea), honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos), Kentucky coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioicus), black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia), and Japanese pagoda tree (Sophora japonica).
  • Magnolias & Relatives - Fraser magnolias (Magnolia fraseri), umbrella magnolias (Magnolia tripetala), tuliptrees (Liriodendron tulipifera).
  • Maples, Horse Chestnuts and Buckeyes - planted 1920s and 1930s. Species include Trefoil Maple (Acer cissifolium), Sycamore Maple (Acer pseudoplatanus) and Japanese Maple (Acer palmatum), as well as the genus Aesculus including Horsechestnuts and Buckeyes.
  • Oaks - native oaks including red (Quercus rubra), white (Quercus alba), black (Quercus velutina), bur (Quercus macrocarpa), shingle (Quercus imbricaria), and swamp white (Quercus bicolor), as well as three Asian oaks representing sawtooth oak (Quercus acutissima) and oriental oak (Quercus variabilis).
  • Turkish Hazelnut (Corylus colurna) - is thriving in the Main Valley
  • Ulmaceae - American elms (Ulmus americana), European and Asian elms, Chinese elms (Ulmus parvifolia), and Japanese zelkovas (Zelkova serrata).
  • White Pines (Pinus strobus) - about 150 eastern white pines were planted in 1952 and complement the much older stands throughout the Arb.

Other collections

Natural areas

kids search engine
Nichols Arboretum Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.