Annual Lectures

Past Speakers

October 30, 2018: Matthew Foti

Matthew Foti, President of Matthew R. Foti Landscape Design & Construction, Inc., explored the relationship of trees and people around the world as well as the historic significance of some of our very own native trees. As the featured arborist for WGBH’s This Old House from 1988 to 2015, Matt provided tree care advice to millions of viewers.

The program was co-sponsored by the Newton Conservators and Green Newton.

November 20, 2017: Michael Wojtech

Michael Wojtech, author of “Bark: A Field Guide to Trees of the Northeast,” spoke about why he became interested in bark, why there are so many different kinds of bark, and the function of characteristics like lenticels and peeling bark. He explained the system he developed for classifying bark in order to identify trees when other features – leaves, twigs, and buds – are difficult to see in a tall tree, or absent in winter. Attendees then split up into groups to try to match photos of the bark of ten species of young trees, with photos of the bark of the mature species.

The program was co-sponsored by the Newton Conservators and Green Newton.

November 21, 2016: Prof. Joe Elkinton

Elkinton_winter moth_web
Joe Elkinton, professor of entomology in the Department of Environmental Conservation at theUniversity of Massachusetts Amherst, spoke about the origins of gypsy moths and winter moths, how they affect the natural environment, how they are monitored, and when possible, controlled.

We are grateful to Professor Elkinton for allowing us to record his lecture, and to Ted Kuklinski of the Newton Conservators for recording and editing the video:
Gypsy and Winter Moth Outbreaks in New England Part 1 – Introduction / Gypsy Moth
Gypsy and Winter Moth Outbreaks in New England Part 2 – Winter Moth
Gypsy and Winter Moth Outbreaks in New England Part 3 – Moth Questions

November 2015: Dr. Bruce Fraedrich

FraedrichDr. Bruce Fraedrich, VP & Director of Research at Bartlett Tree Tree Research Laboratories, gave a behind the scenes discussion of the design, planting and maintenance of the memorial trees at the 9/11 Memorial in New York City.

Landscape architect Peter Walker’s design for the greenscape of the Memorial specified 412 identical swamp white oaks, a species selected for its tolerance of urban conditions, as well as its attractiveness and disease- and pest-resistance. Bartlett Tree Experts was selected to raise and install the trees and provide followup care. Bartlett grew the trees, and spares, in New Jersey for five years in specially-designed containers to enable installation with intact root systems to minimize transplant stress. The plaza was designed with supported pavement to prevent root compaction, and underground drip irrigation, root aeration and monitoring systems. Followup care has included diagnosing and dealing with the unexpected effect of airborne fountain water on nearby trees.

The program was co-sponsored by the Newton Tree Conservancy and Green Newton.

January 2014: Dr. Pamela Templer

wx01_30_Prog_Tree_Conservancy_Global_WarmingDr. Pamela Templer discussed her regional and local study of the health of our trees, and her unique observations drawn from years of studying the effects of greenhouse geo-climate change in both urban and forest settings, and the effects of climate change on local tree health and drinking water quality. Dr. Templer is Associate Professor of Biology at Boston University, and recipient of a five-year NSF Career Grant to study the effects of climate change in winter and the growing season on forest ecosystems and forest nutrient retention.

The program was cosponsored by the Newton Tree Conservancy, Green Decade/Newton and the Newton Conservators.

December 2012: Marc Fournier

MarcFournierDuring the past two decades, there has been growing pressure on schools, businesses, and other organizations to pay more attention to the environmental and resource consequences of the diverse range of operations they manage.

Marc Fournier, Interim Director of Operations and Sustainability at Lasell, explored the real life opportunities and pitfalls of designing and implementing sustainable operations in today’s college & university campuses.  Topics included urban forest management, reuse & recycling, toxics reduction, lean/green operations, the triple bottom line (profit, people and the planet), green fleets, energy efficiency, water conservation, and climate change strategies, and the actual successes and failures faced by today’s sustainability managers.

June 2011: Ned Friedman, Director, Arnold Arboretum

UnknownProfessor Ned Friedman spoke on Darwin and the origin of flowering plants.  As he noted on the Arnold Arboretum’s website: “Charles Darwin spent a lifetime studying the big questions of evolutionary biology, and he was baffled by the origin of flowering plants.   Recent advances in the fossil record offer clues to understanding what these plants looked like, where they lived, and how they reproduced.  We will explore what Darwin termed “the abominable mystery.”

Ned Friedman is Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and Director of the Arnold Arboretum, at Harvard University. The program was co-sponsored by the Newton Tree Conservancy and Newton Conservators.

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