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Jordan, William R., III (ed.) / Our first 50 years: the University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum 1934-1984

Leopold, Aldo
What is the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, wild life refuge, and forest experiment preserve?,   pp. 2-5

Page 2

An aerial view from the southwest, about 1932. Note the Ne/son barn, center
right, the farm fields and wood/ots and the open wet/and west of Lake Wingra.
The large tree along the drive just be/ow and to the right of the center
of the photograph was later named the Joseph W. Jackson oak in honor of the
man who led the drive for /and acquisition. 
What Is the University of Wisconsin Arboretum, Wild Life Refuge, and Forest
Experiment Preserve? 
An address by A/do Leopo/d at 
the dedication of the 
University of Wisconsin 
June 17, 1934 
 What Is an Arboretum? An 
arboretum is ordinarily a place where the serious-minded citizen can learn,
by looking at them, the difference between a white and a black spruce, or
see in person a Russian olive, a tamarisk, or an Arizona cypress. That is,
it is a collection of trees. 
 Sometimes an arboretum also serves as an outdoor library of 
horticultural varieties, i.e., a place where one can compare all the apples,
all the lilacs, all the roses. 
 Some advanced institutions arrange their tree-collection as natural associations,
rather than as taxonomic groups. They present, for example, a sample of the
Douglas fir forest of the Northwest, showing the hemlocks, larches, and balsams
which grow in association with Douglas fir, and also the ferns, salmonberries,
yews, and shrubs which grow under it, and if possible the mosses and herbs
which grow 
under the shrubs. Such exhibits are called "ecological groupings" and represent
"advanced thought" in arboretum management. 
 The Wisconsin Arboretum. We want to have all these things, but they by no
means represent the main idea which we are trying to express here. It is
something new and different. Perhaps we should not call the place an arboretum
at all. Whether our idea is a worthy one, I will have to leave you to judge.
 Our idea, in a nutshell, is to reconstruct, primarily for the use of 
Two square miles of derelict farmland — the Arboretum land at the time
of acquisition 

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