The University Record, January 8, 2001

Arboretum reveals nature’s splendor

School of Natural Resources and Environment graduate student instructor Ephraim Zimmerman (left) and undergraduate student Kristi Stewart examine cones and needles of the pitch pine (Pinus rigida) on a field trip to the Nichols Arboretum. At the Arboretum, which is a ‘field lab’ for the ‘Woody Plants’ course (NRE 337/437 and BIOL 355), students learn to identify 15–20 plants, mostly native to southeastern Michigan. The Arboretum contains plants from all over the world, giving students the opportunity to learn about species not native to Michigan. The pitch pine, for example, is found primarily in the southeastern United States.

The ‘Woody Plants’ course emphasizes learning about plants in their native ecosystems and takes a holistic approach to dendrology (study of trees) by also studying glacial land forms and the soil in which the plants grow.

The course’s other labs take students to Mud Lake Bog (near Brighton), Saginaw Forest (Ann Arbor) and Haven Hill Recreation Area (Highland). Photo by Bill Wood, U-M Photo Services

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