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JC Raulston Arboretum Symposium

Southall Garden "Surround Yourself with Shady Characters"

September 26-28, 2008 (Friday-Sunday)

Throughout the seasons, woodlands are remarkable places. Whether ablaze in autumn color, stark and ghostlike in winter, fragile with spring buds, or lush and inviting in summer, trees bring undeniable beauty. Without trees, human habitation would be impossible. They are tied inextricably to our landscape by reducing erosion and retaining soil moisture. They are a renewable resource. They provide the canopy and shade beneath which woodland plants flourish. Trees help us conjure up memories of the woodland of our childhood hikes.

From the founding of the JC Raulston Arboretum as the NCSU Arboretum in 1976, lectures by renowned speakers have been a major part of the Arboretum's focus. And symposia, sponsored from time to time, have been an additional opportunity for in depth study. "Surround Yourself with Shady Characters" takes us back to the basics of the Arboretum's mission with a significant focus on woodlands and trees and the great habitat diversity they provide us. In this two-day symposium, prominent speakers from the United States, Canada, and England will enlighten us with lectures on woodland flora, conifers and broad-leaf evergreens, new tree introductions, plant hunting for new species, and on-going research to provide new and improved selections of well-known trees. An historical account of America's ancient forests from the Ice Age until European discovery of North America will also be presented.

This is a rare opportunity to further the Arboretum's mission and our own personal relationship to trees and woodlands – perhaps the ultimate of secret gardens.


Thomas Bonnicksen, Ph.D. – Professor Emeritus, Department of Forest Science, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas
"Adapting to Climate Change: Using the Past to Guide the Future"

William Cullina – Curator, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, Boothbay, Maine
"Woodland Wonders"

Dave Demers – Horticulturist and Plant Explorer, Vancouver, British Columbia
"Verdant Hills and Thunder Dragon – Exploring the Eastern Himalayas"

John Grimshaw, D.Phil. – Garden Manager, Colesbourne Gardens, Sycamore Cottage, Colesbourne, England
"New Trees – Recent Introductions to Cultivation"

Sean B. Hogan – Co-owner, Cistus Nursery, Suavie Island, Oregon
"Broadleaved Evergreens for Temperate Climates"

Richard T. Olsen, Ph.D. – Research Geneticist, The United States National Arboretum, Washington, D. C.
"Planting the 21st Century Urban Forest"

Larry Stanley – President, Stanley and Sons Nursery, Boring, Oregon
"The Miniature World of Conifers"

For additional speaker details, please visit the symposium's "Speakers" Web page.

Open House

Tony Avent is helping us kick off the symposium on Friday with an open house at Juniper Level Botanic Gardens and Plant Delights Nursery. Stroll through the gardens and take some time to shop the nursery. Juniper Level Botanic Gardens is a six-acre display garden with over 17,000 taxa in its collections and Plant Delights Nursery grows unusual and hard-to-find garden perennials. Enjoy a light breakfast in the morning.


We've scheduled two exciting tours for those attending the symposium. Mark Weathington will lead a limited number of symposium guests on an Arboretum tour highlighting some of his favorite and the Arboretum's favorite trees. Then, on Sunday morning, we'll visit Keith Arboretum in Chapel Hill. Charlie Keith, M.D., the arboretum's cofounder, will lead guests on a private tour of the 22-acre collection. Approximately 5,000 different taxa comprise his collection of trees and shrubs from around the world. The arboretum, founded in the early 1980s, along with his surrounding property, has been conserved for future generations to enjoy. Each tour is limited to 30 people and transportation is provided to Keith Arboretum from the JCRA.


There are many activities during the symposium. Please review the schedule for the timing of all the events.

Registration Form

Registration is now open. Please use the registration form available in the downloadable brochure (PDF) or call (919) 513-7005 to register.


The Ramada on Blue Ridge Road has rooms available. The Ramada is the closest hotel to the Arboretum and the University Club. Please call (919) 832-4100 to make your reservation.

Full – A limited number of rooms have been reserved for the symposium at the Holiday Inn – Brownstone Hotel in Raleigh, North Carolina, for $79.00 (single and double rates). For more information, please read our symposium accommodations Web page.

Cost: $175.00 for members, $215.00 for nonmembers ($40.00 membership is included). The tree tour with Mark Weathington is $15.00 and the tour of Keith Arboretum is $35.00.
Registration: Please call (919) 513-7005 or use the downloadable registration form to register. The JC Raulston Arboretum cannot offer online registration for any event. Symposium registration is limited to 150 people and the tours are open to 30 people each. Registration must be received by September 23, 2008 (Tuesday).
Cancellation: Symposium cancellations can be made through August 29, 2008 (Friday). No refunds will be made after August 29, 2008.
Locations: Juniper Level Botanic Gardens (Friday), NC State University Club (Friday), the JC Raulston Arboretum (Saturday), and Keith Arboretum (Sunday).
Attire: Casual. Friday evening is more formal than Saturday and includes a sit-down dinner, but formal dress is not required.
Directions: The JC Raulston Arboretum is located at 4415 Beryl Road, NC State University Club is located at 4200 Hillsborough Street, and Juniper Level Botanic Gardens is located at 9241 Sauls Road, all in Raleigh and the Keith Arboretum is located 2131 Marions Ford Road in Chapel Hill. An interactive Google map has been created with all symposium locations preloaded on the map. Detailed directions to the JC Raulston Arboretum are provided on the Arboretum's Web site. Transportation is provided to Keith Arboretum.
Parking: Free parking is available at each of the sites.
Questions: For information, please call Chris Glenn at (919) 513-7005.

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