Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site (Olmsted NHS) learned this past summer that recent efforts to propagate a clone of our historic Olmsted Elm (removed in 2011) had failed. Olmsted NHS, with guidance from the National Park Service's Olmsted Center for Landscape Preservation, had been collaborating for several years with the Arnold Arboretum to propagate cuttings derived from the original tree. The hope was that one would remain healthy, have the desired shape, and reach the appropriate size to be transplanted as a replacement elm on our South Lawn landscape. It was understood from the outset that the odds of success for this process were, at best, "50-50," and probably less. The process began when the Olmsted Elm showed signs of Dutch Elm Disease and general decline over a decade ago.
This effort has now shifted to identifying a suitable specimen of a disease-resistant cultivar (a cultivated American elm variety) from among several nurseries that specialize in American elms. The key considerations in selecting a specimen for replanting here at Fairsted include demonstrated disease-resistance of the cultivar, excellent root system, and appearance. The goal is to replicate as close as possible the Olmsted Elm's tall trunk and classic vase-shape branching.
Over the winter, Olmsted NHS staff will be working out a timetable for replanting an elm, possibly as soon as 2013. Of critical importance is whether they can locate a suitable specimen with the desirable shape and size in time for replanting in the upcoming spring or fall.
Please check back periodically for updates on our elm replacement project.
Starting November 9th, Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site will be open for guided tours on Friday and Saturday. Ranger-led tours begin at 11:00 am, 12:00pm, 1:00 pm, 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm. These tours are free and open to the public.
Stearns' 2011 Freeman Tilden Award honors Good Neighbors, Collaboration, and Innovation
We are pleased to announce that Education Specialist Liza Stearns has received the prestigious 2011 National Freeman Tilden Award for outstanding contributions by an NPS employee to educating the public. Read more(pdf link) about the award and the Good Neighbors education program, which NPS Director John Jarvis called "a great example of place-based learning opportunities available in national parks." Watch a documentary video that follows third grade students as they participate in the Good Neighbors program.
Good Neighbors Earns the Award of Excellence from the Boston Society of Landscape Architects
On Thursday, April 28, 2011, staff from Brookline's Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site and partners were recognized by the Boston Society of Landscape Architects (BSLA) for their innovative new Education program, Good Neighbors: Landscape Design and Community Building. One of 23 winning projects selected through juried review, Good Neighbors received the prestigious Award of Excellence reserved for a single entry representing an outstanding contribution to the profession of landscape architecture.
Frederick Law Olmsted National Historic Site has been buzzing with an array of activities related to the major preservation construction project at the park, as well as the usual operations of the site.
Check back for upcoming features on the site's official reopening, upcoming programs for the public, as well as ongoing effort to grow a replacement for the Olmsted Elm.
Did You Know?
Frank Lloyd Wright Jr., who followed his father into the field of architecture, apprenticed at the Olmsted firm and specialized in horticulture and botany.