Tuesday, December 14, 2010


A snow storm sets up an opportunity to visit the Arboretum. There are lots of tracks when you get there. If you are lucky none of them will be human. Call ahead to (518) 439-6472 and John and Kate Abbuhl will make you welcome. I was dropping off the Pine Hollow Arboretum 2011 Calendar and brought my camera.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


An example of the unique landscape at Pine Hollow Arboretum occurs late in the year when the view is filled with orange, rust and different brown colored trees as well as the different evergreens and yellow, brown and red deciduous hardwoods. One of the "rust" colors comes from the dozen or so Bald Cypress trees found in the Arboretum. The Bald Cypress or Swamp Cypress is a native American tree found in much of the southeastern United States from Maryland to Texas, especially inland up the Mississippi River to southern Indiana. It is common in the Everglades and is the official state tree of Louisiana. It is deciduous in the north and evergreen in the south. It has alternate, awl-shaped leaves, globose cones and sometimes aerial root knees.

The knees or upbent roots project from the root system upward above water level to facilitate gas exchange.Large trees reach 100-150 ft. tall with over 36 ft. trunk diameter. The Methuselah Cypress found in Big Tree Park in Longwood, Florida is 118 ft. tall and 3,500 years-old.

John Abbuhl points out they are a tree that will grow in standing water but they do not have to and will grow equally well in moist soil. John has found Bald Cypress can grow in the north provided the individual tree has the "right genetics". He doesn't think they have great variation in genetic make-up, as for example an apple tree has,but he has observed vast difference in growth pattern from individual tree to tree here in the Arborteum. He reported that there has been a 90% survival rate of Bald Cypress he has planted here. There is one area, however where it is different and 90% have not survived. He has observed it is where reed canary grass predominates. Bald Cypress are called "bald" because of their deciduous character. It is a member of the redwood family of trees. The true cypress belong to a separate family of trees. Like another decidous conifer found at Pine Hollow, the Metasequoia or "dawn redwood", the Bald Cypress dates from very ancient times. During the Jurasic Age it was a widely distributed tree. Two relatives of the Bald Cypress, the Weeping Bald Cypress and the Fastigate Bald Cypress are also present at Pine Hollow Arbouretum. The wood of the Bald Cypress was used by Seminoles for building their houses, canoes and for special ceremonial objects. The Choctaw Indians used the bark for string and rope. Making the wood useful is the fact it is extremely rot and termite resistant. In its native habitate it has been much used for roof shingles and traditionaly has a special use for greenhouse racks and benches. There is a current environmental concern over the use of cypress mulch as opposed to using cedar mulch. Damage to the ecosystem is being caused by the ravaging of cypress swamps in the south for mulch production. Cedar mulch seems more renewable and a more green choice

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Friday, October 29, 2010

Keep Visiting!

Pine Hollow is looking particularly beautiful these days - we are having a lovely fall this year. As we make the transition from fall in to winter we hope folks from Bethlehem and the greater Capital Region community continue to come on by to observe and enjoy the daily changes. PHA weekend Open Houses have concluded for this calendar year but anyone wishing to visit during the week or on weekends should contact the Arboretum by phone or email to arrange a time and date.

Visitor From Cornell

A few weeks ago, Nina Bassuk stopped by to visit with PHA Founder Dr. John Abbuhl. Dr. Bassuk is a Professor of Urban Horticulture in the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York and Director of the Urban Horticulture Institute there. Dr. Bassuk is a world-renowned figure, and has led ground-breaking research in many areas of interest to the greater Pine Hollow Arboretum community. During a several hour tour Dr. Bassuk remarked that some trees at the Arboretum she had only read about or seen in pictures! She also indicated that she wished Slingerlands were closer to Cornell because she would use the arboretum as a lab for students. We hope to develop a closer relationship with Cornell, along with other schools in upstate NY whose students might be interested in our unique forest resource. Many thanks to PHA Board Member Chuck Smith for setting up this visit.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


On October 12th Board Member and Bethlehem School District Science Education Coordinator Mike Klugman hosted a gathering of BCHS middle and high school teachers at the arboretum. About 20 "GREEN TEAM" people were in attendance. As a result of the visit Mike and Pine Hollow have received numerous emails from teachers, and others, suggesting ways the Arboretum and its facilities might be used to engage and educate students at all grade levels. While the Life Sciences might be the most obvious area to design and deliver curriculum material there are obvious connections to art, language and even various forms of media studies. Pine Hollow would also like to develop an easy to use curriculum that can be used by a lay person to lead a tour of the arboretum with children. Mike has already brought a few students to do geomapping at the arboretum and plans on expanding efforts in this area. We encourage any interested educators in the area, at any level of study, to take advantage of our unique forest resource. Please phone or email us! Phone:518-439-6472 and E-mail: pinehollowarb@aol.com

Friday, August 27, 2010

WALT FRANKLIN at Pine Hollow Arboretum

WALT FRANKLIN at Pine Hollow Arboretum
Saturday September 25, 2010 at 7:00 pm
Pine Hollow Headquarters Building
16 Maple Avenue Slingerlands NY

At 7 pm Pine Hollow Arboretum
Presents Author Walt Franklin
Reading and Book Signing
for his new outdoor/nature book
Sand & Sage The Trails Beyond
at the Arboretum Headquarters Building

Walt Franklin is a writer, educator, and naturalist since his days of boyhood in the Hudson Valley. An active member of the Genesee Watershed Association in Pennsylvania and of Trout Unlimited in New York. Franklin has also traveled widely throughout Europe and the American West. His many published books include River’s Edge(2008) and A Rivertop Journal (2005). His poetry has been published in a number of books and many magazines including Rootdrinker. He is an appreciator of Bozenkill poet W.W. Christman, whose work he cites as an important influence on his life.

At 4:30 pm Arboretum founder and planter John Abbuhl will lead a Tour of the Arboretum. Please arrive at the 16 Maple Ave. Building by 4:15 as Tour must start on time in order to have enough daylight to be completed.
Preregistration for the tour is not necessary
but is appreciated. Call (518) 439-6472 to sign-up.

For Information on the Reading or Tour phone (518) 439-6472


Left to Right: Howard Kogan, Ron Pavoldi, Alan Casline, Virginia Acquario,
John Abbuhl, Marion Menna, Rachael Ikins, Mimi Moriarity, Mike Burke,
Jim Williams and Dennis Sullivan

On Friday August 13, 2010 poets once again gathered at Pine Hollow Arboretum for what is quickly becoming a signature event for local poets of the Towns of Bethlehem and New Scotland. A number of poets from farther afield, including Rachael Ikins who has moved to near Syracuse, New York in the past year came to join in the celebration of Pine Hollow Arboretum's work. Member poets Alan Casline, John Abbuhl, Marion Menna, Mike Burke and first time poetry reader Virginia Acquario, welcomed their friends and colleagues for an evening of verse, old lines, omnifarious mutter and twisted syntax ( and that's just my own first poem). Other well appreciated poets who performed were Mimi Moriarity, Jim Williams, Obeeduid, Dennis Sullivan, Rachael Ikins, Ron Pavoldi and Howard Kogan. Unable to attend in person but present in her poetry read by her friends Mimi Moriarity and Marion Menna of Delmar Writers Group was Sharon Stenson. A nice audience of friends and poetry fans helped to make it a great evening. As one poet told me afterwards a beautiful setting and a good listening audience.
Jim Williams added to the second round robin session by bringing out his five wooded guitar and playing two original acoustic songs.

"Some of these trees used to be tiny," John Abbuhl tells Howard Kogan
Howard Kogan warms up poetic voice before the reading

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Sunday July 18, 2010 brought together a grand gathering of Visual Art, Artists, Friends and Supporters to the Pine Hollow Arboretum. The Plein Air events put artists on our grounds and the results were amazing. Virginia Acquario coordinated the event and the warm day brought out a nice crowd of people to see the results. More than one artist admitted to a late deadline and in a few cases artist's brought still wet paint to hang on our walls. Forty-one different pieces by nineteen artists displayed work in a great variety of mediums. Music was provided by Mike Harrison and refreshments by Pine Hollow Arboretum Board and Members. The grounds were open for people to walk our trails and see where all the inspiration came from. Sixty-three votes were cast and the People have spoken! First Place went to an acrylic painting Maple St. Entrance by Joan Baim. Second Place ended in a three way tie between Robert E. Link, Virginia Acquario and Peg Vetro. Link was honored for his watercolor Pine Hollow Mallards; Acquario for an acrylic and watercolor ponder and Vetro for her pastel Front Pond at Pine Hollow.
Joan Baim People's Choice

The difficulty in selecting is illustrated by the fact that seventeen artists received votes. Other participating artists included: Marion Menna, Dee Foley, Ellen Prakken, Judy Scanlon, Kevin Kuhne, Linda Nimmer, Laura Strong, M.J. Adelman, Jacqueline Smith, Juliet Lafaro, Obeeduid and Callie Winkeller.
Thanks to our sponsors for helping to make this Exhibit possible. They are: Bethlehem Garden Club; Thomas Bailey; Rootdrinker Institute; Arlene's Art Supply; Price Chopper; Delmar Sign Shop and Ship, Copy & More (Rich Schaefer)
Mike Harrison
Happy Day at the Art Show
Playing in the Band
Pondering your vote at 16 Maple Street

one choice/one vote

Thursday, July 15, 2010


The unveiling of Pine Hollow Arborteum inspired art work will take place at the headquarters building on Sunday July 18, 2010 from 2 pm to 5 pm. Area artists have been at the Arboretum this summer with brush, pen, camera, laptop and who knows what developing yet to be seen masterpieces. The Artwork will be hung on display. Members, public, everyone is invited to stop by. Music to be provided by Jim Harrison, light refreshments by the Pine Hollow Board with a Teen and Children's Art Exhibit set up for your viewing pleasure. Best in Show and Second and Third Place winners will be determined by a People's Choice ballot. One vote per person but large families are encouraged.

This year's Plein Air event has been successful even though there had been rain on scheduled days. Artists enjoyed the open grounds on other days and the opportunity to walk among the beautiful plantings can be inspiring in itself. Pine Hollow Arboretum will be open during the art show and according to our regular weekend hours as well.

Friday, May 21, 2010


The Pine Hollow Arboretum is hosting Plein Air (Open Air) events on June 5 and June 12 and it hopes that these cultural events will enable local artists to experience the beauty and light that the Arboretum has to offer. After the artists have worked on site and framed their work a People's Choice Award Reception will be held on Sunday, July 18, 2010 between the hours of 2 PM amd 5 PM. Music and light refreshments will be provided to complete the occasion. Call to register as an artist at 518-439-6472 or 518-439-7132 to participate in June or join us on July 18th for the reception.

Free admission for the July reception.
$5 entry for artists to participate in the June dates and exhibit.

Virginia Acquario aka Vicki

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

FLOWER POWER photos by John Abbuhl

I am trying to learn the slide show feature for this blog. Click on the address below and then click on slide show. Does this work?
--- Alan Casline


Friday, April 9, 2010


Guess what happens when the temperature is 80 degrees????
The magnolias start to bloom, fast and all at once!!!!
Come this weekend to see the blooms. they are spectacular!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring at the Arboretum

The snow is almost gone and spring is HERE!!!!
We have some coming events to tell you about:
TOUR OF MAGNOLIAS: with John Abbuhl
Sat. April 24th at 2PM and Sun. April 25th at 1PM members free, nonmembers $10
reservations needed, numbers limited
Sat. May 22nd at 1 PM and Sun May 23rd at 1 PM members free, nonmembers $10
reservations needed, numbers limited
Sat. June 5th and Sat. June 12th between 10 AM and 4 PM
registration by artisits $5, call before June 1st
People's choice Awards Reception. Sun July 18th 4-6Pm free to public
Sat. July 17th at 1 PM, members free, nonmembers $10
reservations needed, numbers limited
For info or reservations call Arboretum at 439-6472

Friday, February 19, 2010


The cold wind may blow but there is still lots of work going on at Pine Hollow Arboretum.
Breaking it down, here are three areas where John Abbul and other Arboretum workers tackle some of the necessary winter tasks. On a seasonal basis, just as nature has cycles and changes, so does the work effort needed to keep the Arboretum
healthy and growing.

First off, John and Steve Truss have been busy with landscape logging. John told me they had just taken down nine trees. Eight ash and one hybrid chestnut. Some trees need to be cut to facilitate the growth of existing plantings. After they fall each tree is cut into small log lengths which are then neatly stacked off the trail. The Pine Hollow philosophy is to leave tree debris to decay in its natural environment. The hybrid chestnut was one of a number in a grove. It did not have the growth characterists of the others and John said thus it was "removed from the gene pool."

Second, John Abbuhl and Audrey Hawkins have been at work on an important labeling project. For six years (2004-2009) plantings had not been labeled. Of the three thousand recorded plantings in Pine Hollow Arboretum approximately 80% have labels. These plantings would be included in the unlabeled 20 %. After their efforts now all the plantings for the six years were entered into the permanent records. These records include the location. From this data it will be possible to place labels on trees. John says "This will be ten times more difficult than you believe." But what a wonderful learning opportunity! This Spring and Summer the labeling project will be advanced by finding the match between planting and planting record and attaching a label to the plant itself.

A third area of winter work is determining the spring order of new specimens. Our world class collection is a mix of the common and the unusual. John Abbuhl said the 2010 order will follow
his traditional method. John said he looks for and will try any new species that can survive in our climate. As the current collection indicates, any fir, spruce, pine, birch or decidious tree that would have a chance of surviving and is not currently growing here will likely be purchased. John will try again with species that have failed in the past and sometimes a past failure will be reversed by changes in the growth variables (such as where on the property it is planted) and/or the genetic characteristics of the specimen itself. According to John three-quarters of Zone 6 rated planting can and have survived here. In dollar terms, Pine Hollow Arboretum is spending more than $2,000 on new plantings this year.

old playhouse