Monday, June 20, 2011


Walking down the Enterance Trail into Pine Hollow Arboretum the shapes of green pines and fir trees open up like gateways to the rich vistas and arranged plantings. As you learn more about the trees on display, the interesting sights take on a more informed aspect. An example are the two matched fir trees growing closely together where the downslope flattens out at the end of the hill Enterance Trail. They are the Grand Fir (Abies grandis) to the left and growing within the Grand Fir's spreading branches, a different fir trunk, the Noble Fir (Abies procera). Arboretum founder and planter John Abbuhl allows that the two trees could of been placed with more distance between them but as they stand they illustrate the famous Aesop fable "The Tortoise and the Hare". Both Firs were planted at the same time. The largest of all firs, the Grand Fir can grow 300 ft. tall. It is a very quick grower and at the Arboretum it dwarfs its fir partner. The Grand Fir is not long lived according to John, with a life span of about 250 years. Next to it, the Noble Fir grows second largest of any fir and lives to a thousand years. The Noble Fir will be standing tall and growing for many hundred years while the Grand Fir next to it will be fallen, decayed and returned to the earth.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


The Golden Chain Tree (Laburnum X Watereri) at Pine Hollow

One of my favorite trees at the Pine Hollow Arboretum is the Golden Chain tree. The reason I love this tree is because when it is in bloom, its blossoms are long clusters of bright yellow flowers that cascade downwards like Chinese lanterns bursting with light. They are magnificent to see and fragrant as well. There are four of them at the arboretum and they can be found in the area near the waterfall.

The Golden Chain tree originated in Europe. The Latin name is Laburnum x Watereri ‘Vossii’. It is an ornamental tree and a member of the pea family. This tree enjoys almost any soil type as long as it is well drained and in full sun or partial shade. At its maturity it will stand 15 - 20 feet in height and produce flower clusters 8 inches long which makes it particularly well suited for bordering garden paths and walkways. It is a favorite flowering tree of English country gardens. While there are a couple different varieties, the ones at the arboretum bloom in the spring. The foliage is trifoliate, somewhat like a clover, and light green in color and can be susceptible to “sunburn” during hot summer days. It has been reported that this tree is sensitive to fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides. Ironically, they themselves are highly toxic to people or pets if the foliage is ingested in a sizeable quantities. The seeds germinate easily and it can also be propagated by layering or grafting. The Golden Chain tree attracts butterflies and hummingbirds and is deer resistant.

--- Sue Abbuhl

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


The following article written by Pine Hollow Arboretum board member Sheri Sanduski appeared in the May 19th JEWISH WORLD NEWSPAPER. Photographs illustrating the article taken May 28, 2011 by Alan Casline.

It's Eco-Season 2011: grow. breath. learn. discover--Pine Hollow Arboretum
Summer is on our doorstep. You want to discover someplace new. Someplace close to home. A beautiful, safe, exhilarating outdoor adventure to bring your family to explore, or to take in some quiet solace for yourself after a busy day. Discover the possibilities at the Pine Hollow Arboretum, an emerging non profit organization situated in the heart of Slingerlands, New York on a 25-acre tranquil preserve, just a few miles from Albany. The Arboretum is home to a thriving ecosystem of over 3,000 trees from all over the world. The land has been planted over the last forty years by retired Pediatrician Dr. John Abbuhl. As a forever to be undisturbed, living outdoor treasure, the Arboretum features twelve ponds, sweeping groves and meandering traills all waiting for visitors to explore.

Trees planted at the Arboretum, when they succeed, have shown a natural adaption to our region. Trees are an essentialpart of healthy habitats around the world and contribute directly to biodiversity. Tree conservation benefits everyone. people of all ages can appreciate a natural environment like Pine Hollow Arboretum. Fortunately for people from our region, it is literally right in our own backyard. For visitors outside our region, it is a destination worth the trip.

Each season brings its own beauty to the Arboretum. Whether exploring the trails, taking in the blossoms, or simply relaxing with an exquisite view, a new discovery awaits you with each visit. One walking tour provides just a glimpse of all that the horticultural collection has to offer, to learn, explore and energize. Experience the Arboretum and become a member.

The Arboretum is open on weekends from 10:00 am to 4:00 PM from April though October. Tours at other times can be arranged by calling ahead. Grounds are generally open to the public from dawn to dusk each day. Please call ahead if you are interested in visiting the Arboretum on your own. The Entrance Trail slopes downhill from a spot right behind the Visitor Center Building located at 16 Maple Avenue in Slingerlands, New York. Arboretum members, students, and accompanied children are free; there is a $3.00 donation for all others. Please call Kay Abbuhl at (518) 439-6472 to arrange a visit or a tour.

Pine Hollow Arboretum will awaken your senses. Come for a day, connect for a lifetime to enjoy the peace, tranquility and especially, the trees.

-------- Sheri Sanduski