UC Davis Arboretum 

Volunteer Newsletter

  October 2011

In This Issue
Volunteer Team Spotlight
Volunteer News Briefs
Volunteer Opportunities

Arboretum Links

Arboretum Website 

Events Calendar 

Email Us! 


          Find us on Facebook   View our videos on YouTube   View our photos on flickr 


75th heritage seal


Off to a Great Start  

Fall Season's a Beauty! 


Can we ask for more? This autumn, volunteer efforts have been graced with lovely skies and cooler temperatures. [Insert "knock on wood" here.] Admittedly, our September Plant Faire was a bit warm, and a few overly breezy mornings induced us to locate jackets and hats, but the only substantial rain occurred on a Monday when no outdoor volunteers or guest visits were scheduled. All-in-all, that's pretty close to Camelot conditions, considering the season.


I hope you have enjoyed your recent endeavors at the Arboretum.  Through the efforts of our volunteers, we've been able to offer our lovely Arboretum to a whole new crop of students and faculty, informative tours and exciting programming to the local public, as well as inspirational and sustainable landscape ideas to our plant sale customers and garden visitors. You've probably noticed that the Arboretum is making lots of pollinators and other wildlife happy as well. Thank you, volunteers, for all you've done! 


Margaret Kralovec

Community Outreach Manager

Volunteer Team Spotlight 



nursery records
Volunteers Jennifer Robinson and Christina Craig-Veit collaborate on recording nursery plant data.
Nursery Records Staff Leader Francesca Claverie works closely with her new Nursery Records team on the database as well as at plant sales.
plant labels
The data work of Nursery Records makes it possible to create useful plant labels for customers and staff.


Behind-the-scenes recordkeeping helps plant sales run smoothly 


Under the leadership of Nursery Assistant Francesca Claverie, Volunteers Christina Craig-Veit, Kristi Davis, and Jennifer Robinson constitute the Nursery Records Team, responsible for maintaining nursery plant inventories, entering propagation results, and updating the plant database and label information. Volunteer Roberta Burke provided essential help to the effort leading up to the formation of this new team.


The UC Davis Arboretum uses a computer database (BG-Base) to keep track of data on all its plant collections. The Nursery Records Team specializes in recording data just on the Arboretum's nursery plant collections. Using data sheets generated by the Nursery Propagation Teams, the Nursery Records Team enters data into BG-Base every Wednesday morning in the Arboretum library. Plant data includes an accession number, which identifies the genetic source of the plant specimen. Plants that are propagated at the Arboretum are also assigned a specific propagation number (P#) so that the nursery can track propagation methods and success rates.


Remember those white plant labels in every plant sold at the Teaching Nursery? Those labels display more than the plant name, price, and a barcode! On the front of the label, the plant's accession number appears underneath its botanical name. On the back of the label, an assigned propagation number, if any, will follow "P#." While these tracking numbers are used internally by Arboretum staff to ensure correct labeling and monitoring of plants, they can also help plant buyers locate plants with the same (or different) genetic origins or from the same (or different) propagation batches! This information (and more!) would not be available without the careful work of the Nursery Records Team. 


Volunteer News Briefs

Did You Know? 

Sales Floor Volunteer Flora Tanji helps a customer locate plants from an extensive inventory list.
 Photo courtesy of ZoArt Images, zoartphoto.com
High Strung
The group High Strung added to the joyful atmosphere at the Plant Faire. 
Photo courtesy of ZoArt Images, zoartphoto.com
Volunteer Nancy Foster's favorite plant, Cotinus coggygria was captured in charming blackboard art by Nursery Manager Lisa Fowler
Photo courtesy of ZoArt Images, zoartphoto.com

Fall Plants Sales Surpass Records  

The Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum's bountiful fall plant sales offered a record number of customers a choice of more than 17,000 different plants representing more than 500 plant varieties! Appreciative customers, many lured by enticing coverage in October's Sunset Magazine as well as features in local and regional media, filled the Teaching Nursery at both public sale events. Our second sale, an experiment in holding a plant sale on a Sunday for the first time ever, drew in the most customers of any second fall plant sale we've put on! In addition, the Teaching Nursery squeezed in a fall Tour & Shop event, hosting two regional gardening groups and two high school horticulture classes for a private sale. Volunteers working at plant sale events included more than the Arboretum's regular volunteers. Friends Board members, Cal-Aggie Student Alumni, UC Davis Rotoract members, Alpha Phi Omega students, ROTC cadets, and many others pitched in to make these sales extra special for the Arboretum's 75th Anniversary. In the year leading up to the 2011 fall sales season, efforts by curatorial, plant records, nursery, and propagation volunteers prepared the plants and inventory records that made this such an unforgettable fall plant sales season. Super job, everyone!


View a 2011 Fall Plant Sale mini-slideshow by clicking here.


Let It "Bee" Known: Volunteer Favorite Plants a Hit!

The Sacramento Bee has begun a new Home & Garden weekly series of plant articles entitled

"Community Favorites," based on the Arboretum's 75 Plants for 75 Years program, designed to commemorate the Arboretum's 75th Anniversary. Debbie Arrington, a garden writer for The Sacramento Bee, was so enchanted by our 75 favorite plants selected by Arboretum volunteers, staff, and supporters that she is featuring each of them in this series of articles.  Check out the Home & Garden section of The Sacramento Bee each Saturday to read about these favorite plants, including quotes from many of our Arboretum volunteers! 


Keep these emergency phone numbers with you at UC Davis!  Emergencies strike at unexpected moments.  If you spot an emergency while on volunteer duty, please report it immediately to your staff leader.  So that you are prepared to respond to any emergency that might arise while you are on campus, we recommend you add these emergency phone numbers to your cell phone or to your wallet.


Emergencies on Campus

          From campus phone     9-1-1

          From cell phones           530-752-1230 (Police)

                                                530-752-1234 (Fire)


Non-Life Threatening Medical Incident on Campus

          Occupational Health    530-757-3200

          Sutter Davis Hospital     530-756-6440 (after hrs)


Speaking of emergencies, check out October's UC Safety Spotlight to learn tips for keeping you and your possessions safe while you are on campus!                         

Volunteer Opportunities


bug hotel
Photo: Sunset Magazine
central park
Image: centralparkgardens.org
winter veggies
Don't forget to plant winter veggies!
Photo: Mondavi Center UC Davis



Calling all bug hoteliers! Do you use or make "bug hotels" for your garden? These important and attractive homes for insects during the cold months are becoming more and more important as ground-residing insects, including native bees, are blocked out by mulch, asphalt, and other unwelcoming surfaces. The Arboretum is hosting a public tour, "Planting and Caring for Pollinators and Other Beneficial Insects" on Saturday, December 3, from 2-3:30. We would love to display examples of bug hotel designs or to add a workshop component to this tour to teach people about bug habitats for their yards. For more information on bug hotels, check out this San Francisco Chronicle article: Bug hotels offer wintering spot for garden helpers The article is three pages long and very informative! Go to the bottom of each page, past the ads, to turn to the next page. Contact Margaret Kralovec if you are interested in helping with the tour December 3 public tour.


Two free events that might interest you:


5th Annual Central Park Gardens Open House and Plant Sale

Central Park, Davis

Saturday, October 29, 9 am - 1 pm

Fall is a great time for planting, and the plant sale of fall vegetables, flowers, herbs, bulbs, and natives will raise much needed funds to benefit garden maintenance. Other event highlights include Master Gardener information booths with eco-friendly and water-saving gardening advice, information about least toxic pest control from the City of Davis, nutrition facts and recipe ideas from the UC Davis Student Nutrition Association, and a fun seed-planting activity for kids.


Mondavi Brunch and Browse

Mondavi Center Lobby and Gift Shop

Saturday, October 29, 10-12 

Take advantage of the only time all year you can make purchases at the lovely Mondavi Center Gift Shop without attending a performance!  In addition to browsing their lovely gift items and holiday decorations, you can enjoy nutbreads and sweetrolls, coffee and juice!  All proceeds benefit the Mondavi Center's Arts Education Program.