The JC Raulston Arboretum is a living laboratory in the Horticultural Science Department at NC State University. Students and faculty from all disciplines use the collections for education and research. We have Forestry researchers working with our firs (Abies) breeding heat and root rot resistant Christmas trees, Plant Biology research on dogwoods (Cornus) and other genera, entomologists sampling insects, weed science (looking in vain for weeds I hope!), and of course plenty of horticulture students out for plant ID, propagation, design, and landscape maintenance classes.
This summer, lecturer Lee Ivy is teaching a new course called Hands-On Horticulture where students have the opportunity to gain experience in a variety of areas from hardscape construction and installation to tree pruning. Today we caught the class up in a couple of oak trees at the JCRA getting experience in climbing and tree work. They were looking pretty good by the end of the lab. We’ve been training students to climb trees for decades here at the JCRA, in fact, JCRA director Ted Bilderback taught tree maintenance classes back in the early 80’s.