Divine Diospyros
Diospyros, the genus of the common persimmon, takes its name from the Greek words dios and pyros, meaning "fruit of the gods". The genus of over 700 species of trees has been valued throughout the world for different reasons; horticultural, economic, ecological, and cultural. In 1945 the atomic bomb was dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, destroying an entire city. A sole Japanese persimmon, Diospyros kaki, survived the explosion. Many years later the tree produced fruit and saplings were distributed to gardens throughout the world as a symbol of peace. This speaks to both the amazing horticultural attributes of this genus and to the incredible healing power of plants. The persimmon trees at Bayard Cutting Arboretum did not necessarily come from heaven. They actually came from upstate New York. However, I'm hoping the impact of these trees on the landscape, ecology, and our patrons will be of equal value.
We have recently introduced Diospyros virginiana, the American persimmon and Diospyros kaki, the Japanese persimmon. The American persimmon is extremely important to the ecology of its native plant range, which includes Long Island. The tiny, tubular flowers, which may be hidden by the foliage, are extremely fragrant and attract bees, which assist in pollination. The species is of great value in forest successions and restorations. It is a tough tree that can tolerate drought and flooding. It is often a "pioneer" in ecologically disturbed sites. The Japanese persimmon is equally strong in the landscape and has great ornamental value. This mid-sized tree with a rounded habit exhibits superior fall color and bright orange fruit from fall into winter.
Both species are dioecious, requiring a male and female tree to produce fruit. However, some species have proven to be parthenocarpic, meaning the fruit develops without fertilization. This unique genetic phenomenon allows a single tree of a dioecious species to produce seedless fruit on its own.
The sex of the American persimmon can easily be identified by the numbers of flowers. The male has flowers clustered in groups of two or three and the female has solitary flowers. The American persimmons (2021-0081) are currently in bloom at the arboretum and the Japanese persimmons (2020-0353) are beginning to form fruit.
Please visit our persimmon trees, planted in the cow field next to the chicken run. Take a moment to enjoy the seasonal beauty and the curious science that make these trees so special.

-Kevin Wiecks, Landscape Curator
2021 Internship
In June, we have welcomed six interns for the season! We are always excited to add new, energetic people to the team. This year we have great diversity within the internship program. Each intern has unique backgrounds, hobbies and horticultural interests. Some of our interns are students from SUNY Farmingdale, New York University, and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. A couple of interns are relocating from other states. Two interns even travel from New York City every day. We are also pleased to be welcoming back a second year intern, Julia Rion. It has been a fantastic few weeks and the whole staff is thrilled to have help.
Our internship program is robust with education and hands on experience working with our staff. One intern is solely working on our CSA farm to gain farming skills. The other five interns will be exposed to the grounds. The interns started the first two weeks with proper training and introduction to Bayard Cutting Arboretum's gardens. They learn how to plant, transplant, weed, mulch, operate tools, and work for a state, public agency. After two weeks of training, the interns are placed in a biweekly rotation where they are exposed to different gardens and environments. Interns also have the opportunity to go on biweekly field trips to other gardens throughout Long Island. We encourage each intern to fulfill an individual project that they are passionate about and will benefit the arboretum. Lastly, we have weekly group projects which allows everyone to work together and tackle large tasks.
One of the group tasks was to spend time in the Old Pinetum planting a new mini collection. With Kevin Wiecks' guidance, the interns laid out new garden beds. Camellias and perennials were placed among newly planted crab apples. Everything was planted, mulched, and watered. Starting from scratch was excellent exposure for our interns and we are so pleased with the end results. You can view with area by visiting the crab apples (2021-0136).
The arboretum is full of constant projects and upkeep that could not be done without our interns' help. We have great appreciation for their hard work and cannot wait for the rest of the summer to unfold!

-Joy Arden, GIS Specialist
Staff Photo of the Month
Jessica O'Callahan,

Bright green moss illuminating the woodland garden.
Upcoming Events
Save the Date
for our 8th Annual Cocktail Reception Benefit!

This year’s fundraiser will be a tribute to Executive Director, Nelson Sterner. We will be celebrating his retirement and ten amazing years at Bayard Cutting Arboretum! Held on Saturday, September 25, 2021. Watch for upcoming details in the next month!
We are exciting to introduce our new educational program! Classes are held at the CSA farm throughout the summer for preschool and elementary ages.
Class descriptions:
For more information, please reach Elizabeth Herrick, our Education Coordinator, at 631-960-2755 or eavaldini@gmail.com.
Arboretum Grounds Tours
The best way to see all that BCA has to offer is to take a “Grounds Tour” that is guided by a friendly and knowledgeable docent. We are offering tours every Wednesday and Saturday at 10:30 am. The tours are free, but all donations are very appreciated. We hope to see you and your friends soon!
Upcoming Dates: July 10, Aug 7
Cost per person: $40
For more info and to sign up: website
Summer has burst forth, everything is blooming, and the world is a delicious green that knows no bounds! Our two-hour July and August walks have a new start time: 9:30 AM so we'll finish up before the day gets too hot.

How might you open your senses differently in summer? Temperature, certainly, since it’s likely you’ve got more skin exposed than in the cooler months. How do you move in warmer weather? Can you feel the air around you? What’s in motion these days? We’ll wander and notice all the details.

To register, please go to here. Come prepared to be outdoors and in Nature. We’ll be walking on grass and gravel paths, nice and easy. There are lots of benches for resting, if needed.
Help Support Bayard Cutting Arboretum
Tax deductible donations can also be made by check payable to
Natural Heritage Trust and mailed to
Bayard Cutting Arboretum, PO Box 907, Great River, NY 11739