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The Carletonian

Arb Notes: Roll Call in the changing season 

Klara Kjome Fischer November 17, 2023

Photo caption: Tamaracks, a deciduous species native further north, begin to lose their needles for the season during the October snow. Photo by Klara Kjome Fischer ’26.  The first snow has come...

Arb Notes - Tree climbing in gray foxes

Arb Notes – Tree climbing in gray foxes

Geoffrey Bynum November 10, 2023

Several weeks ago, a gray fox was observed wandering around the Arboretum. Unlike the more familiar red fox, gray foxes are recognized by their beautiful coats, a gradient from a silver-gray on their back...

Arb Notes – Hackberry

Amelia Leonard November 3, 2023

One of the best trees to learn to identify in Northfield might be the hackberry, Celtis occidentalis. It’s a medium-sized deciduous tree with small red-purple berries throughout the winter. Need a snack...



Ella Daniels-Koch October 27, 2023

Lately, friends of mine have been going off gallivanting, then return home with arms full of a giant white orb, lighter than air and larger than life*. This mystery orb is colloquially known as giant puffballs,...

Scurrying Seed Scavengers

Klara Kjome Fischer October 20, 2023

Seed collectors in the Arboretum. Proto credit: Tim Vick What do chickadees, Arb volunteers and meadow jumping mice have in common? Fall is the time to build up a nice cache of seeds!   As...

A potter wasp’s mud pot spotted just the other day on the edge of the lower Arb.

The Banksy of Miniature Pottery

Ella Daniels-Koch, Cole Student Naturalists October 6, 2023

Who is this rogue potter, seemingly throwing clay on a miniature wheel and sticking the finished product on sumac branches? Look no further than the charming potter wasp, or Eumenes fraternus!  Anyone...

A tree in the Arb whose leaves have started changing colors.

The First Flounces of Fall Foliage

Amelia Leonard, Cole Student Naturalist September 29, 2023

A smidge of gold has doused the Northfield foliage a touch earlier than last year, and a touch later than the year before. These shortening days, as well as the cooler temperatures we experienced the first...

Prairie Fire in the Arboretum

Gerrit Hoving, Cole Student Naturalist May 5, 2023

Spring has arrived, and the Arboretum is starting to flower and leaf out. But spring has also brought a couple of non-traditional signs to the Arboretum. Burned patches of ground, plumes of smoke —...

Arb Notes: Woodcock Funk

Kestrel Liu, Contributor April 21, 2023

With a funky tune in the background, a plump, long-beaked brown bird treads daintily, bobbing its body back and forth while keeping its head perfectly stable and keeping up with the beat. You might have...

Arb notes: The spring and squirrels

Arb notes: The spring and squirrels

Amelia Leonard April 20, 2023

With what may be the last of the snow, southern Minnesota has seen a flurry of activity amongst its many feathered and furry creatures. Hibernators have risen from their dens and nests; migrators touch...

Trees in jeopardy

Ella Daniels-Koch April 13, 2023

The city of Northfield recently published a press release confirming that emerald ash borers have started to infest Northfield ash trees (see This is bad news for the campus arboretum,...

Arb Notes: The Heavy Preserver

Jose Ortega April 6, 2023

The Trumpeter Swan (Cygnus buccinator) is the heaviest-flying native bird in North America and has an average wingspan of 185 to 250 centimeters. Due to their size, they require around a 100-yard runway...

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