Anthony Aiello

Anthony Aiello is Associate Director of Collections at Longwood Gardens, where he participates in tree conservation, plant exploration and evaluation, and collections development.  Previously he served for over 20 years as the Director of Horticulture and Curator at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania, where he managed their historic gardens and living collections. These positions have allowed him to travel throughout the U.S., Europe, China, and Japan to find novel plants suitable for growing in the Delaware Valley.  He has a B.S. from Cornell University and M.S. from Purdue University and for many years chaired the North America-China Plant Exploration Consortium (NACPEC) and participated in the APGA’s taxonomy and plant collections committees. 

Anthony’s interests include temperate trees and shrubs, in particular oaks, maples, hollies, witchhazels, and flowering cherries, as well as economic botany and the history of horticulture. He has written extensively about his travels, as well as his historic and plant interests.

Anthony Aiello will be presenting Japanese Flowering Cherries in America: A Love Affair of more than 100 Years

Tour of grounds

Andrea Brennan

Dr. Andrea Brennan is the ArbNet Leader at The Morton Arboretum (Lisle, IL) where she manages, grows, and promotes ArbNet, and leads strategic planning, programming, and arboretum support. Andrea has Bachelor’s (Purdue University) and Master’s (Longwood Graduate Program/ University of Delaware) degrees in Public Horticulture, and a PhD in Forest Biology (Purdue University). Throughout her career, Andrea has worked in four public gardens and arboreta of varying types and sizes. Through these roles, she has rich experience in key aspects of arboretum management, including establishing a new arboretum, collections curation, research and conservation, education and engagement, and increasing tree equity and access.

Andrea Brennan will be presenting  Collaboration and Community Through ArbNet

Tour of grounds

Ethan Dropkin

Inspired by a childhood in the wilds of the southern Hudson Valley and Catskills of New York State, Ethan Dropkin is a life-long naturalist, creating his first native garden at age 12. Now with a Master’s in Landscape Architecture and a Master’s of Professional Studies in Horticulture from Cornell University, he has turned that lifelong love into a career of design and horticulture at firms like MVVA and currently LWLA. With projects in over 10 states and 2 countries, Ethan is always looking for the next challenge and the next new plant to fold into successful, sustainable, native-based design.

Ethan Dropkin will be presenting Garden Voices: Native Woody Plants to Know.

Tour of grounds

Mike Karkowski

Mike has been working in horticulture for over 25 years, and has managed all aspects of horticulture and grounds at Tyler Arboretum for over 19 years.  He manages a team of 7, and serves as primary consultant to other departments on all horticulture related projects at Tyler Arboretum.

Mike Karkowski will be presenting as part of Garden Voices – Managing the Ash Crisis at Tyler Arboretum.

Tour of grounds

Bryce Lane

 Bryce Lane is a semi-retired faculty member of the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University. An award-winning teacher, he taught many undergraduate classes, served as Undergraduate program coordinator and taught over 25K students. He currently teaches at NC State and the JC Raulston Arboretum, and can be found giving talks at conferences and symposia. Bryce has worked closely with NC Extension & with the North Carolina Nursery & Landscape industry. He produced & hosted a three-time Emmy winning, UNC TV public television show called In the Garden With Bryce Lane.

Bryce Lane will be presenting Promoting Soil Health: A Prescription for Woody Plant Success.

Tour of grounds

Rebecca McMackin

Rebecca McMackin is an ecologically obsessed horticulturist and garden designer. She is currently the Arboretum Curator for Woodlawn Cemetery, after completing the Loeb Fellowship at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. Prior to this, she spent a decade as Director of Horticulture of Brooklyn Bridge Park, where she managed 85 acres of diverse parkland organically. Their research into cultivating urban biodiversity and ethical management strategies has influenced thousands of people and entire urban parks systems to adopt similar approaches.

Rebecca writes, lectures, and teaches on ecological landscape management and pollination ecology, as well as designs the rare public garden. She has been published by and featured in the New York Times, the Landscape Institute, on NPR and PBS, and somehow just gave a TED talk. She holds MScs from Columbia University and University of Victoria in landscape design and biology.

Rebecca McMackin will be presenting as part of Ecological Arboriculture.

Tour of grounds

Christopher Roddick

Christopher Roddick began his career many years ago at the Scott Arboretum, where he almost overcame his fear of heights as the campus arborist. After spending the next 30 years as the Head Arborist and Foreman of Grounds at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, he moved to southern New England to start Sweet Birch Land & Tree, an arboricultural consultancy and practice. By looking at trees as tree-based ecosystems, Chris follows a holistic approach to caring for trees and land called Conservation Arboriculture. This method uses a modern understanding of tree, soil biology, and ecology as a base for maintenance and cultivation decisions. He consults on veteran tree care, species selection, habit formation, and conducts specialized pruning. Chris also teaches, lectures, and gives staff training on conservation tree care and pruning.

Chris is an ISA Certified Arborist and a NOFA AOLCP. He is the author of the Tree Care Primer, a guide to care for young, mature, and veteran trees. When he’s not working, he is often on an expedition, traveling to the Neo-Tropical forests where he helps conduct canopy research as a climber and really bad camp cook.

Christopher Roddick will be presenting as part of Ecological Arboriculture.

Tour of grounds

Mark Weathington

Mark Weathington is the Director of the JC Raulston Arboretum at North Carolina State University where he is passionate in his work to connect plants to people. Mark travels extensively searching for plants to diversify the American landscape. His explorations have taken him to China, Taiwan, Japan, Ecuador, Europe, Mexico, New Zealand, and throughout the US. Mark writes for Fine Gardening, Horticulture, and other national magazines and is the author of Gardening in the South, The Complete Homeowner’s Guide.

Mark Weathington will be presenting on Re-thinking the Invasive Conundrum.

Tour of grounds
Blooming flower

Join Us for this Year's Conference!

Here's what you need to know about the event: