DR. GEORGE WARE REMEMBERED
THE MORTON ARBORETUM REMEMBERS DR. GEORGE WARE
Renowned Tree Scientist’s Research Developed Several Disease-Resistant Cultivars
LISLE, IL (July 7, 2010) – The Morton Arboretum honors the memory of Dr. George Ware, dendrologist emeritus, a well-respected authority on trees and a longtime champion of urban tree health and improvement. Ware died on Sunday; he was 86 years old.
In his 40-year involvement with the Arboretum, Ware selected, developed, or bred numerous trees with superior hardiness or other positive attributes, and he oversaw a significant expansion of the Arboretum Elm Collection, which is now largest in the U.S. and has earned national professional recognition. Ware himself earned numerous, prestigious awards.
Dr. Ware “was a phenomenon among those who care for trees and the environment. He has been a trusted source of expert knowledge and inspiration to countless other scientists, arborists, and tree-loving citizens alike who have come to share his dedication to the planting and conservation of trees,” says Dr. Gerard T. Donnelly, President and CEO of The Morton Arboretum.
The tree expert was one of the first to look at plant selection for urban landscapes on a natural ecology basis: for example, to grow trees successfully in alkaline soils in urban areas, one should look in natural areas with alkaline soils to see what kind of plants would thrive in those areas, says Dr. Gary Watson, Arboretum Head of Research.
“He recognized the need for work on soils and root systems. This whole underground focus that he pioneered is still somewhat unique, especially for an arboretum or botanical garden,” Watson says.
The Arboretum has released on the market several important cultivars that Ware’s research developed, including the Accolade® Elm, Triumph™ Elm, and Commendation™ Elm. These disease and pest resistant elms are now planted in countless Chicagoland communities, replacing stately American elms that succumbed to Dutch elm disease. Ware also developed the Exclamation™ London Planetree, Ovation™ London Planetree, Marmo Maple, and State Street® Miyabe Maple.
His accomplishments earned Dr. Ware dozens of awards, including the L.C. Chadwick Award for Arboricultural Research from the International Society of Arboriculture, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Award from the American Horticultural Society, the Award of Merit from the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta (now the American Public Gardens Association), the Special Achievement Award from the National Arbor Day Foundation, the Urban Forestry Medal for Research from American Forests, the Gold Seal Award from the National Council of State Garden Clubs, and the Conservation Leadership Award from Openlands.
Ware held leadership positions in the International Society of Arboriculture and the Illinois Arborist Association, he was an adjunct professor at four colleges and universities, and he served on various environmental boards and commissions. He also authored a great many articles and spoke on topics related to his practical scientific research on trees.
Dr. Ware was instrumental in the development and growth of the Arboretum’s research department, which today features a team of 22 PhD scientists and research associates who work to advance the planting and conservation of trees. Ware made five expeditions to China and three to the former Soviet Union seeking new trees for American cities, collecting seeds and specimens, and establishing collaborative relationships with Chinese botanists and foresters. These efforts resulted in seeds being sent from Asia to North America, substantially enlarging the Arboretum’s world-renowned elm collection.
Born and raised in Oklahoma, the tree scientist received BS and MS degrees from the University of Oklahoma, and a PhD in forest ecology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Dr. Ware joined The Morton Arboretum in 1968 as a dendrologist before becoming Research Director in 1978. He organized the Arboretum’s Urban Vegetation Laboratory in 1986. The Laboratory staff seeks to develop, improve, and manage vegetation for adverse urban situations, giving special attention to soils. He retired in 1995 but continued his work as Research Associate at the Arboretum until last year.
In 2009 the Board of Trustees of The Morton Arboretum passed a Resolution of Commendation for Dr. Ware’s career and influence on the Arboretum as a leading center of tree expertise.
The Morton Arboretum is a world-renowned leader in tree science and education, working to save and plant trees. The 1,700-acre outdoor museum features magnificent collections of 4,117 kinds of trees, shrubs, and other plants from around the world. The Arboretum's beautiful natural landscapes, gardens, research and education programs, and year-round family activities support its mission – the planting and conservation of trees and other plants for a greener, healthier, and more beautiful world. Conveniently located at I-88 and Rte. 53 in Lisle, Illinois, the Arboretum is open 7 days a week, 365 days a year, from 7 a.m. Central Time until sunset. The Children's Garden is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., March through October, and 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., November through February. Visit Press Room at www.mortonarb.org, call to learn more.
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