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What Is a Tree? Live Podcast with In Defense of Plants

Schedule and location


Thursday, July 11, 2019, 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Arbor Room, Thornhill Education Center

Fees and Registration

$16.00 member
$20.00 nonmember
(Fees include admission to the Arboretum)
BY PHONE: 630-719-2468 ( Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.)

Course description

We see trees every day - but what are trees, really? Experts from The Morton Arboretum and Matt Candeias, host of the In Defense of Plants Podcast, will take you on an exploration of what it means to be a tree.  This radio show style discussion will touch on why we have forests, why trees are under threat, what The Morton Arboretum is doing to ensure we have more trees in the future. Answer the questions about trees you never knew you had, and get inspired about what all of us can do to help trees.

Course number



Matt Candeias, host, In Defense of Plants Podcast

Host: Matt Candeias, host of the In Defense of Plants Podcast, Matt was raised in the forests of northeastern North America and is obsessed with botany. He earned a master’s degree in community ecology from SUNY Buffalo State and is currently working on a PhD in community ecology with the University of Illinois. When he is not reading, writing, or talking about plants, he is usually hiking and photographing them or trying to grow them in and around his home.



Matt Lobdell is the Curator of Living Collections at The Morton Arboretum, where he has worked since 2014.  He holds a B.A. in Anthropology from Kenyon College, a M.S. in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Delaware, and is a member of Magnolia Society International's Board of Directors. Matt specializes in the selection and evaluation of plant species for cultivation across the grounds of the Arboretum. He is working on building the Arboretum’s Nationally Accredited Collections in Acer (maples), Magnolia, Malus (crabapples), Quercus (oaks), Tilia (lindens), and Ulmus (elms) through collection and other related activities. He is also interested in utilizing the Arboretum’s collections as a “living gene bank”, cultivating endangered or rare species through ex-situ conservation. For this purpose, he has completed projects targeting both Magnolia fraseri var. pyramidata (pyramid magnolia) and Quercus oglethorpensis (Oglethorpe oak).
Murphy Westwood is the Director of the Global Tree Conservation Program at The Morton Arboretum. The mission of the program is to save trees from extinction through global collaborations. Murphy works closely with colleagues from botanical gardens, universities, and other sectors in strategic locations like China, Europe, and Mexico, as well as throughout the United States, to develop conservation projects targeting key threatened tree species, especially oaks (genus Quercus). She also creates tools, guidelines, publications and other resources to build capacity and catalyze action for tree conservation. Additionally, Murphy is a Global Tree Conservation Officer for Botanic Gardens Conservation International and works to build support for the Global Trees Campaign, the only global conservation program dedicated to saving all of the world's threatened tree species. Murphy also manages ArbNet, the interactive, global community of arboreta and tree-focused professionals. She facilitates the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and develops resources and content for the ArbNet website. She holds a BS in Environmental Policy and Behavior from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, an MS in Advanced Methods in Taxonomy and Biodiversity from Imperial College London, and a PhD in Plant Developmental Biology, from the University of Cambridge. 



Course details

Notes: Held entirely indoors. This program will be recorded and distributed as an In Defense of Plants Podcast. Limit 170.

Arboretum class weather, cancellation and refund policies

What Is a Tree? Live Podcast with In Defense of Plants