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Genera and Collection Information
The Pine Hollow Arboretum is located on 25 acres of natural succession eastern white pine forest that grew following the abandonment of the land from farming.  The majority of the white pines are approaching 100 years of age and 100 feet tall.  The soil is poorly drained clay about 90 feet thick and completely free of rock.  Ridges up to 40 feet tall are loamy.   Bottom land tends to be acid and the ridges are alkaline.  Geologically, the property is the bottom of glacial Lake Albany.
In 1966, John W. Abbuhl started to landscape the property around his house, which led to the development of the arboretum.  Twelve ponds have been constructed and over 3,300 specimens planted.  The material was mostly obtained by mail order from both east and west coast nurseries of the United States.  The material rarely exceeded a one-gallon container.  Some material was wild-collected from hiking trips around the country.  The plantings have been organized both by regions of the world and by genera.  There is, for example, an area for Russia and Siberia, a Chinese Strip, an Oriental Glade, a Japanese Hill, and a Western Glade.  Areas representing a specific genus include a Fir Trail, and a Magnolia Field and a Chestnut Grove.  Another grouping is specifically related to the soil requirements such as the All Purpose Swamp where species are planted whose roots can tolerate excessive moisture and poor drainage. European and Southern United States plantings are overlapped.
There are over 180 genera represented in the arboretum.  The most represented genera include magnolia, fir, pine, spruce, rhododendron, and deciduous conifers.  There is a surviving population of native flowering dogwood (
Cornus florida), as well as American elm (Ulmus americana).  The arboretum has a hybrid population of American chestnut provided by the Connecticut Nut Tree Farm, just before they moved to Pennsylvania in the 1970’s.  Seedlings with varying degrees of resistance and form are naturally occurring.  There is also a “native” swamp crab apple that reproduces under swamp conditions.  Please refer to the Complete Collection List for more information.