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Conservation Project: Collecting Crataegus bicknellii Seed



Published September 18, 2023

Crataegus bicknellii Update, September 2023 

Interns Daun Lee '24, Avery Maltz AC '25, Landscape Curator John Berryhill and Director Tim Johnson took a day trip to Nantucket to conduct field work in search of seed of Crataegus bicknellii, an extremely rare Hawthorne that only exists as a cluster of less than 100 trees on the island. This work is part of a new conservation project with the MA State Botanist. Roughly 200 seeds were collected and brought back to Smith in hopes of creating a conservation collection here at the botanic garden, bolstering the population on the island, and conducting research to better understand this understudied species. 
As part of the seed gathering mission, the team also gathered soil samples to inform what the plants would need to thrive in our gardens. Our team was also able to create an extremely accurate map digital of each tree to share with our collaborators and capture the starting point of what we hope will be a bright future for this imperiled tree.