Internship Program at Morris Arboretum
The Plant Propagation Internship covers the whole range of traditional plant propagation skills and production schemes. The intern receives hands-on training in field nursery management, management of the Arboretum's state-of-the art greenhouses, and maintenance of the Victorian Fernery. Emphasis is placed on the refinement of skills and developing the protocols for the propagation of a wide range of plants, with a concentration on woody plants.
2018-19 The Martha J. Wallace Endowed Plant Propagation Intern
Duties and Responsibilities
- Data collection and record keeping for ongoing propagation projects
- Organization of the gift plant booth at the annual Plant Sale
- Management of the field nursery, pest and disease monitoring
- Scheduling the weekend and holiday watering
- Participate in the Horticulture Department's project days once a month
- Complete an independent study project under the direction of your supervisor
- Work at two weekend Arboretum events - Fall Festival and Plant Sale
- Enroll in and complete two academic courses at Penn: LARP755 (Fall) and LARP756 (Spring)
- Participate in intern sessions as scheduled (typically weekly outside of academic year)
- Learn to follow proper safety practices
- Perform additional duties as requested
- A strong academic background in horticulture, especially woody landscape plants, with course work in physiology, botany, and propagation
- Be able and willing to communicate with Arboretum visitors
- Be able and willing to work independently and as part of a team
- Be able and willing to work in all weather conditions
- Be able and willing to lift at least 25lbs
A typical day begins with checking environmental data reports on the computer, watering in the glasshouses and outdoor areas, and preparing for the volunteers. The propagation and management calendars are consulted for scheduled activities. As the calendar progresses, these can range from covering outside hoop houses with plastic for the winter, grafting witchhazels, planting in the nursery, taking holly cuttings, weeding pots, researching protocol for the seed propagation of newly wild-collected seed, or releasing beneficial insects as part of the IPM program.
Past Project Topics
- Propagation of Native Woody Wetland Plants for Proposed Morris Arboretum Wetland Site
- Propagation of Abies holophylla by Stem Cuttings
- Hardy and Tropical Ferns at the Morris Arboretum - Creating Working, Photo, and Archival Inventories
Click here to read the 2011-2012 Propagation Intern Report.
Click here to read the 2010-2011 Propagation Intern Report.