The Rotunda as seen from the east colonnade

UVA’s Blandy Experimental Farm: Ginkgo Trees and Fall Foliage – Lectures and Tours

Date & Time

November 4, 2019 @ 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.


UVA Blandy Experimental Farms
400 Blandy Farm Lane
Boyce, VA 22620


Spend the morning learning about the history of the University of Virginia’s Blandy Experimental Farm ( Blandy serves as a research field station for the Department of Environmental Sciences and is home to the State Arboretum of Virginia. The Arboretum, also known as the Orland E. White Arboretum, occupies the central 172 acres of Blandy Farm. Started in the 1930s, it contains over 5000 woody trees and shrubs from around the world. It is a reference garden for the Southeast Region of the American Conifer Society ( and includes the American Boxwood Society’s ( Memorial Garden.

We will be led in discussions and tours by UVA Research Professor & Director of Blandy Farm David Carr; Robin Cardillo, Director of the Foundation of the State Arboretum; T’ai Roulston, UVA Research Associate Professor & Curator of Blandy Farms, and Arborist Christine Schmidt. During the morning’s program, we will discuss Blandy’s gardens and focus on the ginkgo tree, a “living fossil” with a fascinating history and great cultural significance. While taking a guided tour of Blandy’s grounds, you will visit the 300-tree ginkgo grove that turns a striking golden yellow in late autumn. This golden canopy is the highlight of the fall for the Arboretum.

If you enjoy being surrounded by beautiful fall foliage and are curious about the history behind a vibrant research community, register for this program at Blandy Experimental Farm.

The event is $25. Space is limited. Registrations required.

Bottles of water will be available. Lunch will be provided.

If interested in arriving the day before this event, see lodging information.

We suggest wearing comfortable walking shoes and sunscreen.


David Carr

Research Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, A&S; Director, Blandy Experimental Farm

Carr is interested in a diversity of topics in population and ecological genetics within the broad context of evolutionary ecology. His research is question-driven and has included both animals and plants. Over the past several years his research has focused on the effects of inbreeding on the interactions between plants and their antagonists (herbivores and pathogens) and their mutualists (pollinators). In addressing these problems, he has conducted experiments in the field as well as the greenhouse, and this approach has relied extensively on the techniques of quantitative genetics. A second focal area of this research has been the ecology and genetics of non-native plant species.

Robin Cardillo

Director, Foundation of the State Arboretum of Virginia

Cardillo is charged with supporting Blandy’s research and educational goals, sustaining the Arboretum’s collections, and enhancing the public’s experience of the grounds and programming. Cardillo has earned years of experience working with non-profit organizations, most recently as Director of Development for Special Love Inc. in Winchester, which is dedicated to helping children with cancer.

T’ai Roulston

Research Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Sciences, A&S Curator, Blandy Experimental Farms

Roulston’s primary research area is plant-pollinator interactions, which he studies through field, laboratory, and phylogenetic approaches.  These include (i) studies of pollen chemistry to characterize the diversity of pollen nutrient rewards; (ii) phylogenetic analysis to associate shifts in pollen nutrient content with evolutionary shifts in pollination syndrome; (iii) observations of pollinator host choices to determine pollinator assessment of pollen nutrition, and (iv) studies of insect development and body size to assess the potential importance of variation in pollen nutrients. Other research areas include endangered species conservation, habitat fragmentation, foraging behavior, and the impact of exotic species on native organisms.

Christine Schmidt


Schmidt oversees the care of Blandy Farm’s woody plant collection, including general collections care and maintenance, propagation, planting, and meticulous record-keeping.

9: 00 am Check-In
9:15 am Introductions
9:20 am – 10:00 am History of Blandy Farms – David Carr
10:00 am – 10:05 am Foundation of the State Arboretum – Robin Cardillo
10:05 am – 10:45 am Lecture on Ginkgo Trees and Fall Foliage at Blandy – T’ai Roulston and Chris Schmidt
11:00 am – 12:30 pm Tour the Ginkgo Grove and Fall Foliage of Blandy’s Gardens
12:30 pm – 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 pm Program Ends
Cancellation and Refund Policy

Cancellation Policy:

Participants may cancel their registration for this One-Day UVA program by emailing Susan Lynch at  Susan will send an email notification confirming your cancellation.

Refund Policy:

If Lifetime Learning (via Susan) receives your cancellation email before midnight on October 25, 2019, you will receive a refund of 50% of your registration fee.

If Lifetime Learning (via Susan) receives your cancellation email after midnight on October 25, 2019, no refund will be issued.

Hotel Information

For registrants interested in arriving in the area before the Blandy Experimental Farm event, a block of rooms is reserved at a nearby hotel.

TownePlace Suite Front Royal (By Marriott)
85 Caroline Drive
Front Royal, VA 22630
Phone: 540-749-0033

  • Reserved block of rooms for the evening of November 3, 2019
  • Room block held until Sunday, October 13, 2019
  • Ask for “UVA Blandy Farm” rate
  • Or follow the following link: Book your group rate for UVA at Blandy Farm
  • Rate: $96 (excluding tax)
  • Breakfast included