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Pioneering the Future: The U.S. National Arboretum Releases New Resistant "Traveler" and "Crossroads" Hemlock Varieties to Phantom Ecology Nursery

Imagine the return of hemlock trees with American genetics to the eastern United States, a tree that thrives in a multitude of climates, sun and shade, a testament to our ever-changing planet. Imagine these trees and their form reinhabiting parks, landscapes and neighborhoods. Imagine birds nesting in their branches, its roots grasping soil from erosion, its leaves cooling backyard ponds, and its intoxicating piney sent perfuming the air in early spring. These aren't mere fantasies; they're the groundbreaking realities of the "Traveler" and "Crossroads" varieties, recently released by the esteemed U.S. National Arboretum.


Image of "Traveler" hemlock variety. (Susan Bentz/Agricultural Research Service)


Native Hemlock species, including the Eastern and Carolina Hemlocks, have been decimated by the invasive woolly adelgid insect. Hemlocks used to dominate parts of the eastern forests and Appalachia, performing essential ecosystem services. Today, most stands of these trees have vanished from our national forests, altering biodiversity and function of the system.

The Allure of the Traveler


The "Traveler" and “Crossroads” varieties embodies the spirit of exploration and adaptation. Years of meticulous breeding using resilient, disease-resistant Chinese hemlock stock, crossed with the vulnerable Carolina hemlock, currently under consideration to be listed under the Endangered Species Act, have yielded a tree capable of flourishing in diverse conditions. This achievement resonates deeply with the concept of phantom ecology, a burgeoning field that explores the potential impact of climate change on plant communities. As our climate undergoes rapid transformation, the "Traveler" offers a beacon of hope – a testament to the potential for plant life to be "evolved" and adapted alongside a changing world.



A Legacy of Scientific Progress


The release of these varieties marks a significant milestone in horticulture. The National Arboretum's dedication to breeding not just for aesthetics but also for resilience and ecological harmony paves the way for a more sustainable future.  These trees are more than just ornamental additions to our landscapes; they are living laboratories, offering valuable insights into the potential for plant adaptation and the importance of maintaining biodiversity.



We are thrilled to announce that Phantom Ecology, LLC will be among the first commercial nurseries to offer the "Traveler" and "Crossroads" varieties once they've reached maturity. To secure your own piece of this historic achievement, please visit our website and join the waitlist!


By joining the waitlist, you'll also gain access to:


·      Exclusive updates on the growth and development of the "Traveler" and "Crossroads" varieties at our nursery.

·      Educational resources that delve deeper into the science behind these groundbreaking trees and the fascinating field of phantom ecology.

·      Early access to pre-order the "Traveler" and "Crossroads" varieties once they become available.


Together, let's cultivate a future where resilient plants and a deeper understanding of nature foster a healthier planet. Visit our website today and join the waitlist for the "Traveler" and "Crossroads" varieties!

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