Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Washington, D.C. » National Arboretum » Floral and Nursery Plants Research » News

headline bar
Floral & Nursery Plants Research Scientist
A. M. Townsend Receives Major Awards

Dr. Alden (Denny) Townsend received the Luther Burbank Award from the American Horticultural Society (AHS) on April 2, 2004. This national award is given for "recognition of extraordinary achievement in plant breeding." The AHS magazine, The American Gardener, described in its March-April 2004 issue the reasons for the award: "Alden M. Townsend's research has emphasized the breeding and physiological genetics of urban trees. His efforts as a research geneticist with the Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit of the U.S. National Arboretum (USDA-ARS) have led to the introduction of 15 new elm and maple cultivars for the urban landscape. The most notable of these cultivars are Ulmus americana 'Valley Forge' and 'New Harmony' - two Dutch elm-disease resistant selections. Townsend has also released six insect-tolerant red maple (Acer rubrum) cultivars, many with outstanding fall color."

Later in April Dr. Townsend received another significant honor. He received an Outstanding Alumnus Award from the School of Forest Resources, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania. The award was given in recognition of Dr. Townsend's accomplishment in increasing disease and insect tolerance in elms and maples; for his scientific and popular publications; for the release of nine Dutch elm disease-tolerant elm cultivars and six insect-tolerant red maple cultivars; and for his involvement with the Metropolitan Tree Improvement Alliance (METRIA), the International Society of Arboriculture, the North Central Tree Improvement Conference, and the Save the Elms Task Force of Washington, D.C. Townsend received a large award plaque that included a beautiful photograph of American elms lining the mall on the Penn State campus where many 'Valley Forge' elms have been planted.

Dr. Townsend is one of 15 research scientists in the Floral and Nursery Plants Research Unit of the U.S. National Arboretum. For more information about this Unit click here; and, to see a short list of some of the many accomplishments of the staff, click here.

ARS News Articles

Hanging Out and Taking Selfies: DC9 Becomes a Teenager
Jul 05, 2022
New Hemlock Hybrid Withstands Killing Insect
Apr 14, 2020
Study Sheds Light on Major Disease in Roses
Apr 08, 2019
First Linkage Map of Creeping Bentgrass Completed
Oct 31, 2014
Scientists Rely on High-tech Eyes to Spy on Microscopic World
Aug 12, 2013
New Hydrangea Cultivars for Landscape Gardens
Apr 27, 2010
Ornamentals to Brighten the Fall Garden Palette
Oct 01, 2009
New Ornamental Peppers Heading to Market
Mar 16, 2009
Wanted: Trees for Urban Landscapes
Oct 11, 2007
Exhibiting a Pepper for Every Pot
Jun 28, 2007
Threat to Grapevines and Gardens Now Easier to Pinpoint
Jun 19, 2007
Twice as Nice: Versatile Vegetables Pack a Double Punch
Sep 05, 2006
Jefferson Trees Resistant to Dutch Elm Disease
Jun 13, 2006
Two New Lilacs From the U.S. National Arboretum
May 02, 2006
New Korean Beauty at U.S. National Arboretum
Dec 06, 2005