The Belgian Botanist
Today is the birthday of the Belgian botanist and dendrologist Joseph Hers, who was born on this day in 1884.
Dendrology is the science and study of woody plants, like trees and shrubs, and their taxonomic classifications.
Hers made his first trip to China in 1905; he was an interpreter for the Belgium ministry. He later founded organizations to promote good relations between China and Belgium.
Later, Hers spent five years collecting in the north-central provinces of China from 1919-1924. The Arnold Arboretum had hired him to collect for them. As a dendrologist, Hers was primarily focused on trees. The rapid rate of deforestation in China was especially alarming to Hers. Among his discoveries was the snake bark maple Acer tegmentum.