After nearly 50 years at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, director Peter Moe has announced his retirement.
Peter Moe’s tenure at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum began in 1973 as a University of Minnesota student gardener. He subsequently graduated from the Horticultural Science Department at the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences and was hired as a research plot technician at the Horticultural Research Center (HRC).
After two years with the center, the arboretum’s founding director—Leon Snyder, Ph.D.—hired Moe as the arboretum’s landscape maintenance supervisor. Moe has subsequently worked with every director up until he took over the role himself in 2016.
During his time at the arboretum, Moe was integral to shaping the venue into the premier public garden we know today. Aside from directing the design, construction and planting of multiple gardens and facilities throughout the arboretum, Moe also expanded it to 1,200 acres, which included adding forest, wetlands and farmland to the arboretum.
The arboretum is one of the very few U.S. gardens with world-class fruit and landscape breeding programs. As director, Moe was instrumental in acquiring the proper accreditations. He likes to see his efforts rewarded, such as when HRC apples, like the famous Honeycrisp, appear in grocery stores or when Minnesota-grown grapes are featured in wineries.
Aside from his professional accolades at the arboretum, Moe has had personal connections there, too. In the beginning of his career, he met his future wife, Susan, who was a plant breeder and scientist at the arboretum. The pair went on to raise three children.
A nation-wide search has been launched to fill the director role. Until then, Moe will continue to serve as director in the interim.