Polly Hill Arboretum in West Tisbury presents two programs of note in August. On Wednesday, August 6, author Eric Rutkow will trace the history of the U.S. through trees in his talk based on his book, American Canopy: Trees, Forests, and the Making of a Nation. Historians are guilty of taking trees for granted, but the history of trees in America is as remarkable as the history of the U.S. — from the majestic white pines of New England to the orange groves of California.

The 15th annual David H. Smith memorial lecture takes place on Wednesday, August 13. This talk, honoring Polly Hill Arboretum co-founder David Smith, focuses on environmental conservation issues. This year’s featured speaker is Buddy Huffaker, president of the Aldo Leopold Foundation in Baraboo, Wisc. Mr. Huffaker will explore the origins of conservation, along with the current and future challenges for achieving sustainability. Mr. Huffaker has used his background in landscape architecture and plant ecology to become a leading voice for why and how society can develop an ecological conscience.

Both talks begin at 7:30 p.m. Cost is $10 or $5 for PHA members. For more information, call 508-693-9426 or visit pollyhillarboretum.org.