Adult Education

The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is a community resource for education, offering a variety of learning opportunities including lectures, classes, workshops, and tours of our living collections and historical landscape. Join us as we explore the biology and horticulture of woody plants, and delve into topics related to Earth’s biodiversity and evolutionary history, the environment, conservation biology, and key social issues associated with current science.

Featured Programs

Chainsaw Use and Safety

Chainsaw lesson

Chainsaw Use and Safety

John DelRosso, Head Arborist, Arnold Arboretum
1 Session: Saturday, September 12, 9:00am–3:00pm
Location: Hunnewell Building

“Make the cut” with Arboretum arborist John DelRosso in this practical workshop. John will first emphasize chainsaw operation, maintenance, and safety. He will then demonstrate sawing and felling techniques using practice logs in the Arboretum’s wood recycling area. Bring your saw, if you have one. If you don’t own a saw but intend to purchase one, wait until you’ve attended the class to learn which styles and features are best for your size and needs. Participants should wear work boots and bring safety goggles, gloves, and ear protection. Dress for the outdoors and bring a lunch and beverage. Registrants must sign an Assumption of Risk and Release to participate.
Fee $75 member, $95 nonmember



Introduction to Bonsai

Bonsai, Pine

Introduction to Bonsai

Glen Lord, Horticulturist and Bonsai Specialist

1 Session: Saturday, August 22, 10:00am–1:00pm

Bonsai is the ancient Japanese method of growing and caring for a tree whose growth is restricted by the size of the shallow pot in which it is planted and by the pruning of its branches and roots. In this class, Glen Lord, who consults for the Arnold Arboretum’s bonsai (Japanese) and penjing (Chinese) collection of dwarf potted plants, will speak first about the history of bonsai. He will then demonstrate the methods employed in creating and caring for a bonsai. Participants will plant a tropical specimen and learn about basic pruning, styling, and aftercare. The methods learned in this class can then be applied to other plants, such as temperate trees. The class fee includes a tropical plant, tools, soil, and a pot.
Fee $55 member, $65 nonmember


From Seed to Tree

Jack Germinating Seeds

Greenhouse Staff

Choose from the first Tuesday of the month, May through October, from 1:00-2:00pm

Did you know that almost all of the new plants in the Arboretum begin their lives in the Dana Greenhouses? Get a behind-the-scenes look of the greenhouse growing process, from seed to sprout to seedling to tree. Meet at the Bonsai Collection. There is a 15 person maximum.

In case of inclement weather, contact 617.384.5209.