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Arnold Arboretum

Collections Up Close

These free events offer great ways to explore plants at the Arnold Arboretum. Take a guided tour, participate in fun science and craft activities for kids, look through a microscope, and chat with knowledgeable staff and volunteers. We will highlight different special collections each spring and fall. Free; no registration needed.

Upcoming Events

Crabapple Collection

Considering Crabapples

Sunday, October 19, 1:00–3:00pm

The Arnold Arboretum crabapple collection has long been recognized for its importance to the horticultural and scientific worlds. Because of the Arboretum’s many introductions and broad distribution of both cultivars and previously undiscovered Malus species from wild origin, it has been hailed as the “‘Mother Arboretum’ for flowering crabapples” (Fiala 1994). This collection remains popular with Arboretum visitors, especially during spring bloom and fall fruit display. Join us in the crabapple collection on Peters Hill to enjoy a beautiful fall day among this historic collection. Activities will include a tour of the collection by our curatorial staff focusing on Arboretum-bred hybrid introductions, and information about pruning techniques and timing.

Past Events


Beguiling Birches

Saturday, May 31, 1:00–3:00pm

Take a tour and enjoy family activities that highlight the Arboretum’s birch collection, located on base of Bussey Hill. Full event details [pdf] »

Magnolia stellata-'Centennial'

Majestic Magnolias

Saturday, April 12, 1:00–3:00pm

Magnolias are among the most ancient of flowering plant families, and many species are early bloomers at the Arboretum. Join us on the Hunnewell Building lawn to enjoy their flowers and learn about their primitive reproductive biology. Full event details [pdf] »

Oh Nuts!

juglans nigra

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hickories, oaks, and walnuts—oh nuts! Look on the ground and look up above; in fall the Arboretum is a great place to see a diverse variety of both familiar and odd nuts. Come learn what a nut really is, go on a nut hunt, look closely at a variety of nuts and non-nuts, or take a guided tour to understand the conservation, ethnobotanical, and horticultural value of our nut trees. See details and a map of the event location [pdf].


Rhododendron Dell

Rhodo Dell

Sunday, June 2, 2012

Stroll through Rhododendron Dell at the foot of Hemlock Hill and enjoy the diverse display of rhododendrons in bloom. Guided tours for adults and a haiku hike for families, kids art and science activities, photography lessons (bring your camera!), and more. See the full schedule [pdf].

Lilac Sunday


Sunday, May 12, 2012

This beloved Boston tradition celebrates the lilacs as well as many other special collections at their peak at this lovely time of year. more » 

Magnificent Maples

magnificent maples

Sunday, April 21, 2012

Explore our world-class maple collection as flowers bloom and new leaves unfurl. Look for maple blossoms and bright new leaves—tiny, delightful signs of spring. Guided tours, kids science activities, photography lessons (bring your camera!), and more. See the full schedule.

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