The Arboretum in December

A peaceful quiet settles on the Arboretum landscape as the last trees shed their leaves. Winter berries provide color for humans and food for wildlife, while evergreens and ornamental bark take center stage.

Looking for other ways to explore the December landscape? Print out the self-guided bark tour [pdf] or take a stroll through the Conifer Collection. Download December’s Tree-of-the-month [pdf] and explore Japanese cryptomeria in the landscape.


Join us for a Winter Wellness Walk. Take a brisk walk this winter and stay healthy and connected to the Arboretum at a time when the landscape is pared down to its beautiful bones. This walk emphasizes fitness, with a healthy dose of information on seasonal highlights. Winter tours are geared to adults and led by trained Arboretum docents.


Urban Forests: A Natural History of Trees and People in the American Cityscape
Trees, nature’s largest and longest-lived creations, play an extraordinarily important role in our cityscapes. These living landmarks define space, cool the air, and connect us to nature and our past. Today, four out of five Americans live in or near cities, surrounded by millions of trees that make up urban forests. But most of us take them for granted and know little of their natural history or civic virtues. Jill Jonnes will speak about the history of the tree in American cities over the course of the past two centuries, delving into the presidents, plant explorers, visionaries, citizen activists, scientists, and nurserymen – whose arboreal passions have shaped and ornamented the nation’s cities.
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View our new exhibition, Trees: Intimate Portraits.

Scars, burls, peeling bark, lichen, insect and animal markings—come explore the intimate, fascinating, up close world of tree bark as seen through the lens and sensibilities of photographer Jennifer Weigel. This Arboretum exhibition of Weigel’s photographic series illuminates the often overlooked beauty found in the bark of trees and shrubs. As an artist, Weigel is particularly drawn to details in nature and the unique individuality of each tree. Her images are examinations of each plant’s history through the beauty, as well as the bruises, of its outer surfaces.

All art shows are free and open to the public. The Lecture Hall is also used for lectures, programs, meetings, and school groups, so please call 617.384.5209 for exhibition availability.

The Visitor Center and Art Exhibitions are open 10:00am–5:00pm, closed Wednesdays.

Please see our calendar for a great list of lectures, classes, and tour opportunities in December.