The Arboretum in October

You don’t need to leave the city to go leaf-peeping! At the Arboretum, plants from around the world offer a spectacular display of fall foliage throughout the month. Especially beautiful at this time of year is The Explorers Garden located just below the summit of Bussey Hill. Join us for a Collections Up Close of the Explorers Garden on October 16th from 1-3pm. While you’re enjoying the amazing diversity of The Explorers Garden, don’t miss the oldest documented and among the largest Franklinia’s anywhere in the world.  Download the latest Tree-of-the-Month [pdf] and explore Franklinia in the landscape.


Free guided tours are available on Monday and Thursday at 10:30am. Weekend tours are available on Saturday at 10:30am and Sunday at 1:00pm. Or check out our theme tours – From Seed to Tree (greenhouse tour), Fall Bird Walk, Fall Into Health, and a Fall Foliage Walk.

Also, Interpreters will be in the landscape on select weekend days from 1:00-3:00pm. We have a wonderful group of 15 new Interpreters that will be out in the landscape this fall, make sure to say hello if you happen to see them.

The Bonsai & Penjing Pavilion will be open during the month of October, join knowledgeable volunteers for a look inside the Bonsai & Penjing Pavilion on Thursdays and Sundays from 11:00-1:00pm.


Bogs and Fens: New England’s Most Pristine Ecosystems
Bogs and fens are wetlands underlain by deep water-saturated peat. In New England, at least 25 of them can be visited on boardwalks, where one can see unique assemblages of flora and fauna, including carnivorous plants, orchids, and uncommon bird species. Dr. Ronald Davis will illustrate his lecture with outstanding photographs and explain some of the unique features of these beautiful and fascinating ecosystems.
Presented jointly by the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and Mass Audubon’s Boston Nature Center.


View our new exhibition, Turning Wood: The Art of the Woodturner II, which will be on display in the Hunnewell Lecture Hall October 22-23 with an Opening Reception October 21, from 5:00-7:00pm.
Woodturning has a long history, going back to 1300 BC Egypt. Unique in relation to most woodworking due to its use of a lathe, woodturners turn out practical, functional pieces or “turn” to the purely aesthetic. Each craftsman brings their own personal artistic vision to the objects they create, and the pieces in maple, cherry and other wood from far and near offer a unique look at the “personality” within the wood itself.

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 October.