Families celebrate redwing blackbirds’ return

by Nancy Sableski, Manager of Children’s Education
April 15, 2019

Families celebrate redwing blackbirds’ return

Mother daughter capes

Under a shining sun, families enjoyed delightfully creative activities on Sunday, April 14 to welcome back redwing blackbirds. Children and parents wore capes, applied temporary tattoos, played a redwing blackbird memory game, went on a StoryWalk, and learned about the songs of various common birds with the help of puppets and real bird calls recorded […]

Continue reading


Swallows, springtime, and “Carol of the Bells”

by Brendan Keegan, Landscape Crew Gardener
April 12, 2019

Swallows, springtime, and “Carol of the Bells”

Visitors on the grounds may have noticed small numbers of migrant male tree swallows, recently returned from Central America, circling above the Arboretum landscape. Watching them gracefully swoop above the meadows, it is easy to understand why swallow species as a whole are beloved signs of the spring around the world. Ukrainians, for example, celebrate […]

Continue reading


Learning Through Flower Dissections

by Ana Maria Caballero, Nature Education Specialist
April 11, 2019

Learning Through Flower Dissections

pussy willow examination

Last Saturday teachers participated in the Flower Dissection program of the Arboretum for Educators, a monthly program aimed at helping teachers learn more about using the natural world for purposeful science learning. This particular class followed the 5E Instructional Model, both as a way to learn new teaching strategies and to experience what it is […]

Continue reading


Spotlight on seasonal shifts in trees

by Kristel Schoonderwoerd, Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum
April 8, 2019

Spotlight on seasonal shifts in trees

carya ovata bud burst

One of the joys of living in the temperate world is to experience the days lengthening in spring, the temperatures increasing, and our woody vegetation waking up in response. After a long hiatus, we suddenly see trees flushing flowers and leaves and we realize that their development has silently snuck up on us. These noiseless […]

Continue reading


Remembering George Putnam

by Bryan Marquard for The Boston Globe
April 4, 2019

Franchesco Molina earns his doctorate

by Faye Rosin, Director of Research Facilitation
April 1, 2019

Earliest spring is red

by William (Ned) Friedman, Director of the Arnold Arboretum
March 30, 2019

Earliest spring is red

silver maple flower

Early spring flowering is well underway at the Arnold Arboretum. Of special note today, are those wind-pollinated species whose flowers are essentially reduced to little more than the structures that produce pollen or seeds (no need for showy petals to attract pollinators). Among temperate woody plants, these early spring wind-pollinated taxa typically have unisexual flowers, […]

Continue reading


Enhancing our urban ecosystem

by Andrew Gapinski, Head of Horticulture, and Brendan Keegan, Arboretum Gardener I
March 29, 2019

Enhancing our urban ecosystem

perennial planting peters hill

By Andrew Gapinski, Head of Horticulture, and Brendan Keegan, Arboretum Gardener I   At the Arnold Arboretum, we continuously strive to increase the health of our plant collections, improve the aesthetics of our landscape, and support and enhance ecosystem health across our 281 acres of urban greenspace. We do this by thinking critically about landscape […]

Continue reading


Science on the road

by Robin Hopkins, Assistant Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology; Faculty Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
March 29, 2019

Science on the road

Science conference Hopkins

With the start of spring, we are all looking for a little inspiration and new life. I said goodbye to winter and hello to spring at a scientific conference in sunny California along with two graduate students in the Hopkins Lab, Ben Goulet and Austin Garner. There we shared exciting new research results and learned […]

Continue reading


Spring life for great horned owls

by Brendan Keegan, Landscape Crew Gardener
March 26, 2019