Adult Education

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

Viewing Events from January 19, 2020 to February 18, 2020

Tree Mob™!: Whoooo's In the Arboretum?

Tree Mob™! Whoooo's In the Arboretulm

Brendan Keegan, Gardener II, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University

1 Session: Tuesday,January 21, 4:30pm
Location: Hemlock Hill Road, Acc. # 22682*A

January afternoons and evenings are a perfect time to listen and look for Great Horned Owls. In the lead up to their nesting season, this charismatic and formidable species is often heard calling throughout the Arboretum's collections. Join Brendan Keegan, Arboretum Gardener, to learn about Great Horned Owls, how to go owling ethically, and possibly hear and see a few owls as well. Please dress warmly and bring a flashlight..

Parking: Park along Bussey. Enter through Bussey Street Gate to walk to the gathering location along Hemlock Hill Road.  

Public Transportation: Take the MBTA Orange Line to Forest Hills. At the upper level of the station, cross Washington Street and walk left to the Arboretum’s Washington Street Gate. Follow Blackwell Footpath to South Street. Cross South Street and re-enter the Arboretum. Walk to the intersection and turn left on Hemlock Hill Road. Follow the signs to the meeting location.

See map of gate locations. See directions.

   

Free: No registration required

What’s a Tree Mob™?

Tree Mobs are interactions with scientists or other specialists at the Arnold Arboretum, and provide another pathway to enjoy and learn in the landscape. Learn more.

Landscape for Life

Landscape for Life

Trevor Smith, LEED Green Associate, Land Escapes
4 Thursdays: January 23, 30, February 6, 13, Noon–3:00pm
Location: Hunnewell Building

This intensive introductory course will provide you with the knowledge, skills, and understanding to create a great-looking garden that is healthier for people and the environment. This class is based on the principles of the Sustainable Sites Initiative (sustainablesites.org), the nation’s first rating system for sustainable landscapes. The comprehensive curriculum covers a range of topics, including soils, water, plants, and landscape materials. (Note: This is not a garden design class, but a practical class on how to garden and care for sites that is most beneficial for the environment.)
Fee $216 member, $264 nonmember

Offered in collaboration with the Native Plant Trust.



Register at my.arboretum.harvard.edu or call 617-384-5277.
Design Workshop for Home Gardeners

Garden Design Workshop for Home Gardeners

Christie Dustman, Designer, APLD
6Sessions: Thursdays, January 23, 30, February 6, 13, (skip 20), 27, Mar 5, 6:30–8:30pm
Location: Weld Hill Building
You may have the desire to make a garden, but then grapple with how to start designing your home garden spaces. Why not get some help in designing a layout for an area of your yard in this beginner-level class? Learn the organizational components of a coherent garden and practice the process of design with award-winning designer Christie Dustman. You will leave class with a plan in progress from which to continue your design explorations. This class is primarily about garden spaces rather than specific plant selection. In the final class, Christie will present various ways to work with professionals to install your design or ways to construct your design yourself. You will be required to draw a base plan for your site (with tutelage in class) and will need to purchase some drawing tools and pay for large format copying. Other supplies will be provided. Limited to 16 students.
Fee $175 member, $210 nonmember

Register at my.arboretum.harvard.edu or call 617-384-5277.

Winter Tree Identification

Winter Tree Identification

Sue Pfeiffer, Horticulture Instructor, Norfolk County Agricultural High School
1 Session: Saturday,January 25, 9:30–12:30pm
Location: Hunnewell Building

Without their leaves, trees can be challenging to identify in the winter. However, if you consider a tree’s branching structure and buds, you can often determine its species. Former Arboretum horticulturist and now a high school teacher, Sue Pfeiffer will speak about the clues to look for and the keys available to help you definitively identify specific trees. Dress in layers for indoor and outdoor learning.
Fee $40 member; $52 nonmember

Register at my.arboretum.harvard.edu or call 617-384-5277.

Botany Blast: What is Biodiversity and Why Does It Matter?

Botany Blast: What is Biodiversity and Why Does It Matter?

Jake Grossman, PhD, Putnam Postdoctoral Fellow, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
1 Session: Tuesday, January 28, 6:30–8:00pm
Location: Hunnewell Building

Most of us have an intuitive sense of what counts as "biodiversity" and why it is important to live in a biodiverse world, but these questions have also powered decades of revelatory and complex ecological research. Join Putnam Postdoctoral Fellow Jake Grossman for an exploration of the world of biodiversity research. Our focus will be on how scientists define and quantify biodiversity and how biodiversity loss affects the way that ecosystems work. Jake will share highlights from his dissertation research, which entailed the use of experimentally planted "forests" to study the role of biodiversity in supporting tree growth, health, and nutrient use.
Fee Free, but registration is requested

Register at my.arboretum.harvard.edu or call 617-384-5277.

Arboretum for Educators

Arboretum for Educators

Monthly: Select Saturdays, 9:00–11:30am
Location: Hunnewell Building

Arboretum for Educators monthly explorations are a professional development opportunity for elementary and middle school teachers to introduce the Arboretum landscape as an outdoor classroom. Participants learn about specific hands-on life science topics that may be used or adapted by teachers for their own classrooms and outdoor spaces. Meet and network with other like-minded educators, and engage in life science learning.

Free, but registration requested

View a printable 2019-2020 schedule.


Director's Lecture Series: Gray, Darwin, and Disjuncts

DIRECTOR'S LECTURE SERIES

Asa Gray, Charles Darwin, and the Discovery of Intercontinental Disjuncts

William "Ned" Friedman, PhD, Arnold Arboretum Director and Arnold Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University
1 Session: Monday, February 3, 7:00–8:30pm
Location: Hunnewell Building

“Eastern Asia – eastern North America temperate woody disjuncts” is a mouthful. But, once you get the hang of it, you will discover the fascinating evolutionary stories of botanical emigrants that have journeyed from Asia to North America and evolved into much of what now makes up forest ecosystems in the eastern United States. You will also discover that the Arnold Arboretum holds one of the most important collections of such disjuncts, and that for nearly a century and a half, has been facilitating family reunions between such long-separated evolutionary cousins. This biogeographic story of temperate trees and shrubs began to unfold in the mid-nineteenth century with none other than Charles Darwin and Asa Gray, then Harvard Professor of Natural History. Wait until you hear about their correspondence!

Fee Free. Members only. Registration required as seating is limited.



The Director's Lecture Series is a benefit of membership. Become a member of the Friends of the Arnold Arboretum.
Botany Blast: Viburnums

Botany Blast: Viburnums

Wendy Clement, PhD, Associate Professor of Biology, The College of New Jersey, and Visiting Scholar, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
1 Session: Tuesday, February 4, 6:30–7:30pm
Location: Hunnewell Building

Viburnum species range in size from small to large shrubs, and even to small trees. They can be evergreen, semi-evergreen, or deciduous and display a variety of leaf shapes and flower forms. Join Wendy Clement for an overview of temperate viburnum species to get a better understanding of their forms, function, and growth characteristics that develop across the seasons. Botany Blasts are directed towards our citizen scientist Tree Spotters, but are open to all.

As of January 2020, the Arnold Arboretum maintains a compelling collection of viburnums: 292 plants from 159 accessions, representing 77 different taxa. With sixty-five percent of the accessions hailing from wild populations and several taxa of conservation concern, the Arboretum is a destination for researchers and enthusiasts of the genus.

Fee Free, but registration requested

Register at my.arboretum.harvard.edu or call 617-384-5277.

A Rose is a Rose: The Art of Botanical Prose

A Rose is a Rose: The Art of Botanical Prose

Jonathan Damery, Associate Editor of Arnoldia, Arnold Arboretum

1 Session: Thursday, February 6, 2:00–3:30pm

Jonathan Damery

Attention gardeners, readers, and writers! Come in from the cold for an afternoon as delightful as a spring garden. Jonathan Damery, the associate editor for Arnoldia, will provide an enlivening and breathtaking tour of the artistry found in horticultural and botanical reference books. Bask in the profound eloquence of even the most exhaustive of botanical descriptions. Often cloaked in scholarly tomes, these compositions boast opinion, passion, simply gorgeous wordsmithing, and even intrigue, in some cases.


Fee $5 member, $10 nonmember

Register at my.arboretum.harvard.edu or call 617-384-5277.

Flower Dissection for Tree Spotters

Flower Dissection for Tree Spotters

Ana Maria Caballero McGuire, Nature Education Specialist, Arnold Arboretum
Select 1: Mon, February 10, 2:00–3:30pm or Tue, February 11, 6:15–7:45pm
Location: Hunnewell Building
Have you really looked at a flower lately? After sketching and dissecting flowers, we will use stereo microscopes to look at the floral structures hidden within, learning to recognize them across a variety of flower forms. Registration is limited to Tree Spotters until January 28, after which time available spaces with be offered to the public. Limited to 20 per session.
Free for Tree Spotters