Events

Upcoming Events

See all of our tour and class listings.

Viewing Events from April 24, 2018 to May 24, 2018

Tree Mob: Beeches--Drastic Measures in Collections Management

Tree Mob™! Beeches: Drastic Measures in Collections Management

1 Session: Tuesday, April 24, 3:00pm
Location:
Meet at the intersection of Beech Path and Hemlock Hill Road near Acc. # 290-93*A

 

When managing a living collection of plants, one deals with destructive pests and diseases as well as natural aging and variable weather conditions. This can necessitate tough decisions. In the case of the Arboretum’s Beech Collection, Arnold Arboretum collections stewards have recently taken drastic measures, removing a large number of beech (Fagus spp.) trees. Infected with beech bark disease, some of the oldest beeches in the Arboretum have gone into decline. Caused by an exotic sap-feeding scale insect (Cryptococcus fagisuga) and a secondary infection of two fungi species (Neonectria spp.), beech bark disease poses an ecological threat to forest and cultivated trees throughout the Northeast. In order to combat this destructive disease here at the Arboretum, heavily affected and failing trees–sources of fungal inoculum–are being removed from the collections. Join Andrew Gapinski, Manager of Horticulture, and others on Tuesday, April 24 at 3:00pm to learn about current and future efforts to keep the beeches as healthy as possible. Meet at the intersection of Hemlock Hill Road and Beech Path at Acc. # 290-93*A European beech (Fagus sylvatica).

Parking: Park along Bussey Street (keep tires off sidewalk) and enter through the Bussey Street Gate. Walk along Hemlock Hill Road to its intersection with Beech Path.

Public Transportation: Take the MBTA Orange Line to Forest Hills. At the upper level of the station, cross Washington Street and turn left to the Washington Street Gate. Enter and follow Blackwell Footpath to its end. Cross South Street. Enter through South Street Gate and walk straight to the intersection with Beech Path.

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.

 

Guided Tour: Let's Go Birding

Let's Go Birding!

Bob Mayer, Arboretum Docent
Choose from 2 Saturdays and two Sunday, 8:00-9:30am.

 

This spring, join our great birder on four exciting walks. Catch a glimpse of migrating birds as they fly to breeding grounds. This 90 minute walk is good for beginners as well as more experienced birders. Bring binoculars if you have them; some binoculars will be available to share. Choose one or sign up for more!

See map for Meeting Locations:

Sat. April 28: Arborway Gate (As part of the Boston’s City Nature Challenge weekend, participants in the April 28 Bird Walk will have the option to use the iNaturalist phone app to record wildlife data in the field and submit observations. This event is open to guests of all ages, and you’ll need a smartphone with a camera to participate in the citizen science portion. All necessary iNaturalist training will be provided.)

Sat. May 5: Peters Hill Gate

Sun. May 6: South Street Gate, Bussey Brook Meadow, co-sponsored by Arboretum Park Conservancy and the Brookline Birding Club

Sun. May 20: Arborway Gate

In case of inclement weather, contact 617.384.5209.

Free, registration requested at www.my.arboretum.harvard.edu
Nature Photography Workshop

Nature Photography Workshop

Erik Gehring, Freelance Photographer and Multi-media Producer
1 Session: Saturday, April 28, 9:00am–12:30pm [Rain Date: 04/29]
Location: Hunnewell Building

Improve your photographs of nature in this half-day workshop–a talk followed by hands-on experience. The class takes place at the Arnold Arboretum at one of the most beautiful times of year. Learn about composition, color, light, depth of field and focus. Bring your camera and manual and familiarize yourself with the operation of your camera prior to the workshop.
Fee $70
Offered with The Eliot School

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

Guided Saturday Tour

Saturday Guided Tours

Arboretum Docents
10:30am-Noon, beginning April 14, 2018
Location: Hunnewell Building unless otherwise specified

Enjoy a free guided tour of the Arnold Arboretum landscape with a knowledgeable docent. Tours are appropriate for adults and last approximately 90 minutes. Landscape highlights, seasonal interest, history, and more.

In case of inclement weather, contact 617.384.5209. 

These walks are free, no need to register.
City Nature Challenge: Central Woodland

City Nature Challenge: A Walk through Central Woodland

Danny Schissler, Research Assistant, Friedman Lab and Suzanne Mrozak,Tree Spotters Volunteer Coordinator
1 Session: Saturday, April 28, 1:00–3:00pm
Location: Arnold Arboretum Landscape

Ready to explore the Arboretum’s wild side? Join us for a walk through Central Woodland, one of the Arboretum’s minimally maintained natural areas, and learn about the history and ecology of these often-overlooked “urban wilds”. We’ll see traces of New England history and glimpses of the future among remnant native plants and encroaching invaders. Meet at the intersection of Conifer Path and Valley Road.

As part of the Boston’s City Nature Challenge weekend, participants in this event will have the option to use the iNaturalist phone app to record plant and wildlife data in the field and submit observations. This event is open to guests of all ages, and you’ll need a smartphone with a camera to participate in the citizen science portion. All necessary iNaturalist training will be provided.
Free, no registration needed

City Nature Challenge: Wetland Wonders

City Nature Challenge: Wetland Wonders

Brendan Keegan, Arnold Arboretum Gardener
1 Session: Sunday, April 29, 9:00–11:00am
Location: Arnold Arboretum,  Hunnewell Building

Supporting the nearby Alder and Willow collections, the Meadow Road wetland (sometimes called “The Meadow”) is mostly known for its much-loved cattails and late-summer sunflowers. Join us to explore the plant species found in this urban wetland and learn about the birds, insects and other wildlife that call it home. Meet at the Arboretum's Hunnewell Building at 125 Arborway, Jamaica Plain. Wear shoes appropriate for exploring muddy and damp areas.

As part of the Boston’s City Nature Challenge weekend, participants in this event will have the option to use the iNaturalist phone app to record plant and wildlife data in the field and submit observations. This event is open to guests of all ages, and you’ll need a smartphone with a camera to participate in the citizen science portion. All necessary iNaturalist training will be provided.
Free, no registration needed

Bonsai Penjing Pavilion Open House

Bonsai and Penjing Pavilion Open House

Arboretum Volunteers
Select Thursdays and Sundays, 11:00am-1:00pm
See website calendar for dates.
Location: Bonsai and Penjing Collection (Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection)

Come and experience a very unique opportunity in the Arnold Arboretum's Bonsai and Penjing Collection of dwarfed potted plants. With an Arboretum volunteer, you will be able to go inside the pavilion, hear about the history, culture, and care of these amazing and very special plants. 

In case of inclement weather, contact 617.384.5209.

Free, no registration needed

Guided Sunday Tour

Sunday Guided Tours

Arboretum Docents

1:00-2:30pm beginning April 15, 2018

Location: Hunnewell Building unless indicated otherwise

Enjoy a free guided tour of the Arnold Arboretum landscape with a knowledgeable docent. Tours are appropriate for adults and last approximately 90 minutes. History, highlights of the landscape, seasonal interest and more!

In case of inclement weather, contact 617.384.5209.

These walks are free, no need to register.
Collections Up Close: Cherry Collection

Collections Up Close: Cherry Collection

Sunday, April 29
Drop in between 1:00-3:00pm

Location: Cherry Collection (Prunus spp.)

Join us for an afternoon of festivities in the Cherry Collection (Prunus spp.) near Forest Hills Road and the Bradley Rosaceous Collection.  Explore a diverse and growing collection of flowering cherries that includes plants collected early in plant explorer Ernest Henry Wilson's career, rare native species, and many species not typically found in the nursery trade.  

Event Details:

1:30 pm Tour with Michael Dosmann, The Keeper of the Living Collections

Family Activity with Sarah Tuttle, Hidden City: Poems of Urban Wildlife

Lemonade & cookies

As part of the Boston’s City Nature Challenge weekend, participants in this event will have the option to use the iNaturalist phone app to record plant and wildlife data in the field and submit observations. This event is open to guests of all ages, and you’ll need a smartphone with a camera to participate in the citizen science portion. All necessary iNaturalist training will be provided.

Parking is available along Arborway Rd.  Enter the Arboretum through Arborway Gate or Forest Hills Gate and meet at the map table at the ponds.

Free! No registration needed.



ART Talk and Walk: Close and Closer: Photographs of the Arnold Arboretum by James Reis

Close and Closer:

Photographs of the Arnold Arboretum by James Reis


February 9 – May 6, 2018

Walk and Talk with the Artist, Sunday, April 29, 2:00-3:00pm

Location: Hunnewell Building

Join photographer James Reis on a journey through his exhibition images - close in the show and closer in the landscape of the Arnold Arboretum. Like Boston, the Arnold Arboretum is a diverse tapestry that comes together and creates a whole. Walkways flow from side roads to manicured trails to hidden paths revealing secret glades. If the visitor is not in a rush, the Arboretum offers enchanting micro environments that invite even closer inspection. "No two days are the same," says Reis "between the angle of the sun, the weather, and the many spots where we become delightfully stuck. While my lens is a frail approximation of eye and heart, it pulls me out the door and into the delicate realms of plant, fungi, insect, and seed."--close and then closer. See a wonderful article about James and the work in the show in the Harvard Gazette.

Note - The Hunnewell lecture hall is used for programs, classes, and other events. Please call 617 384-5209 for accessibility.

Free, no registration required

Director's Lecture Series: Randall Fuller

DIRECTOR'S LECTURE SERIES

When Darwin Met Thoreau

Randall Fuller, PhD, Herman Melville Distinguished Professor of American Literature, University of Kansas
1 Session: Monday, April 30, 7:00–8:30pm
Location: Hunnewell Building

On January 1, 1860, Henry David Thoreau learned about a new work of science entitled On the Origin of Species. Within a month, he had read the book, taken extensive notes, and begun to incorporate Charles Darwin’s theory of natural selection into his understanding of nature. In this talk, Professor Randall Fuller will recount Thoreau’s deep engagement with what remains one of the most important concepts of the nineteenth century.


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

Become a member.

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

Greenhouses' tour: From Seed to Tree

From Seed to Tree

Dana Greenhouses' Staff
First Tuesday of the month, May through October, 1:00pm-1:45pm.

Did you know that almost all of the plants in the Arboretum begin their lives in the Dana Greenhouses? Get a behind-the-scenes look of the greenhouse growing process, from seed to sprout to seedling to tree. Meet at the Bonsai and Penjing Collection above the Leventritt Shrub & Vine Garden. There is a 15 person maximum.

Free, registration requested and limited
Register online at my.arboretum.harvard.edu or call 617-384-5209.
Forest Bathing: Half Day Retreat

Forest Bathing - Half Day Retreat

Guided Therapeutic Experience
Year Round, 1st Saturday and 1st Thursday of each month (beginning Sat. March 3) 
8:00am-11:00am
Tam Willey, Certified Forest Therapy Guide
Year Round, 1st Saturday and 1st Thursday of each month, beginning Saturday March 3
Location: Bussey St. Gate Entrance at map tables


Did you know that spending time connecting with nature has been medically and scientifically proven to treat stress-related illnesses?  Relax and unplug on a Guided Forest Bathing Walk, a slow-paced facilitated combination of wandering, sitting, and resting.  We will cover no more than 1-2 miles as I Guide us through a sequence of gentle sensory-opening invitations that welcome us to notice more of our surroundings in a way that support reconnecting or deepening our connection with the natural world.  
 
This practice is inspired by Shinrin-Yoku, a term coined in Japan in the 1980’s, where much infrastructure has been created around designated healing forests.  Shinrin-Yoku translates to Forest Bathing and is a prominent feature of preventative medicine and healing in Japan.  A plethora of studies have been done demonstrating how nature is powerful medicine in treating stress-related illnesses.

 

Experience the healing power of the Arboretum.

Tam is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs.  She recently completed her practicum here at the Arnold Arboretum.  Tam has first hand experience of the healing benefits of spending time in nature. For more information about Tam take a look at her website, Toadstool Walks.
Fee $40 member, $50 nonmember
Register at my.arboretum.harvard.edu or call 617-384-5209

In case of inclement weather, contact 617.304.9313

Guided Weekday Tour

Weekday Guided Tours: May, June, September, and October

Arboretum Docents
Mondays and Thursdays, 10:30am-noon

No tours Monday, May 28, Mon. Sept. 3, Mon. Oct. 8
Location: Hunnewell Building

Weekday guided tours are Mondays and Thursdays in May, June, September and October. Join one of our docents for a weekday tour from 10:30am to noon. Meet at the Hunnewell Building and enjoy a walk, learning about the highlights of Arboretum history, the collections, and seasonal interest.

In case of inclement weather, contact 617.384.5209.
These walks are free, no need to register.
The Straight Talk on Hydrangeas

The Straight Talk on Hydrangeas

Jen Kettell, Horticultural Educator and Consultant
1 Session: Thursday, May 3, 600–8:00pm (postedponed from April 18)
Location: Hunnewell Building and Leventritt Garden
With gorgeous hydrangea cultivars flooding nurseries and garden centers, it can be challenging to choose just one (or a few!). Magnificent blooms in rich colors entice, yet their allure can lead you to purchase hydrangeas that will not thrive in your garden. Don’t let this happen. Instead, join Jen Kettell for a lively discussion on the species behind the hot trade names—especially their inherent growth characteristics—and learn how to match appropriate plants to your site conditions. She’ll suggest which species are drought-tolerant or benefit pollinators and demonstrate pruning to maximize flowering and other essential growing tips. Jen will focus on hydrangeas that are hardy in Zones 5-7. Class includes an indoor lecture and walk to a demonstration in the Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden.
Fee $25 member, $35 nonmember

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.

View 2017-2018 schedule.
Free, but registration requested

Tour: Lilacs, Lilacs, and Lilacs, Oh My!

Lilacs, Lilacs, and Lilacs, Oh My!

Chris McArdle, Arboretum Docent
Sunday, May 6, 2:15-3:15pm, Saturday, May 12, 9:00-10am
Come for the lilacs, stay for the tour on a special walk in the Syringa (lilac) collection with docent Chris McArdle. Chris trained with former Head Plant Propagator and lilac expert, Jack Alexander. Within the collection itself, she will give you a thorough view into the rich history of the many varieties of this well-loved, and Arboretum-renowned plant.

Meet at the map table by the ponds, up from the Forest Hills Gate.

For cancellations due to weather, please call 617 384-5209

Free, registration is requested at my.arboretum.harvard.edu
Family Hike - Pond Dipping at the Arboretum

Family Hike - Pond Dipping at the Arboretum!

Guide, Arnold Arboretum Volunteer
10:00am-11:00am
Saturday, May 12 2018
Location: Hunnewell Building

Join an Arboretum volunteer to discover the Arboretum on guided hikes for families.

This walk will feature the vibrant ecosystem found in Dawson Pond.

One adult may bring a maximum of three children; suitable for children ages four through twelve. Meet in the Visitor Center.

In case of inclement weather, contact 617.384.5209.

Lilac Sunday 2018

Lilac Sunday 2018

Sunday, May 13

Of the thousands of flowering plants in the Arboretum, only one, the lilac, is singled out each year for a daylong celebration. Mainly located on the edge of Bussey Hill Road in the heart of the landscape, the lilac collection at the Arnold Arboretum is among the premier collections of these plants in North America. Lilac Sunday has been celebrated at the Arnold Arboretum since 1908.

Tours of the lilacs and other special collections, family activities, and picnicking (on this special day only), make for a memorable day. Be a part of this beloved Boston tradition!

Celebrating lilacs

The Arboretum is open as usual from dawn to dusk. Event activities are available from 10:00am to 3:00pm. Please note food trucks will not be on site this year for Lilac Sunday..

Free!


Lilac Therapy Walk

Lilac Therapy Walk

Guided Therapeutic Experience
May 15 or May 17 9
:00am-11:00am
Tam Willey, Certified Forest Therapy Guide
May 15 or May 17
Location: Map table at ponds (Forest Hills Gate)

Every May, visitors flock to the Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts to breathe in the fragrant lilac collection and witness the array of color.  This flower has a history of medicinal use and if you have ever spent time inhaling this sweet fragrance you may have noticed a sense of calm and relaxation.  Spending time connecting with nature has been scientifically proven to treat stress-related illnesses and lilacs are considered potent medicine when it comes to symptoms of anxiety.  May can be a time of unwinding as we transition into a new season under a warmer and brighter sun.  Whether you've been visiting the lilac collection for years or have yet to experience them, I invite you to unplug, de-stress and recharge on a Guided Lilac Therapy Walk.  

This is a two hour therapeutic experience that combines wandering, sitting, and resting.  We will cover no more than a mile, leisurely meandering through the collection as I guide us through a sequence of gentle sensory-opening invitations that welcome us to notice more of our surroundings.  

Experience the healing power of the Lilacs!

Tam is a Certified Forest Therapy Guide through the Association of Nature and Forest Therapy Guides and Programs.  She recently completed her practicum here at the Arnold Arboretum where she has been regularly guiding Forest Bathing Walks.  Tam has first hand experience of the healing benefits of spending time in nature.  For more information about Tam take a look at her website, Toadstool Walks.

Fee $30 member, $40 nonmember
Register at
my.arboretum.harvard.edu or call 617-384-5209

In case of inclement weather, contact 617.304.9313

Art Reception: Impressions of Woody Plants: Bobbi Angell and Beverly Duncan

Impressions of Woody Plants:

Disjunction, Two Artists, and the Arnold Arboretum

Copper Etchings by Bobbi Angell and Watercolor Paintings by Beverly Duncan


May 11 – July 22, 2018

Opening Reception, Saturday, May 19, 1:00-3:00pm

Workshop with the Artists, Saturday, June 9, 1:00-3:00pm

Location: Hunnewell Building

The word disjunction, defined as the relationship between two distinct alternatives, can be applied to botanical artists Bobbi Angell and Beverly Duncan: their media--copper and watercolor, their plant focuses--exotic and native, their backgrounds--botany and art. In the end though, as in this Arnold Arboretum exhibition, it is all about the wonder of woody plants, and the artists' approaches to creating images. Angell is attracted to unusual, cultivated specimens due to her long history working with botanists and horticulturalists. Her subjects, all Asian natives, several of which were introduced into cultivation by the Arboretum, represent the remarkable history of plant collecting around the world. All can be found in the collections of the Arboretum. Her drawings are developed into finely crafted copper etchings, which are then printed in limited editions. Duncan is drawn to the familiarity of native plants. She translates the common and recognizable into intimate portraits in detailed watercolor paintings.Her sketches capture the various stages in the life of a native plant. For this exhibition, Duncan focused on paintings of seedlings, the delicate early life of a tree or shrub. All her subjects can also be found as mature trees on the grounds of the Arnold Arboretum. Bobbi Angell has been drawing plants since 1978, illustrating floras, monographs, and new species for botanists at The New York Botanical Garden, Harvard University, and Smithsonian Institution. Drawing herbarium specimens has been the focus of her work. Angell's copper plate etchings reflect her interest in fine detail. They have allowed her a satisfying and natural extension of her compositional style. Beverly Duncan is an award-winning botanical artist, the first to receive Best in Show at the annual exhibition of the Horticultural Society in New York and the American Society of Botanical Artists. Her work is in corporate and private collections around the world. Duncan exhibited and received recognition at the 2014 royal Horticultural Exhibit in London. She teaches Botanical Drawing and Painting classes, and has illustrated commissions for numerous books and magazines.

Note - The Hunnewell lecture hall is used for programs, classes, and other events. Please call 617 384-5209 for accessibility.

Free, no registration required

Art Reception: The Spirit Books by Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord

The Spirit Books

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord


May 4 – July 22, 2018

Opening Reception, Saturday, May 19, 1:00-3:00pm

Artist Talk, Saturday, June 2, 3:00-4:00pm

Location: Hunnewell Building

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord's Spirit Books will be displayed in the Hunnewell Building's Visitor Center. These art books reveal Gaylord's connection between the inherent spirituality and mystery of nature with the long-standing tradition of books as testaments of faith and belief. She gathers twigs, branches, vines, and roots, then uses them to cradle her stitched, wordless books. Incorporating beads and seeds with handmade papers from around the world, she constructs sculptural altars; the supports of natural materials as integral to the art as the beautiful books they cradle. From a distance, these books do evoke sculptures; however, their essential "bookness" becomes apparent upon closer observation. Gaylord encourages "reading" the books as a contemplative experience, one that will take the viewer out of the everyday world. Gaylord is best known for her Spirit Books. Since she created her first one in 1992 and coined the name, the Spirit Books have been exhibited throughout the US, Canada, and in Korea. She has exhibited at the Center for Book Arts in New York City, the University of Indiana Art Gallery, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, and the Seungnam Book Fair in Seungnam, Korea. Spirit Books are in the book arts collections at Bowdoin College and the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton county, and many private collections. They are also well-represented in print. Free, no registration required

Note: For exhibition availability, refer to Hunnewell Visitor Center hours.

Tree Identification Primer

Tree Identification Primer

Catherine Chamberlain, Graduate Student, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology and Fellow of the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
2 Sessions, Select One: Sunday, May 20, June 24  1:30–3:30pm
Location: Hunnewell Building Landscape

Trees and shrubs can be challenging to identify, but as the saying goes, “…you will love only what you understand…” (Baba Dioum). So why not expand the number of trees and shrubs you become aware of and can identify? In this session, Cat Chamberlain will lead you through the Arnold Arboretum to practice using dichotomous keys, plant presses, and other tools often used in field research. This casual journey through the landscape will allow you to familiarize yourself with and appreciate the flora that surrounds you. Dress for learning in the landscape and bring a magnifier lens if you have one. Register for an additional session on Sunday, June 24.
Fee $10 member, $20 nonmember per session

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

Humane and Happy Gardening

Humane and Happy Gardening

Nancy Lawson,Garden Habitat Consultant
1 Session: Tuesday, May 22, 7:00–8:30pm
Location: Hunnewell Building

In this myth-busting talk, learn how common growing methods divide the natural world into false dichotomies and perpetuate misperceptions about the wild species living among us. Discover practical ways to put humane gardening philosophies into action by protecting wild nurseries of animals large and small, eliminating unintended hazards to wildlife, nurturing plants that provide food and shelter, and humanely resolving conflicts with mammals and other commonly misunderstood creatures. Nancy Lawson will provide simple principles for both attracting wildlife and peacefully resolving conflicts with all the creatures who share our world. Nancy is the author of The Humane Gardener: Nurturing a Backyard Habitat for Wildlife and blogs at HumaneGardener.com.
Fee $10 member; $18 nonmember

A columnist for All Animals magazine, Nancy Lawson founded Humane Gardener, an outreach initiative dedicated to animal-friendly landscaping methods. Her book and garden have been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, O: The Oprah Magazine, and other media outlets. Read Nancy's recent post, Why Should I Care About These Animals

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