Upcoming Events

See all of our tour and class listings.

Viewing Events from February 18, 2018 to March 20, 2018

Grafting Woody Plants

Grafting Woody Plants

Sean Halloran, Plant Propagator,Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
1 Session: Saturday, February 24, 9:00am–12:30pm
Location: Dana Greenhouse Classroom, Arnold Arboretum

Grafting is the technique of joining parts of separate plants in such a manner that they unite and continue their growth as one. Learn basic principles of grafting with an overview of different types of dormant-season grafts. Arnold Arboretum propagator Sean will provide step-by-step instructions so that you can practice both cleft and side veneer grafts using apple root stock. Simple after-care will be required until planting out in springtime. Registrants will need to sign an Assumption of Risk and Release in order to participate in this class.
Fee $62 member, $75 nonmember

Register at or call 617-384-5277.

Botany Blast: Woody Plant Basics

Botany Blast: Woody Plant Basics

Catherine Chamberlain, Graduate Student, Holbrook Lab, Harvard University
1 Session: Saturday, February 24, 1:00–3:00pm
Location: Hunnewell Building

In this introductory workshop on plant structure and function, we will focus on temperate forest tree and shrub species found around the Arboretum. We will cover topics such as basic plant function and the development of flowers to fruits to seeds. This interactive session will enhance your understanding of plants and amplify future hikes in the woods or wanderings throughout the Arboretum. The class will be taught by graduate students, led by Cat Chamberlain.
Fee Free member; $10 nonmember

Register at or call 617-384-5277.

MIT Citizen Science Fair

Feb Fest MIT Museum: Citizen Science Fair

Saturday, January 24, 1:00-4:000pm
Location: MIT Museum

Join the MIT Museum for Feb Fest, an annual celebration during February school vacation, with daily hands-on activities, workshops, and more. Inspired by their exhibition Big Bang Data, this year’s theme is big data. See all Feb Fest events, February 19–24, 2018.

On February 24, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, visit the Citizen Science Fair
Learn about “citizen science,” research projects that enlist the public’s participation in data collection, analysis, and reporting. This form of crowd-sourced science has the potential to lead to discoveries that would be nearly impossible to achieve alone. Meet researchers and discover how you can participate! Visit the Arnold Arboretum's table for demonstrations and activities showcasing two Arboretum citizen science programs, Tree Spotters and TreeVersity.
Tree Spotter Training

Learn to Observe: Tree Spotter Spring Training

Suzanne Mrozak, Tree Spotter Volunteer Coordinator and Danny Schissler, Research Assistant, Arnold Arboretum
Select a date: February 25 1:00-3:30 pm, March 11, 10:30-1:00pm, March 25, 1:00-3:30pm, April 14, 1:00-3:30pm
Location: Hunnewell Building Lecture Hall

Multiple Sessions: Sunday, February 25 1:00-3:30 pm, Sunday, March 11, 10:30-1:00pm, Sunday, March 25, 1:00-3:30pm, Saturday, April 14, 1:00-3:30pm

With nearly 4,000 different kinds of plants represented in the Arboretum's living collections, every day presents rich opportunities to see something new. If you enjoy learning about plants and their unique characteristics, you can contribute to science as a participant in our Tree Spotters program. This citizen science project opens a window into the Arboretum's phenology: the timing of natural events, such as the leafing out and flowering of trees in the spring and changing foliage colors in the fall. Your observations will assist Arboretum scientists in their studies of the effects of a changing climate on plants. Attend a free training session. All levels of experience are welcome. 

Once trained, Tree Spotters will participate in the program by visiting the Arboretum two or more times a month from March through November for a 1 to 2 hour tree-spotting session. You can do this on your own, with friends or family, or with other volunteers. You will enter your observations into your Nature's Notebook Observation Deck (an online database created and supported by the US National Phenology Network) that allows you to see patterns across the season! Registered participants will receive an e-mail before the training with further information.

Free but registration requested
Register at or call 617-384-5209.

Volunteer Open House

Volunteer Open House

Tuesday, February 27, 5:00-6:30pm
Location:  Hunnewell Building - Visitor Center

Do you love the Arboretum? Are you looking for a way to get involved? Come to an informal meet-and-greet and learn about our volunteer opportunities.  Representatives from our volunteer groups will be available to share their experiences and answer your questions.

We are actively seeking Field Study Guides, Interpreters and Tree Spotters for spring training dates.

Please call 617.384.5209 for additional information

Free, no registration required

Forest Bathing: Half Day Retreat

Forest Bathing - Half Day Retreat

Guided Therapeutic Experience
Year Round, 1st Saturday and 1st Thursday of each month
, 8:00am-11:00am
Tam Willey, Certified Forest Therapy Guide
Year Round, 1st Saturday and 1st Thursday of each month
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 or call 617-384-5209

In case of inclement weather, contact 617.304.9313

Pruning Shrubs

Pruning Shrubs

Jen Kettell, Horticultural Educator and Consultant
1 Session: Saturday, March 3, 10:00am–12:00pm
Location: Hunnewell Building
Knowing what and when to prune, and how to do so, are important as you manage your home landscape. Learn the basic techniques for pruning ornamental shrubs for optimum health and beauty. Jen Kettell, an ISA-certified arborist will address topics including pruning cuts and tools; thinning and reducing overgrown plants; shaping and encouraging new growth.
Fee $20 member, $30 nonmember

Massachusetts Certified Arborist and International Society of Arboriculture CEUs available.
Growing a Contemporary Arboretum--Philipe de Spoelberch

Growing a Contemporary Arboretum

Philippe de Spoelberch, Dendrologist and Plantsman, Arboretum Wespelaar
1 Session: Sunday, March 4, 2:00–3:30pm

In 1970, Philippe de Spoelberch started a plant collection in Herkenrode, Belgium. Now, forty-eight years later, after expanding to neighboring property, his initial efforts have blossomed into Arboretum Wespelaar, which opened to the public in 2001. Comprising more than 15,000 accessioned plants, with renowned collections of maple, rhododendron, magnolia, and beech, the Arboretum’s mission is similar to that of the Arnold Arboretum: to contribute to the knowledge and further study of all woody plants from the temperate climates of the world. As well, Arboretum Wespelaar has a focus on conserving rare and endangered plant species and educating the public about gardening with woody plants. On this special afternoon, Philippe de Spoelberch will speak about the decades-long creation of this magnificent living collection, his own development as a plantsman—from collector to curator and conservationist, and show images of the prized collections. The talk will be followed by a reception. (Note: this program was originally scheduled for March 5 at 7pm, but was changed to March 4 at 2pm.)
Fee Free, but registration required

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Register at 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.

View 2017-2018 schedule.
Free, but registration requested

Botany Blast: Plants and Their Ecosystems

Botany Blast: Plants and Their Ecosystems

Catherine Chamberlain, Graduate Student, Holbrook Lab, Harvard University
1 Session: Saturday, March 10, 1:00–3:00pm

Gain an appreciation for how plants work as a whole and the role they play in forest communities. In this class, we will consider plant physiology and forest ecosystem structure. We will investigate the role that various species plays in an ecosystem and gain a better understanding about how plants work and survive in a myriad of habitats. We will also look at the phenology of plants and pollinators. The session will be taught by graduate students, led by Cat Chamberlain.
Fee Free member; $10 nonmember

Register at or call 617-384-5277.

Guided Tour: Winter Wellness Walk

Winter Wellness Walks

Arboretum docents
Sundays: December 10, January 14, February 11, March 11, 1:00-1:45pm
Location: Hunnewell Building

Great scenery and exercise, who could want more? 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. Sign up for one or all! Please dress appropriately for the weather.

In case of inclement weather, contact 617.384.5209.

Free, Registration requested at

No Sex? No Problem! Asexual Propagation of Plants

No Sex? No Problem! Asexual Propagation of Plants

Sean Halloran, Propagator, Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University
1 Session: Monday, March 12, 7:00–8:00pm
Location: Hunnewell Building

Many plants, unlike humans, can be replicated absent sexual reproduction. Some do this readily while others need assistance or special circumstances. Arnold Arboretum propagator Sean Halloran will speak about the biology and physiology of asexual reproduction in plants and the variety of techniques that can be used to produce more plants. He will describe the characteristics and parts amenable to asexual propagation and explain the appropriate technique(s) to use for one genus versus another. This lecture will include insights into grafting, air layering, rooting cuttings, and more.
Fee $10 member, $15 nonmember

Register at or call 617-384-5277.

Guided Tour: Tree Architecture

Tree Architecture

Andrew Gapinski, Manager of Horticulture

Thursday, March 15, 1:00-2:30pm
Location: Hunnewell Building


"Now is the best season for arborists. Leaves and flowers? That's just a distraction!" Join Andrew Gapinski, the Arnold  Arboretum's Manager of Horticulture, as he proves his point, by illustrating, in this pared down season, how overall tree form is influenced by three facts: genetics, site conditions, and environmental events. Visit actual plant specimens in the Arboretum's collections to learn why a tree is leaning, why it has "knees," or how its shape may be influenced by internal stimuli.

In case of inclement weather, please call 617 384-5209.

Free, registration is requested at

Guided Tour: Conifers in Winter

Conifers in Winter

Robbie Apfel, Arboretum Docent

Sunday, March 18, 1:00-2:30pm
Location: Bussey Street Gate
Docent Robbie Apfel leads this winter walk in an exploration of the Arboretum's conifer collection. Beginning from the Bussey Street Gate, you will be introduced to the Arboretum's grand gymnosperms, learn the botany of conifers, and hear about Hemlock Hill's evolving ecosystem. This tour will also introduce you to native and non-native conifers in the winter landscape.

In case of inclement weather, please call 617 384-5209.

Free, registration is requested at