Fall is officially here at the Arnold Arboretum, and with it the beginning of our autumn display of colorful foliage. Since the Arboretum’s collection of plants finds its roots in locations around the world, there isn’t a traditional New England peak of color. Here, it happens throughout the month of October and into November. A great place to explore for weekly changes is the Maple Collection. Visit different areas of interest in the landscape, from microclimate hills to brooks to scenic overlooks of the Boston skyline. This 281-acre jewel in Olmsted’s Emerald Necklace of parklands is both a research center and museum of Harvard University and a beloved public landscape open free to the public every day.


Featured Plants & Areas of Interest

A canopy of majestic trees makes the Arboretum a fabulous destination in October, and programs this month feature the living collection at this still verdant time of year. As fall temperatures cool, enjoy the fruits in the Bradley Rosaceous Collection and also the ripening fruit in the Crabapple Collection on Peters Hill.

Guided Tours

See how much the Arboretum has to offer when you tour the landscape with one of our knowledgeable docents or expert staff. Tours are free and open to the public, and cover various areas of the collections and landscape. Landscape tours take place every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday at 10:30am and Sunday at 1:00pm. See the calendar for all upcoming tours. No Monday tour on October 8.

Tree of the Month

Check out October’s Tree of the Month, Tree of the Month – Franklinia_pdf. In autumn, its creamy white flowers make an unusual and startling counterpoint to the scarlet leaves. Use your mobile device to search our interactive digital map, ArbExplorer, to locate the black walnut trees in our landscape.


Visitor Center

Stop by the Visitor Center (located in the Hunnewell Building) and learn more about the Arboretum’s collections, history, and events. Need advice on where to explore? Friendly and experienced Visitor Engagement staff will suggest walking routes, answer questions, and share their Arboretum knowledge.

Classes and Lectures

Hear renowned speakers discuss topics, participate in stimulating discussions, and gain insight into some of the most fascinating areas of science, horticulture, landscape design, and ecology. Prefer a more hands-on experience? Register for a class or workshop and learn how to prune a plant, grow a mushroom, or upgrade your home garden. See the calendar for upcoming classes and lectures.

Woodturners 2016_Ben Natale

Art at the Arboretum

Turning Wood: The Art of the Woodturner IV
October 5-7 2018
Reception, Fri. Oct. 5, 5-7pm

Demonstrations Oct. 6 and 7

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 (look for work turned from Arnold Arboretum deaccessioned trees), offer a unique look at the “personality” within the wood itself. The three woodturning associations, as well as Harvard Woodturning students, have come together for this very special Arnold Arboretum exhibition and will bring their own creativity and technical expertise, displaying more than 60 unique pieces for utilitarian use and aesthetic enjoyment. Join us as members demonstrate their skill working the lathe throughout the week-end.

An Artist’s Perspective: The Arboretum and Botanical Artist Regina Gardner Milan
October 12, 2018-February 3, 2019
Reception with the Artist, Sat. Oct. 20, 1-3pm

Regina Gardner Milan spent a year of discovery at the Arboretum. Botanical jewels of each season–early larches, spring blossoms, fall acorns, autumn leaves–are captured in her exquisite paintings. Nature holds a spellbinding allure to Milan, who finds that observing nature often produces scenes of larger-than-life beauty. The Arboretum’s exhibition magnifies nature’s productions, fully illuminating the elegance of plant life as small as a seed pod. This show captures the wonder of the Arboretum in those larger-than-life images.

Milan received a Certificate of Botanical Illustration with distinction from the Society of Botanical Artists in London, England, where she also received the President’s Award. She has exhibited in many juried shows throughout the US and world, including the 2016 New England Society of Botanical Artists’ show at the Arnold Arboretum. She teaches graphic design as an Associate Teaching Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell, and is president of MILAN concept & design, a graphic design firm she founded in 1988.

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.