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 touch of fall will soon be in the air, and the fruits of autumn are abundant in the collections. The crabapples on Peters Hill are heavy with pomes in many sizes and warm shades. If you stroll down Hemlock Hill Road, the gorgeous display of herbaceous color in the meadow along Bussey Brook will delight your eye and camera. On Bussey Hill be sure to visit the Franklin tree in bloom, and along Meadow Road, the cultivar of the golden raintree, ‘Rose Lantern’, begins to display the reason for its common name with rosy-hued seed pods resembling lanterns.

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. Free, public tours are offered on Saturday and Sunday at 10:30am and 1:00pm respectively. Week-day tours on Mondays and Thursdays at 10:30am resume September 5. These tours are appropriate for up to 6 persons. See the calendar for all upcoming tours.

Tree of the Month

In September, look for our Tree of the Month, Heptacodium miconoides (Tree of the Month -seven-son flower). The seven-son flower is a tall, deciduous shrub, and one of the few woody plants to bloom late in late summer, so is a wonderful September highlight. It has charming and fragrant white flowers followed by showy, purple-red fruits . The bark is also a standout, exfoliating in strips that reveal an inner bark in various hues of tan and brown. If you are visiting, use your phone and search on ArbExplorer to locate the 13 seven-son flowers that are part of the Arnold Arboretum’s living collections.


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. An exhibition, Art and Science, Fabric, Fiber, and Phenology, The Art Prints of Steffanie Schwam & The Arnold Arboretum Tree Spotters Program is in the Visitor Center through October 6. Sign up for the Print Workhop, Revealing the Wild Print with artist Schwam on September 28.

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.

Art at the Arboretum

Between the Leaves
The Unique Prints of Sarah Cross
July 26, 2019 – October 13, 2019

Between the Leaves focuses on the ephemeral quality of light. Behind each photograph is Cross’s hand in the physical construction of what is set up in front of the camera, or through a cathartic printing process. The artist works with a range of photographic media, including 4″ x 5″ color negatives, and gum bichromate printing to create photographs. After a strong degree of Photoshop manipulation, the prints are made through the historic bichromate process. With this lengthy process, each color is printed as a single layer, resulting in fragile, painterly, and unique prints. Although large in physical presence, these prints are meant to express small invitations to reverie.

Sarah Cross is an Assistant Professor and Program Director of Photography at Cazenovia College in New York. She taught as a visiting Professor in Photography & New Media at Beloit College in Wisconsin from 2009 to 2013. Her work has been shown nationally in group and solo exhibitions.

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.