The trees, shrubs and vines grown at the Arnold Arboretum—the living collection—is celebrated as one of the most comprehensive and best documented natural history collections of its kind. Rich holdings include temperate woody plants from around the world, with a particularly strong representation of the floras of the eastern United States and eastern Asia. 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.


May 13 2011Leventritt

Featured Plants & Areas of Interest

A canopy of majestic trees makes the Arboretum an oasis in July, and programs this month feature the living collection at this verdant time of year. As summer temperatures rise, stroll along the shady paths of Rhododendron Dell, Conifer Path, and Hemlock 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.


Tree of the Month

Check out July’s Tree of the Month, Cotinus coggygria (smoke tree) [pdf]. In the summer its unique, hairy panicles look like clouds of smoke, giving rise to its common name. Use your mobile device to search our interactive digital map, ArbExplorer, to locate Cotinus in our landscape.


Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord - Spirit Books

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. This month, Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord’s Spirit Books will be displayed in the Visitor Center, bridging the inherent spirituality and mystery of nature with the historical tradition of books as testaments of faith and belief. Gaylord 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 are as integral to the art as the beautiful books they cradle.

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.

Calycanthis chinensis Arnold exhibit

Art at the Arboretum

Impressions of Woody Plants: Disjunction, Two Artists, and the Arnold Arboretum
Copper Etchings by Bobbie Angell and Watercolor Paintings by Beverly Duncan
On display in the Hunnewell Lecture Hall; May 11 through July 22, 2018.

The word disjunction, defined as the relationship between two distinct alternatives, can be applied to plants growing in the Arnold Arboretum from around the world as well as the combined works of botanical artists Bobbi Angell and Beverly Duncan. Read more about this special exhibition of copper etchings and watercolor paintings, on view through July 22, on our Current and Upcoming Art Shows page.

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.