Events

    Director’s Series | Life: The Arnold Arboretum as an Institution of Public Health

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    The Arnold Arboretum's sesquicentennial Director's Series traces the Arnold’s significance in the landscape architecture movement, value for the people of Boston, and leadership in creating global connections between plants and people.

    Panelists include:

    • Dr. Michelle Kondo, Research Social Scientist, UDSA-Forest Service

    • Rev. Mariama White-Hammond, Chief of Environment, Energy, and Open Space, City of Boston

    • Laurence Cotton, Consulting Producer, “Frederick Law Olmsted: Designing...

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    Celebrating a Sesquicentennial: The Founding of the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    Livestreamed or at Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre St., Boston

    The Arnold Arboretum was founded on Friday, March 29, 1872. Exactly 150 years later, we invite you to join Lisa Pearson, Head of the Arboretum Library and Archives, for a special sesquicentennial lecture! Pearson will discuss the earliest benefactors of the Arboretum, the events surrounding the founding of the institution, and the busy first two decades during which the infrastructure and living collections were installed on the grounds.

    This event will also be livestreamed to YouTube. To sign up for the virtual livestream instead,...

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    Olmsted and Yosemite: Civil War, Abolition, and the National Park Idea

    Location: 

    Online or at Weld Hill Research Building, 1300 Centre St., Boston

    Just in time for the Arboretum's sesquicentennial and the bicentennial of the birth of pioneering landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, authors Rolf Diamant and Ethan Carr will speak on their recent book, "Olmsted and Yosemite: Civil War, Abolition, and the National Park Idea." They'll offer a new interpretation of how the American park—urban and national—came to figure so prominently in our cultural identity, and why this more complex and inclusive story deserves to be told.

    ...

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    "Every Pecan Tree": Trees, Meaning, and Memory in Enslaved People’s Lives

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    This is the third lecture in the Arnold Arboretum's 2021 Director's Lecture Series. Tiya Miles takes up the pecan tree as inspiration for exploring the meaning of trees in the lives of enslaved African Americans. Using a family heirloom, slave narratives, oral histories, and missionary records, her talk underscores the importance of trees in the Black experience of captivity and resistance, ultimately revealing the centrality of the natural world to Black, and indeed human, survival.

    ...

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    A History of Path-Making at the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    At the time of its founding in 1872, the land on which the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is sighted was a patchwork of farmland and forest. As the Arboretum was planted, pathways were developed to lead people through the picturesque landscape. As the landscape developed, economies shifted, wars took place, and directors changed. Each of these factors subtly influenced shifts in the park’s path system. Join the Arnold Arboretum on Zoom with Jared Rubinstein as he reveals the layers of change in this beloved landscape.

    ...

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    Racial Equity in Urban Climate Action

    Location: 

    Online—Arnold Arboretum

    Joan Fitzgerald, Professor of Urban Planning and Policy at Northeastern University, will build on key concepts in her new book, Greenovation: Urban Leadership on Climate Change (2020). She’ll discuss how cities are rethinking their approach to climate action by placing racial justice at the forefront. She’ll draw from recent experiences with Providence, Austin, and Oakland in creating participatory planning processes and new priorities for a just transition to a carbon-free society. She’ll conclude by discussing how the transition can be linked to jobs in the green economy.

    ...

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    Observations on Urban Nature

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum—Online

    Peter Del Tredici, Senior Research Scientist Emeritus at the Arnold Arboretum, and Rosetta Elkin, Associate Professor of Landscape Architecture at McGill University, converse about the nature of urban environments. Peter will begin the program with a brief overview of the plant observations he makes in his book, Wild Urban Plants of the Northeast. Following this, Peter and Rosetta will discuss both ecological and design elements that come into play in the cities and suburbs that we call home. Up for discussion are the environments that humans intentionally and unintentionally...

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    Photography with Chris Morgan

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Chris Morgan is fascinated by the patterns and textures in nature, the shapes of trees, and the movements of birds. He captures these beautifully in his photographs, which were on display at the Arnold Arboretum in the winter of 2019.

    In this program, Chris will discuss his photographic interests and methods in the classroom and then move outdoors to demonstrate his techniques. Class participants will be able to learn alongside Chris, evaluating views, debating camera angles, and considering focal points in order to shoot better images. Participants should bring their...

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    Native Woody Plant Materials

    Location: 

    Garden in the Woods, 180 Hemenway Road, Framingham

    Explore the vast variety of native trees, shrubs, and woody vines. Learn which species grow well in shade, which support local wildlife, and how to stagger plantings for continuous bloom, fruit production, and fall color. The class discusses growth characteristics, cultural requirements, and best horticultural uses. It begins with lectures and walks at Garden in the Woods in Framingham and includes a field trip to the Arnold Arboretum in...

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    Smartphone Photography: Capturing the Colors of Autumn

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Capture the drama of fall, when landscapes present a vivid array of colors and the palette is most striking. Professional photographer Nancy Katz will introduce fundamental concepts of landscape photography and then teach techniques for getting the best photographs from your smartphone camera. You will capture images in dynamic color and muted shades, then learn to enhance them using a host of editing tools provided in the Snapseed App. For best results, bring your smartphone and a commitment to completing the weekly homework assignments. Class will take place indoors and out.

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    Plants Go to War: A Botanical History of World War II

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    As the first botanical history of World War II, Plants Go to War examines military history from the perspective of plant science. From victory gardens to drugs, timber, rubber, and fibers, plants supplied materials with key roles in victory. Author and botanist Judith Sumner will speak of the many plants that were incorporated into wartime safety materials, diet and rations, and even bombers.

    ...

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    Garden for Biodiversity

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Sam Jaffe, naturalist and educator, will present both the collaborative and deceitful nature of insects and plants as they’ve evolved to rely upon one another. This lecture, illustrated with Sam’s gorgeous photographs, will expand your invertebrate knowledge, appreciation, and desire to be the best garden host you can be.

    Cost:
    $10 for members; $15 for nonmembers.

    ...

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    Angiosperms and Gymnosperms: The Basics

    Location: 

    Centre Street Gate, Arnold Arboretum, Boston

    What better place to look for the differences between angiosperms (plants that flower and have enclosed seeds), and gymnosperms (plants with "naked seeds," including conifers, ginkgos, and others), than in the Arnold Arboretum landscape, where over 15,000 plants reside in a living museum. Join our guide as she points out trees in both groups and describes the characteristics of each.

    ...

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    The Substance of Soil

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Soil is the basis of survival. Without soil, humans and most other living beings could not exist. Conor Guidarelli, who has dug deep into the soils of the Arnold Arboretum will present an overview of soil, from its formation and components to its properties. He will discuss ways to analyze soil quality and health to determine whether or not amendments are needed based on the soil outcome or use desired.

    Participants are encouraged to bring a pint glass jar with about a cup of soil in it to class.

    Cost: $20 for members; $30 for nonmembers.

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    Sprout Lands: Tending the Endless Gift of Trees

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Once, farmers knew how to prune trees in a way that, instead of destroying them, led to robust and sustained growth – of the trees and of the communities that utilized them. 

    Rediscover this lost art that sustained human life and culture for ten millennia in this talk with arborist William Bryant Logan. William offers us both practical knowledge about how to live with trees to mutual benefit and hope that humans may again learn what the persistence and generosity of trees can teach.

    Cost: Free for members; $5 for nonmembers.

    ...

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    Bonsai Behind the Curtain: Uncovering Their Care and Cultivation

    Location: 

    Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Join Manager of Plant Production, Tiffany Enzenbacher, for an evening of exploration into the oldest dwarfed plant collection in the United States. As one of the caretakers of the Arboretum's bonsai collection, Tiffany will highlight many of the procedures used by staff to maintain the health of these captivating specimens.

    Learn more about and register for Bonsai Behind the...

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    The Art of Botanical Prose

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    All writers must contend with translation. A poet translates the movement of a dancing figure into a brief couplet, and an essayist translates the noise and commotion of the city where she lives into a single paragraph. The three-dimensional world filters into text, and when done especially well—the realm of literature and art—readers often forget that translation has even occurred.

    In this talk, Jonathan Damery, the associate editor for Arnoldia, will provide a readerly tour through horticultural and botanical reference books, encouraging readers to see the artistic endeavor...

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    Landscape Plant Selection, Planting, and Establishment

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Ensuring the long-term health of your landscape starts with healthy plants from the nursery, proper site selection and preparation, and sound planting and establishment. Andrew Gapinski will discuss professional standards and techniques, along with common issues and solutions for both balled-and-burlapped and containerized specimens. He will focus on landscape trees, shrubs, and perennials—ornamental annuals and vegetables will not be covered in this offering. Class will start indoors and then move outdoors to the Dana Greenhouse Nursery.

    Cost: $30 members, $...

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    Around the World in 80 Trees

    Location: 

    Weld Hill Building, Arnold Arboretum, Boston

    Trees are one of humanity’s most constant and varied companions. From India’s sacred banyan to the fragrant cedar of Lebanon, they offer us sanctuary and inspiration – not to mention the raw materials for everything from aspirin to maple syrup.

    In Around the World in 80 Trees, Jonathan Drori uses plant science to illuminate how trees play a role in every part of human life, from the romantic to the regrettable, to the downright ridiculous. Stops on the trip include the lime trees of Berlin’s Unter den Linden boulevard, which intoxicate amorous Germans and hungry bees...

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