Events

    Research in the Collections: A Scientific Exploration of the Arnold Arboretum

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    The Arnold Arboretum provides both extensively documented collections for research and the facilities for the researchers—labs, greenhouses, and growing chambers. From around the world, scientists come to use the trees and shrubs in the Arboretum landscape, studying climate change, plant evolution, natural selection, and species adaptation. Join docent Esther Miller to hear about the science of the Arboretum.

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    Art Workshop: Revealing the Wild Print

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Join the Arboretum's exhibiting artist, Steffanie Schwam, in this hands-on workshop. You will make your own unique monoprint on paper or fabric, using leaves from the Arboretum's collections, paint, printmaking tools, recycled materials, and the inspiration of the surrounding landscape.

    Note: This workshop is appropriate for ages 8 and up. An adult must accompany anyone between ages 8–12.

    Cost: $15 for members; $25 for nonmembers.

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    Fall Forest Bathing

    Location: 

    Bussey St. Gate, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    This slow-paced guided therapeutic experience promotes wellness through a series of gentle sensory-opening invitations that welcome us to notice more of our natural surroundings. By deepening our connection with the natural world and each other, we open ourselves up to the healing medicine of the forest. Forest Bathing is part of a global effort to tend to the stressful conditions of living in modern industrialized civilization.

    Cost: $25 for members; $35 for nonmembers

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    Tree Spotters Citizen Science Program: Basic Training

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    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 the Arnold Arboretum's 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...

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    Fall Birding

    Location: 

    Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    This autumn, experience the birds of the Arboretum with expert birder and Arboretum volunteer, Bob Mayer and/or staff birding aficionado, Brendan Keegan. Catch a glimpse of migrating birds as they fly south and get acquainted with the Arboretum's resident birds as well. Bring binoculars if you have them; some binoculars will be available to share. Beginners and seasoned birders are welcome!

    Bob Mayer:
    September 14 (meet at Arborway Gate)
    September 28 (meet at Peters Hill Gate)

    Brendan Keegan:
    September 21 (meet at Arborway...

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    Bonsai Matching

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Most of the species seen as bonsai in the Arboretum’s Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection can also be found in the landscape. Explore the history and culture of bonsai and the Arboretum’s relationship with these plants, and compare bonsai with their “unrestricted” counterparts in the landscape. See ginkgo, trident maple, bald cypress, hinoki cypress, and more, large and small!

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    Angiosperms and Gymnosperms: The Basics

    Location: 

    Centre Street Gate, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, 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 the Arboretum's guide, Florrie Wescoat, as she points out trees in both groups and describes the characteristics of each.

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    Tree Spotters Citizen Science Program: Basic Training

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    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 the Arnold Arboretum's 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...

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    Exploring Science Together: Bugs!

    Location: 

    Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford St., Cambridge

    Take a closer look and explore the world of minuscule bugs! Learn through hands-on activities designed to show you how to classify and identify these numerous and diverse creatures! Participate in activities in our incredible arthropods gallery. Observe and touch live invertebrates, and then go outside and collect some of your own. Dig in the dirt and learn how invertebrates help people compost food waste into soil. Create your own scientific equipment that will help you continue the study of entomology at home.

    All activities are designed to be fun and interactive experiences...

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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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    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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    In the Groves: A Summer Solstice Journey

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Building and Arboretum Landscape, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Join us for an enchanting evening of Tree Myths, Songs and Summer Solstice Legends. Attendees will hear tales of the human connection with trees and the deep meaning we have assigned to them through the ages. This unique performance, designed specifically for the Arnold Arboretum, travels through the Arboretum with story and music. Each story is told under a different tree or among a unique collection of Arboretum plants, culminating with the haunting Czech legend “The Wild Woman of the Birch Grove” told amid the birches at sunset. Appropriate for adults and for children twelve years and...

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    Growing Woody Plants from Softwood Cuttings

    Location: 

    Dana Greenhouse, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    Hydrangea and Cherry and Willow, oh my! Join Manager of Plant Production Tiffany Enzenbacher to learn how to propagate woody plants from summer cuttings. Students will collect and stick cuttings of several landscape plants. Cuttings will be rooted at the greenhouse to be retrieved later for transplanting into the registrant’s garden or potted up into small containers. Fee for all materials is included in the cost of the class. Students should bring their own pruners and dress for the weather.

    Cost: $36 for members; $45 for nonmembers.

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    Rose Family in Bloom

    Location: 

    Bradley Rosaceous Collection, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    The rose family (Rosaceae) contains over 3,000 species of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants. Roses, spireas, mountain ash, and many more are at peak bloom in June.

    You will be surprised by the beauty, breadth, and depth of the Bradley Rosaceous Collection (BRC), and the Arboretum's role in discovering and disseminating understanding of this large family of plants.

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    Dissection Dramatics! Flower Form

    Location: 

    Hunnewell Lawn, Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, Boston

    This is part of the new Science in Our Park Series. Come to the Arnold Arboretum and be a scientist! Get your hands onto scientific tools, use your observation skills, and share your findings with others.

    Dissection Dramatics will give you ample opportunity to fiddle with microscopes, hand lenses and digital scopes. Discover the secrets contained in a flower as you pull it apart piece by piece. Then test your puzzle making abilities as you attempt to put it back together.

    One adult may bring a maximum of three children; suitable for children ages...

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    Ethnobotany at Harvard

    Location: 

    Harvard University Herbaria, 22 Divinity Ave., Cambridge

    Historically, plants have provided humans with most of our drugs, fibers, food, dyes, perfumes, building materials, and even musical instruments. But how has this diverse and fascinating field been studied and what has been learned? In fact, for over 100 years, Harvard has played a pivotal role in the study of human-plant interactions, leading to the creation of the field of ethnobotany.

    In this interactive lecture we will explore the science and history of some of the most important Harvard botanists and explorers through their unique specimens—now housed in the Harvard...

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