Open every day. Free every day.
Join us for a walk through the Arboretum! Tour seasonal plant highlights and learn about Arboretum history from a trained docent.
The Caterpillar Lab returns to the Arboretum for three days packed with caterpillar displays, free-exploration programming, digital microscopes, and experienced educators on hand to give you insights into these amazing animals.
Working with international dendrochronologists, Anna Von Mertens culled source images of tree ring cross-sections from studies connecting climate variability and periods of human instability. The events represented in her quilts correlate to periods of drought recorded by the tree rings. Fading thread colors mirror and highlight historical events.
Have you ever wondered what happens if you do not mow a lawn? Visit the Arboretum with your family to explore these areas and see for yourself!
StoryWalks are a wonderful way for families to read and talk about nature in the Arboretum landscape. Each month we set out a seasonal story about nature by using children’s picture books with beautiful illustrations and kid-friendly language. The StoryWalks migrate weekly through locations just inside several of the most traveled gates in the Arboretum.
This unique show is an invitational of fourteen artists from New England Book Artists. They all use the framework of a book to create a personal vision of nature.
Have you ever wondered about the dragonflies and damselflies you see this time of year? Visit the Arboretum's ponds with your family and check out our newest Wonder Spot to learn about these high fliers.
Explore the past, present, and future of plant introduction at the Arboretum
There are nine bats species in Massachusetts and six of them have been found on the grounds. Visit all six new Bat Wonder Spots to learn how each bat interacts with the environment, hear recordings of bat calls, and participate in some bat myth busting!
Explore stories about botany, horticulture, conservation, and Arboretum history through photos, text, and audio segments.
Learn about the life of an Arboretum plant on Google Arts & Culture.
This half-mile Introductory Tour features stories about the Arboretum’s history, mission, and research endeavors. If you’re at the Arboretum, click here to take a version of this tour with Expeditions, our mobile web app.
Experience the Arnold Arboretum’s world-class living collections from Director Ned Friedman’s perspective. Take this tour online or while visiting the Arboretum in person.
This quarter-mile tour through the Explorers Garden features stories from the Arboretum’s century and a half of collecting plants around the world. If you’re at the Arboretum, click here to take a version of this tour with Expeditions, our mobile web app.
Walk with Landscape Architect Rosetta S. Elkin and Arboretum Archivist Lisa E. Pearson.
This pecan, collected in 1882, arrived from the first large research project undertaken at the Arnold Arboretum—a nationwide survey of trees and forests for the United States census in 1880. The collector was an ornithologist with an acute eye for detail.
A botanist at the Arnold Arboretum officially named and described the seven son flower in 1916. But the species would not be grown in the United States until 1980. This plant was among the first.
As I care for our plants, I love seeing the other beneficial organisms that inhabit our landscape, especially those who live in our meadow areas. I also enjoy seeing so many people—and dogs!—visiting this place every day. It is amazing to know that all the hard work we do makes many people so happy.
I am responsible for the horticultural quality of plants that move through our plant production facility. This involves transplanting, careful watering, and managing pests/diseases of all woody and herbaceous plants in our greenhouses and nurseries. I think folks would be interested to know about the diversity and origin of plants in our landscape. It may be hard to tell without reading every tag, but many plants were wild-collected from countries and continents around the world.
There is so much more happening at the Arboretum than people realize, from a beautiful landscape that encourages contemplation and discovery, to research in our laboratories, to education involving public school kids or undergraduates from around the world, to art exhibits and performances… and so much more.
I am inspired by the absolute passion that every staff member and our volunteers possess to make this place as beautiful and as accessible to the public as possible. There are multiple entry points to conservation, education, and research—our mission—but the Arnold Arboretum as a place and its people are the conduits that make our mission come alive.
What inspires me about the Arboretum is that each plant in the landscape has a story to tell: where it came from or where the species is native, the individual who harvested the seed in the field to grow it, how it was propagated—information that makes the plant unique. All of these narratives weave together to tell the 150-year account of the Arboretum.