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1927 Map of the Arboretum

Top 150 Picks

  • The pond area
    I love the beautiful trees, flowers, frogs, fish, everything there.
    Victoria Lin: Senior Database Admin
  • Terrace 6 in the LG
    Ericaceous plants are my favorite.
    Gregory La Plume: Lead Horticulturist
  • The meta sequoias across the path from the Hunnewell.
    Richard Pagett: Associate of the Arnold Arboretum
  • Meadow Road
    Andrew Gapinski: Director of Horticulture
  • Hemlock Hill in the winter
    Walking through Hemlock Hill on a winter afternoon with the snow crunching underfoot and stillness thick in the air.
    Tanya Holton: Director of Institutional Advancement
  • Lightning struck Catalpa
    A 125 year old Catalpa was struck by lightning a few years ago and it unfortunately didn't make it, but it's legacy continues as the main trunk remains as a respite above the Lilac collection. A perfect perch for views over the Lilac Collection, as the Arboretum's contours guide your eyes thru the Legumes and finally to rest on the Bradley Rosaceous Garden.
    Conor Guidarelli: Horticulturist
  • The mulch path through the hickories
    Take a stroll from Centre Street Gate towards the conifers by walking along the mulch path through the hickories (Carya sp.). Start by admiring the unique specimens on offer along Centre Street Beds such as the Osage Orange tree (Malcura pomifera 471-36-B). Then pass under the canopy of the wingnuts (Pterocarya sp.) to emerge in a meadow of wood aster and goldenrod. Finally traverse the final leg tucked between Central Woodland's edge and the evergreen holly collection (Ilex sp.) to meet up with Conifer Path.
    Ryan Devlin: Horticulturist
  • Giant white oak on Peter's Hill
    A favorite tree of mine in the Arboretum is the giant white oak (Quercus alba A) on the Northern slope of Peter's Hill. It is an ancient tree with two massive leads reaching up into the sky and a canopy that is as wide as it is tall. Surrounded by Malus species, it is easily the most prominent tree in this landscape. This tree is a veteran of many natural disturbances such as snow and wind events and has lost several limbs and leads. A large crack has formed between the two main leads threatening the tree's livelihood. As an attempt of preservation the arborist crew myself included pruned this tree to reduce endweight and installed a large Extra High Strength steel cable between the two leads. This was a massive project that spanned across several work days during a cold stretch last February. The views of the city skyline from the canopy of were spectacular. Every day we worked aloft a large cayote napped lazily in patch of sunshine nearby. The cayote was hidden to all the visitors walking on the road below but not to us, we had the bird's eye view.
    Andrew Tataronis: Arborist
  • My favorite place is the materials yard/olde quarry.
    Wes Kalloch: Arboretum Horticulturist
  • Fall colorization
    As I walk into my office at Weld Hill, there is a tree with leaves that turn red in the Fall. It is a small and great way to start the day.
    Amy Mendez: Payroll/Finance Coordinator
  • The weeping beech at the start of the beech path is one of the most magical places for me in the arboretum
    It always makes me think about the ancient Chinese poems where the beautiful, yet almost melancholic, forms of the weeping beeches brought on a unique sensation mixed with romance and a tragic sense of loss. It took me home and reminded again of nature’s magic to transcend space and time.
    Wenying Liao: Post-Doctoral
  • Evergreens
    I love to get lost in the evergreens, either in the conifer collection or on hemlock hill. Those areas feel filled with mystery!
    Lee Toomey: Plant Growth Facilities Manager
  • Liquidambar styraciflua (1248-79*B) which we received as wild collected seed in 1980
    This plant has dramatic winged back but what makes it particularly interesting is it's sibling plant (1248-79*A) planted right behind it has smooth wingless bark.
    Rachel Brinkman: Manager of Horticulture
  • Conifer Path
    Scott Pedemonte: Plant Technologist
  • Honey Locust Collection
    My favorite place at the Arboretum is the honey locust collection on top of Peter's Hill. It's my favorite view of Boston and the honey locust's thorns are beautiful and dangerous.
    Mitchell Dickerman: Director of Information Technology
  • The silk tree with its bright pink, feathery flowers
    It can be found by the stairs leading to the top of Bussey Hill. When I see its vibrant colors, it is a reminder that we are in peak summer, my most cherished season.
    Matt Jordan: Director of Finance
  • Three small ponds
    There is nothing like checking in on the three small ponds at the end of Meadow Road to see what flora and fauna might make an appearance. Now that the ponds have been dredged, their surfaces are mirror-like. I love to see reflections at all times of day in the ponds.
    Nancy Sableski: Manager of Children's Education
  • Dog favorites
    My dog's favorite things at the Arboretum are: rolling in lawn fertilizer, squirrels, rabbits, reading the dog mail by the visitor center water fountain, and ending walks with a splash in the stream by the metasequoia grove.
    Lee Toomey: Plant Growth Facilities Manager
  • Sugar Maples
    I love the sugar maples in the Arboretum. I grew up in the Boston area and there were sugar maples in my neighborhood. When October comes each year, I remember being a little girl and playing in the falling leaves. I remember the feel of the air on those late October afternoons, just before dusk.
    Ann McNamara: Advancement Assistant
  • Walter Street Gate Vista
    The vista walking to Walter Street Gate where the landscape opens up to showcase the conifer collection looming over the multi-hued meadow. It takes my breath away every time.
    Tanya Holton: Director of Institutional Advancement
  • Just like a grandparent should not be forced to admit which grandchild is their favorite, no curator (or keeper!) should admit which among some 16,000 plants is theirs. However, today I pick this most charismatic of paperbark maples at the Arboretum, a layer from a Wilson-collected plant supplied in 1925 by Mr. T.A. Havemeyer, of Cedar Hill Nursery, Long Island, NY. Bearing numerous robust stems, this tall tree among the Viburnum collection resembles many of those I saw in the wild in China. It is a great place to sit below, rest your head, and admire the copper-foil bark.
    Michael Dosmann: Keeper of the Living Collections
  • Hickories
    I love seeing the hickories in their full golden splendor each fall. One last show before the year ends!
    Danny Schissler: Head of Operations and Project Management
  • The view from the top of Peter's Hill
    Particularly beautiful in the late spring and early autumn, but a great place at any time for seeking solace or thinking through a difficult problem!
    Richard Pagett: Associate of the Arnold Arboretum
  • The three ponds
    On a warm day I can sit there for hours watching the wildlife and wandering through the beautiful rosaceous collection right there.
    Matt Caulkins: Web Application Manager
  • The Pinus bungeana (663-49*C,Lacebark Pine) half way along Conifer Path is an absolute stunner with it's kaleidoscope camouflage coloring and flaking texture for its bark. It's central location in my favorite collection, the Conifers, makes for an intimate and immersive experience amongst the resinous evergreen giants.
    Conor Guidarelli: Horticulturist
  • Witch Hazels
    I also love the witch hazels. Any one and all of them. The magical name, the traditional medicinal properties, and their ability to blossom in the snow. I have always had a bottle of witch hazel in my medicine cabinet if for no other reason but the fragrance.
    Ann McNamara: Advancement Assistant
  • Prunus x yedoensis forma perpendens is a favorite to drive by every day. Accessioned in 1925, the tree must have some serious mojo, especially for a Prunus. Though it clearly lost it's main leader at some point, the tree has nonetheless soldiered on and just started a new leader. A small umbrella on an old trunk. And hope springs eternal.
    Laura Mele: Lead Horticulturist
  • North Face of Hemlock Hill
    Reminds me of home.
    Gregory La Plume: Lead Horticulturist
  • I love the surprise around every corner
    I love being able to bring something I found, like a flower or leaf back to Weld Hill and be able to look at it in a different way. Like throwing different pollen grains under a scanning electron microscope. It's an entire secondary world waiting to be seen!
    Faye Rosin: Director of Research Facilitation
  • Chinese Path
    Andrew Gapinski: Director of Horticulture
  • Whe chip path between the LG and Linden/Zelkova collections
    I like walking what we call the Esker (The chip path between the LG and Linden/Zelkova collections). Its just a really cool ridge path with diverse views - formal on one side and informal on the other.
    Jed Romanowiz: Head Operator
  • Towering King Boris firs
    In the Conifer Collection, there are two towering King Boris firs (827-27*A and 827-27*B). They stand next to one another and their long branches reach almost to the ground, creating a cathedral-like effect between them. In September 2020, I got married under those two trees! That area will always be special to me.
    Amy Heuer: Digital Programs and Content Manager
  • Conifer Collection in winter
    You escape the city bustle underneath the tall dense canopy that surrounds you and can enjoy a moment of tranquility.
    Tiffany Enzenbacher: Head of Plant Production
  • Willow Path
    I always feel wonderful walking along the path to go to the train station.
    Victoria Lin: Senior Database Admin
  • The Kalmia Path
    This small, informal trail boasts a unique micro climate that favors the growth of moss. It is one of the only places in the Arboretum where mountain laurel and hemlock is regenerating naturally.
    Colin McCallum-Cook: Horticulturalist
  • Maple Collection during the fall
    I love the Maple Collection during the fall when the asters and wreath goldenrods are blooming. The last burst of understory color before winter is always beautiful, as are the bumblebees and other pollinating insects gathering nectar and pollen before the season ends.
    Brendan Keegan: Horticulturist
  • Dirt roads on the bank of Bussey Brook
    Another favorite spot is the small dirt trail on the bank of Bussey Brook as it passes through the Rhododendron Collection. The shade of the hemlocks and moisture from the water always cool the air even on the hottest summer days. Snow on the evergreens and ice on the water is beautiful in winter, especially in the evenings when owls call from the hillsides.
    Brendan Keegan: Horticulturist
  • Charles Sprague Sargent's hawthorn collection
    The remnant of Charles Sprague Sargent's hawthorn collection on the eastern slope of Peters Hill. These small, gnarled trees date to the early 1900s and were collected in the wild by a considerable array of individuals: a telegraph operator, the owner of a general store, a banking and railroad executive, and more.
    Jonathan Damery: Editor of Arnoldia
  • The Oak collection
    Another favorite of mine, these immense, majestic trees and the sunlight filtered through their lofty branches bring a sense of peace and wonder... an ethereal hangout for exploring, playing, and relaxing. Sitting here it’s hard to believe there is anywhere else in the world.
    Scott Phillips: Rose Garden Horticulturist
  • Quiet areas
    The area where the Pyrus trees are, next to the Poplar Gate road, is a quiet and sometimes forgotten landfill where to spend a nice time.
    Camilo Villouta: Putnam Fellow
  • It's impossible to name only one favorite
    I love the oak tree that reminds me of growing up and I love the conifer path for the peacefulness in the winter and its surprise color in the spring.
    Faye Rosin: Director of Research Facilitation
  • Buried treasure
    A small glass bottle from the early 1900s with 'Bayer' and 'Aspirin' embossed on either side. I found this buried under a Taxus (removed a couple of years ago) to the left of Walter Street gate. This was during the time of my internship here in 2018 working on our team project of updating the gate area. The object may seemed like trash to others, however, it was initially what sparked my interest for the deep seeded history the arboretum has to offer.
    Vanessa Igoe: Gardener 1
  • Secluded part of Hemlock Hill
    The secluded part of Hemlock Hill is a great place to sit and contemplate, or talk with a friend. The trees there are varied and interesting and the rock outcropping is fun to explore.
    Mitchell Dickerman: Director of Information Technology
  • My favorite thing is Chevy work truck no.10.
    Wes Kalloch: Arboretum Horticulturist
  • Hamamelis virginiana 'Mohonk Red'
    For witch hazel admirers and those who love winter flowers (everyone?) check out Hamamelis virginiana 'Mohonk Red' 121-96 (A, B, C). A striking and uncommon red flowering variety of the native witch hazel. Officially discovered in a nature preserve in New Paltz, New York in 1990. Watch for blooms in October- December.
    Ryan Devlin: Horticulturist
  • Paths through the conifer collection
    Being under the canopy and walking the winding hilly path is such an uncommon experience in a city like Boston, and when you reach to summit of the hill you can gaze across the arboretum grounds and see all the way down to Hemlock hill.
    Matt Caulkins: Web Application Manager
  • Colorado blue spruce along Bussey Brook
    The quartet of Colorado blue spruce along Bussey Brook. Like many plants at the Arnold Arboretum, these trees have an esteemed provenance—accessioned in 1874, collected by the person credited with first scientifically documenting the species—yet more than anything, I love these trees because of their sparse and skeletal form. They strike a dramatic pose at all times of year, at all times of day, come rain or come shine.
    Jonathan Damery: Editor of Arnoldia
  • Japanese Umbrella Pine
    A favorite plant is the Japanese Umbrella Pine because everyone loves to touch the long, flexible needles that are wondrously waxy. I love to share this plant with children because they've never seen anything like it before.
    Nancy Sableski: Manager of Children's Education
  • . This tree was accessioned in 1886. Looking at this tree makes me wonder about everything it has not only seen, but been through over the many generations it has been standing. To me, this specimen is considered a survivor of the turmoil the Beech collection has faced from Ambrosia Beetle over the years. Yet, it is still has a such a power, positive presence with its huge trunk and silvery -gray, almost elephant - like bark.
    Vanessa Igoe: Gardener 1
  • Davidia involucrata
    Scott Pedemonte: Plant Technologist
  • The evergreen trees alongside the Walter street
    They are a constant reminder of my transitory existence on this earth and that there is peace to be found in the eternal cycles of nature.
    Wenying Liao: Post-Doctoral
  • Lindera angustifolia (oriental spicebush) on Bussey Hill Road
    Lindera's winter color is absolutely sublime in my eye. Its aromatic leaves remain on the plant in a color akin to rich buckskin. It actually glows in winter light when much around it is gray. And, if you look closely, black drupes (fruit) are nestled among the leaves like tiny beads of jet.
    Sheryl White: Coordinator of Visitor Engagement and Exhibitions
  • Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia) collection in late spring
    They may be found tucked in at the foot of the north side of Hemlock Hill. They blossom a bit later than our lilacs and make a delightful sight with their masses of small flowers in white, pink, red, lavender, and purple.
    Lisa Pearson: Head of the Library and Archives
  • Conifer Path
    It is the walk I take from Weld Hill to Hunnewell. It feels like an escape from the concrete of the city.
    Amy Mendez: Payroll/Finance Coordinator
  • Mobile visitor center
    The new mobile visitor center is so beautifully designed and decorated. It adds to the landscape visually but also adds to the Arboretum's mission to educate visitors about plants and the environment.
    Libby Koger: Gifts Assistant
  • I love our hardy Cedars of Lebanon (Cedrus libani)
    They may be found near the Hunnewell Building, on the State Laboratory slope near Dawson Pond, on the south side of Bussey Hill, and in the Conifer Collection. These large trees are not normally hardy in our New England climate but seeds for these were gathered high in the mountains of Turkey where it is very cool. You can learn more about them here.
    Lisa Pearson: Head of the Library and Archives
  • Painted maple (Acer mono) on Meadow Road
    It is a beautiful specimen tree I've long admired through the years. It has the most graceful, twisting form, and its position near the road makes it a handsome beacon for our national collection of maples. It looks wonderful in every season, even in winter when its attractive form takes center stage.
    Jon Hetman: Associate Director of External Relations and Communications
  • Mulch path through the conifers
    The mulch path through the conifers that starts at the Carpinus, not Conifer path. It's a magical place, full of cool old trees with crazy forms.
    Laura Mele: Lead Horticulturist
  • Eastern prickly pears
    Some of my favorite plants in the Arboretum are the Eastern prickly pears, or Opuntia humifusa, planted in the rockery (near the oak collection). They have beautiful yellow flowers each year, and layer themselves in as the pads desiccate each winter. They have thrived since planting in 2019 and are easily visible from the main road.
    Rachel Lawlor: Gardener 1
  • Leventritt Shrub & Vine Garden
    It is the most formal area of the Arboretum with a great density of very diverse plant material. Each terrace has a unique grouping of plants, and walking through this garden will lead you to our bonsai collection. A must-stop on your strolls!
    Rachel Lawlor: Gardener I
  • Fagus grandifolia
    The ancient grove of American beech (Fagus grandifolia) on the slope above Bussey Brook near the Yew (Taxus) collection.
    Peter Del Tredici: Emeritus Research Scientist
  • Willow Path
    I have fond memories of running breathlessly down this corridor to arrive at work on-time. Willow Path takes you from Forest Hills Station into the heart of the Rosaceous and Maple collections, a stark contrast of urban grit and biodiversity.
    Chris Copeland: Greenhouse Horticulturist
  • The Beech collection pollinator meadow is definitely a love of mine
    We started this meadow from scratch two years ago and in mid- to late-summer the abundance of partridge pea, New England aster, goldenrod and common milkweed is buzzing with bees and flitting monarchs.
    Scott Phillips: Rose Garden Horticulturist
  • The lilac scents
    I never realized how unique each lilac species' scent was. I love to bring children to the collection and go on a smell hunt, searching for the right smell descriptor: grandma's perfume, tutti-frutti, lemon, fairy dust, or spice cookies.
    Ana Maria Caballero: Outdoor Educator
  • Ginkgo trees
    I love the ginkgo trees. Their distinctive fan-shaped leaves that turn golden in the fall...so magical and so much history.
    Libby Koger: Gifts Assistant
  • North Woods East of the Leventritt Garden
    The North Woods East of the Leventritt Garden is home to many beautiful sugar maples and has perhaps the best fall color in the whole Arboretum. One fall day a fellow arborist and myself were there to safely prune out broken hanging limbs from over the walking path. I was using my trowline (a small diameter cordage with a weighted bag at the end) to install my climbing into the canopy of a sugar maple. When I took my throw, out of a cavity two thirds of the way up the trunk out popped the head of a tiny little screech owl, no taller that eight inches. I assume it just wanted to check out what all the ruckus was about. When it saw that we were not a threat, it proceeded to drift back asleep with it's head still outside of the canopy. This was both adorable and hilarious.
    Andrew Tataronis: Arborist
  • Larz Anderson Bonsai Collection
    These trees are some of the oldest that the Arboretum has to offer. It is powerful to consider that each plant has been watered and cared for every single day, century after century.
    Chris Copeland: Greenhouse Horticulturist
  • Asiatic sweetleaf
    My favorite tree I've discovered in our expansive landscape is the Asiatic sweetleaf, Symplocos paniculata (1948-80*A), found in the small open field between the lilacs and birches on Bussey Hill. The dark pea-sized berries it produces are a deep blue, reminiscent of a summer evening, when the sky transitions, like a freshly painted watercolor, to a rich blue as the setting sun transects the horizon. They also remind me of the vibrant blues in sometsuke, the blue and white porcelain pottery originating from Japan. Before the berries emerge, the short tree can be easily glanced over, as the unsuspecting beauty and seemingly unnatural blues remain a hidden secret. Come back in different seasons to experience this tree in all its stages.
    Mikhail Fischer: Landscape Term
  • Ruins on Bussey Hill
    The remnants of the foundation of one of Benjamin Bussey's structures on the slope of Bussey Hill is a terrific reminder of the cultural past of this landscape. It also shows us that man's impact on the landscape can, over time, revert back to nature. It's also just a lovely spot of the hill, and is particularly beautiful washed in autumn hues.
    Jon Hetman: Associate Director of External Relations and Communications
  • Beech Path, leading to Dawson Pon
    This beautiful vista is highlighted by the weeping cherries reflecting off the water. Another sign that summer is in the air.
    Matt Jordan: Director of Finance
  • White Oak next to the crabapples in Peter's Hill
    Sometimes when I want to spend a quiet time I go to the White Oak next to the crabapples in Peter's Hill (346-2010*A). Just half way to the top of the hill, this is a guarded spot where I can lay and relax.
    Camilo Villouta: Putnam Fellow
  • The Hunnewell Meadow
    Despite being a stone's throw away from the Visitor Center, this wetland is one of the wildest places in the Arboretum.
    Colin McCallum-Cook: Horticulturalist
  • Although this oak was accessioned in 2010, it actually predates the Arboretum's founding. It towers over the collections of crab apples and hawthorns on Peters Hill, has done so for over 150 years. This tree is special to me even though I have walked the Peters Hill circle for a mere 35 years. I watched it hold red-tailed hawks in its branches, applauded our arborist's cabling to secure its large limbs, passed under its shade when expecting my daughter, and touched its course bark to reassure myself of what is important.
    Sheryl White: Coordinator of Visitor Engagement and Exhibitions
  • Witch-hazel right
    There's a beautiful witch-hazel right outside my office window in the Hunnewell Building. I didn't know anything about witch-hazels before working here, but I've fallen in love with them!
    Amy Heuer: Digital Programs and Content Manager
  • Taxodium distichum
    The bald cypress grove (Taxodium distichum) on Peters Hill.
    Peter Del Tredici: Emeritus Research Scientist
  • Hemlock Hill
    My favorite place at the arboretum is up on Hemlock Hill. Walking towards Walter street from Beech Path, keep an eye out for a gravel path winding up the hill on the left, hidden by large evergreen branches, that create a living arbor for you to walk through. About halfway down the paved drive on the left, this living "wardrobe to Naria," transcends you to a new and magical world, entirely separate from concrete façade of the city. Follow this path up to just before the top, where there is a small clearing and a stand of thin black birches off to the left. Take care with your footing, but if you approach the edge of the rock outcrop, you are rewarded with a transformative view. Looking down the dark-green moss-covered rock precipice, your eyes catch the reflection of sunlight scintillating off of the babbling Bussey Brook as is gently whispers the sound of flowing water through the silent conifers. The burnt umber forest floor, colored from the soft, squishy carpet of dropped needles, is juxtaposed by the bright green living needles, outlined by the dappled sunlight infiltrating the forest canopy. The longer you let the scene unfold before you, the faster the natural vivid and muted colors blend together, creating an eco-centric masterpiece. Here, more than anywhere else at the arboretum, I feel completely immersed in nature, instantly forgetting I am still in the Boston zip code.
    Michail Fischer: Landscape Term
  • Pines adjacent to Kent field
    The tall trees give it a forest like feel and its high ground provides great views to much of the surrounding area.
    Jed Romanowiz: Head Operator
  • The white barked Himalayan birch has the most blindingly white bark I've seen. It is especially stunning in winter, when the sun shines on it against a deep blue sky. As a bonus, it feels chalky when you rub your fingers on the bark - you actually get some white powder on you!
    Ana Maria Caballero: Outdoor Educator
  • Flowering winter-hazels
    Visiting the flowering winter-hazels growing in the Centre Street Beds is the perfect spring boost after a long winter.
    Tiffany Enzenbacher: Head of Plant Production
  • The ancient grove of oriental spruce (Picea orientalis) found in the middle of the Conifer Collection
    The Arboretum received these plant as seed in 1873 and 1874. Now these magnificent trees tower above you with sweeping branches, some of which touch the ground before turning around and jutting back up towards the sky.
    Rachel Brinkman: Manager of Horticulture