The Bare Essentials: Winter Trees

Winter is the barest of times in the Arboretum; however, there is much to see and much happening in the landscape. Join our docent for a walk on the bare side--notice shapes, textures, even the personalities of plants that are often missed when the land is heavy with green. You will see buds already forming and the dried seeds that are more visible when leaves are gone. Dress appropriately for the weather. In case of inclement weather, contact 617.384.5209.

Fruit from the Sands: The Silk Road Origins of the Foods We Eat

Robert Spengler III, PhD, Director of the Paleoethnobotany Laboratories, Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Jena, Germany

Wednesday, December 4, 7:00–8:30pm
[Arnold Arboretum, Hunnewell Building]

From almonds and apples to tea and rice, many foods that we consume today have histories that can be traced out of prehistoric Central Asia along the tracks of the Silk Road to kitchens in Europe, America, China, and elsewhere in East Asia. The exchange of goods, ideas, cultural practices, and genes along these ancient routes extends back five thousand years, and organized trade along the Silk Road dates to at least Han Dynasty China in the second century BC. Robert Spengler presents a broad array of archaeological, botanical, and historical evidence, narrating the story of the origins and spread of agriculture across Inner Asia and into Europe and East Asia. Through the preserved remains of plants found in archaeological sites, he identifies the regions where our most familiar crops were domesticated and follows their routes as people carried them around the world, shaping the course of human history. $5; free for students

Family Hike: Get Ready For Winter!

Nancy Sableski, Manager of Children's Education
Families need nature at all times of the year! Meet inside the main gate at the Visitor Center. We’ll learn how Arboretum animals get ready for winter. Go on a StoryWalk, get a tattoo, and make a winter home for your favorite animal! Free and open to all, most suitable for children ages four through ten.

Propagating Semi-hardwood Cuttings

[Arnold Arboretum, Dana Greenhouse Classroom]

Tiffany Enzenbacher, Manager of Plant Production, Arnold Arboretum

Enhance your garden! Join Manager of Plant Production Tiffany Enzenbacher to learn how to propagate woody plants from fall cuttings. Students will collect and stick cuttings of several taxa (Ilex and Rhododendron to name a few), and will take their propagules home. After rooting, small plants may be ready to transplant as early as next year. Post-class nurturing will be required.

Fall Forest Bathing

Sunday, November 3, 9:00am-11:00am
[Arnold Arboretum, Bussey St. Gate Entrance at map tables]


Tam Willey, Certified Forest Therapy Guide

Forest Bathing is inspired by Shinrin-yoku, a prominent feature of preventative medicine and healing in Japan.  From increased cerebral blood flow to stronger immune defenses, there has been extensive research demonstrating what can happen when we relax, unplug and open our senses to the natural world in community. 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. Fee $35
Register at or call 617-384-5209

In case of inclement weather, contact 617.304.9313.