US National Arboretum

 
 

Current Events and Programs

Some arboretum programs require advance registration. Please refer to each program description for details. Click here for current registration procedures for all programs.

To view and print the PDF files you will need the free Adobe Acrobat Reader.  If you do not already have Acrobat Reader installed as a web plugin, or if you don't know whether or not you have it installed -- please visit our PDF Help Page for information, instructions and links to your free Acrobat Reader.

We are now using Active Network to manage our program registrations and fee payments. The registration links embedded in the programs listed below will take you directly to the site where you can register for programs and pay fees using your credit card or debit card.

Be advised that after you have completed your registration and made your payment, you will see a pop-up window that will tell you about Active Advantage, which is a membership service that you may subscribe to that gives you discounts on some programs in Active Network and other benefits. This is only activated if you verify your email by entering it in the box and click on the Accept button. Your card will be charged for the Active Advantage membership if you enter your email address and click the Accept button. You do NOT have to be a member to register for arboretum programs, and if you don't want to become a member of Active Network, simply ignore this pop-up window.

February March

April

May

Full Moon Hike

Note: Full Moon Hikes are now managed by the Friends of the National Arboretum. To check availability of tickets and register, click here..

February

Last Chance Exhibit: Viewing Stones: Falling into Winter
November 4, 2017 – March 4, 2018, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Exhibits Gallery

This exhibit presents stones in thematic groupings to evoke the change of seasons from early fall to late winter—complementing our fall and winter bonsai exhibits. The stones are on loan from the Jim & Alice Kikue Greaves Collection, American Viewing Stone Resource Center at The Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens. Free.

 

Lecture: Reordering the Landscape: Science, Nature, and Spirituality at Wye House
February 10, 1:30 pm – 2:30 pm
U.S. National Arboretum Auditorium

Archaeologists have begun to discover the ways enslaved Africans and African Americans used plants, which they sometimes grew in secret, to preserve their traditions, culture and identity.  As part of her doctoral dissertation, Dr. Elizabeth Pruitt talked with descendants of formerly enslaved people at the Wye House Plantation about their family’s histories. She studied the fossilized pollen remains on the plantation’s grounds and in the forests and swamps. Her findings suggest enslaved people on the Wye House Plantation grew plants for different spiritual, medicinal, and practical purposes, in a fight to preserve their well-being and to hold fast to their identities within the African diaspora. Free. Registration required.

 

Children’s Workshop: Will It Be a Bonsai or a Big Tree?
February 17, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Meet at Yoshimura Lecture and Demonstration Center

If you missed this workshop in January, join us this month.  Every tree seedling has its fate, and in this workshop, you can learn how that fate is determined. One adult and one child will have a special day together as they work as lab partners, using their “scientist eyes” to observe details and make comparisons. We’ll learn about plant physiology, ecosystems and bonsai history, too.  At the close of class, each research team will receive a seedling whose fate they will decide. Will your tree go through the rigorous training to become a bonsai or will you plant it outdoors in spring to grow up wild, big and free?  Be sure to bring warm coats since we will be in an open exhibit area for part of the workshop. This activity is not recommended for participants under the age of 8, and is geared to children in the third and fourth grades. Due to limited classroom space, strollers can’t be accommodated. Fee: $25 per child-adult pair ($22 FONA/NBF) Registration required.

 

Lecture: The Assassin’s Plot and the Physician’s Garden
February 24, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Administration Building Auditorium

Treat yourself to a good murder mystery on a cold winter day. In this chilling tale, we will focus on the crime’s co-conspirators—plants. Medical artist Jeffrey Day, MD, of the National Library of Medicine will give common biochemical mechanisms and fun backyard examples of herbs that harm humans. Prefer your plants a bit less pathological? We’ll also explore medicinal garden denizens and how they heal. We’ll draw examples from popular fiction so you can discover your favorite author’s science savvy—or get an idea for a new book to read. Fee: $10 ($8 FONA) Registration required.

March

Last Chance Exhibit: Viewing Stones: Falling into Winter
November 4, 2017 – March 4, 2018, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Exhibits Gallery

This exhibit presents stones in thematic groupings to evoke the change of seasons from early fall to late winter—complementing our fall and winter bonsai exhibits. The stones are on loan from the Jim & Alice Kikue Greaves Collection, American Viewing Stone Resource Center at The Huntington Library, Art Collection, and Botanical Gardens. Free.

 

Self-guided Tour: Beyond the Tidal Basin: Introducing Other Great Flowering Cherries
March 20 – April 12, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Visitor Center

When most people hear the words “cherry blossom,” they think of the familiar Yoshino cherry trees at the Tidal Basin. Come to the Arboretum to explore nearly forty different types of flowering cherries and discover the beautiful variety of shapes, sizes, flower colors, and bloom times that these trees feature. Look for three new varieties developed by Arboretum scientists and don’t miss the remarkable weeping Yoshinos. Drive, bike, or walk over several miles of Arboretum roads to see them all.  Pick up a brochure in the Visitor Information Center or download one at the Arboretum website after March 15. Free.

 

Lahr Symposium Native Plants: Biodiversity in Managed Landscapes
March 24, 8:30 am – 3:30 pm
Visitor Center

This year’s Lahr Symposium explores the mounting evidence you that really can have it all—a landscape that balances artistry with sustainability. Speakers will share their insights on landscape designs that use native plants to work in harmony with nature. The researchers’ data and landscape professionals’ assessment both confirm: a pleasing landscape that protects ecosystems just works; and it has never been more critical to the planet’s future. Keep checking our website for new Lahr Symposium materials and updates.This symposium has been approved for 4.0 LA CES. Registration Required.

This year's presentations include:

Restoration and Management of Urban Forests: Measuring Success
Lea Johnson, Ecologist, University of Maryland, Plant Science & Landscape Architecture

The National Garden: 10 Years and Counting
Bill McLaughlin, Plant Curator, United States Botanic Garden

Pollinator Interactions with Native Cultivars
Annie S. White, Ecological Landscape Designer, Nectar Landscape Design Studio, Burlington, VT 

In addition, participants will choose one of three break-out sessions:

Eco-Inspired Landscape Design for Urban and Rural Spaces
John Magee, Landscape Designer, Magee Design and Co-host of the Native Plant Podcast

Invasive Doppelgangers and Vegetation change in DC-Area National Parks                     
Liz Matthews, Botanist, National Park Service, Inventory and Monitoring Program

A Bird’s Eye View of Biodiversity Hot Spots in the District
Dan Rauch, Biologist, District of Columbia, Department of Energy and the Environment

 

Native Plant Sale
March 24, 8:30 am – 2:00 pm
Adjacent to Visitor Center
 
Get a jump-start on spring by shopping at this annual sale featuring local nurseries that offer an extensive collection of quality native plants. Growers will be on hand to provide expert gardening information.  Sponsored by Friends of the National Arboretum and held in conjunction with the Lahr Native Plant Symposium.

 

Rose Rosette Disease-an Update
March 25, 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
U.S. National Arboretum Auditorium

Have you stopped growing roses because you worry about using pesticides?  Would you like recommendations for roses that will thrive without heavy chemical use? Dr. Mark Windham, a leading expert on Rose Rosette Disease, will discuss his research findings and give rose lovers a chance to have their favorite flower make a stunning second debut in their garden. Rose Rosette Disease (RRD) has been identified as one of biggest threats to roses, so this is a can’t miss talk for any grower. This talk is cosponsored by the American Rose Society. Fee: $12 (FONA $10)  Registration Required

 

Beyond Yoshino – Exploring the Diversity of Flowering Cherries
March 31, 10:30 am – 12:00 pm
U.S. National Arboretum Classroom

How do you develop a flowering cherry tree with the perfect combination of size, shape, flower color, and bloom time? Just ask Dr. Margaret Pooler who has developed three breathtaking varieties. She will explain the history of how these trees became the iconic symbol of springtime in Washington, DC, and will explain the science behind the Arboretum’s celebrated breeding program. The lecture will be followed by a short walk to showcase the diversity of the Arboretum's cherry trees at the US National Arboretum. If you've ever wanted to know more about the science behind these beautiful blossoms, this is your chance. Fee: $10 (FONA $8) Registration Required.

 

Workshop: Seeing Beauty Where You Are
March 31, 1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
Administration Building Auditorium

Photographer Tuan Pham has taught several classes at the arboretum, often to sold-out audiences. In this program, he demonstrates the most amazing camera of all—the human eye.  Learn how to clear mental clutter, return to the senses and experience new ways of seeing.  Tuan Pham will show his own photography and discuss how he brings mindfulness to his art. The class includes a visioning exercise where participants will use Mr. Pham’s techniques to find inspiration on the Arboretum grounds. As nature shakes off winter’s dormancy, participants will sharpen their awareness of the subtle ways plants respond to the longer days and warmer temperatures of early spring. This talk is ideal for artists, meditators or anyone who would appreciate a deeper, more meaningful encounter with natural splendor.  Fee: $25 ($22 FONA) Registration required.

April

Lawn Care Best Practices
April 7, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Visitor Center

Get information on the five most important lawn care principles. This proactive approach emphasizes preventive techniques to reduce the incidence of weeds, pests, and diseases, thereby reducing the time and resources needed to keep your lawn healthy and attractive. Take home practical information to guide you through the process. Guided tour of Grass Roots Exhibit included. Free, registration encouraged; space is limited. Call 202-245-5965 to register.

 

Self-guided Tour: Beyond the Tidal Basin: Introducing Other Great Flowering Cherries
March 20 – April 12, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Visitor Center

When most people hear the words “cherry blossom,” they think of the famous and familiar Yoshino cherry trees at the Tidal Basin. Come to the Arboretum to explore nearly forty different types of flowering cherries and discover the great diversity of shapes, sizes, flower colors, and bloom times these trees feature. Look for three new varieties developed by Arboretum scientists and don’t miss the remarkable weeping Yoshinos. Drive, bike, or walk over several miles of Arboretum roads to see them all.  Pick up a brochure in the Visitor Information Center or download one at the Arboretum website after March 15. Free.

 

Exhibit: Ikebana International
April 13-22, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum Exhibits Gallery

Enjoy spring flowers with a Japanese twist! The Washington D.C. Chapter of Ikebana International will exhibit flower arrangements representing a variety of ikebana schools and styles. There will be two different exhibits, so plan return visits to see everything. Free.

 

Ikebana for Kids
April 15, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm
U.S. National Arboretum Classroom

Ikebana is the Japanese art of flower arranging.  Children ages 10 to 13 will spend an hour with a trained ikebana teacher qualified to train young people this ancient art. Your child will take home a beautiful living flower arrangement as part of the workshop. All materials will be provided. Fee: $10 (FONA/NBF $8). Registration Required.

 

Demonstrations: Ikebana International
April 15, 1:00 pm
April 21, 10:00 am and 1:00 pm
April 22, 1:00 pm

National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Watch master teachers from the Washington D.C. Chapter No. 1 of Ikebana International create works of art from flowers and other natural materials. Each date features a different school. See Exhibit above, Ikebana International. Free. No registration required.

 

Azalea Collections Tours
April 18, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
April 25, 4:00 pm – 6:00 pm
April 27, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Meet in the Visitor Center

Stroll along wooded hillside trails amid a brilliant spring display of thousands of blooming azaleas while learning about the origins and culture of these popular shrubs. Barbara Bullock, long-time curator of the renowned Arboretum Azalea Collections, tells the story of how Arboretum research has contributed hundreds of new varieties for gardeners; gives expert advice on all aspects of growing azaleas; and answers your questions. Thousands of the arboretum’s azaleas increased their vigor and blooms thanks to the Glenn Dale Hillside Renewal Project, a major renovation completed in 2014. Fee: $15 ($12 FONA) Registration required.

 

Workshop: Bonsai Basics with Junipers
April 28, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
April 29, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Bonsai are decorative miniature trees and shrubs that grow and thrive as living art.  With the right care, families can pass their bonsai down through generations. Begin your own bonsai story with this one-day class designed for the novice. Learn the horticultural, aesthetic, and cultural elements of bonsai and then apply your new knowledge during the hands-on workshop. All necessary materials, including a juniper tree, pot, soil, and wire are provided. Some tools will be available. Please bring tools if you have them. Bring lunch for a noon break. Your tree will need an outside space at home after the workshop. These popular workshops sell out so please register early. Fee: $135 ($108 FONA/NBF) Registration required.

May

Fertilize your Lawn Correctly
May 19, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm        
Visitor Center

Did you know that there are new fertilizer rules in place for homeowners? Learn what they are and how they encourage correct fertilizer usage to promote long-term lawn health and protect waterways, including the bay. Fertilizer selection, application, timing, types of spreaders, calibrating spreaders, avoiding common costly mistakes, and more will be covered. Guided tour of Grass Roots Exhibit included. Free, registration encouraged; space is limited. Call 202-245-5965 to register.

 

Azalea Collections Tour
May 13, Mother’s Day! 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meet at Visitor Center Lobby

Bring friends and family for this annual spring tradition. Stroll along wooded hillside trails amid a brilliant spring display of blooming azaleas while learning about the origins and culture of these popular shrubs. Barbara Bullock, long-time curator of the renowned Arboretum Azalea Collections, tells the story of how Arboretum research has contributed hundreds of new varieties for gardeners, gives expert advice on all aspects of growing azaleas, and answers your questions. See first-hand the progress of the Glenn Dale Hillside Renewal Project, a major renovation to improve conditions to increase the vigor and bloom production of thousands of azaleas by controlling invasives, pruning, and thinning select saplings. Fee: $15 ($12 FONA) Registration required.

 

Workshop: Bonsai Basics with Junipers
May 5, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
May 6, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
National Bonsai & Penjing Museum

Bonsai are decorative miniature trees and shrubs that grow and thrive as living art.  With the right care, families can pass their bonsai down through generations. Begin your own bonsai story with this one-day class designed for the novice. Learn the horticultural, aesthetic, and cultural elements of bonsai and then apply your new knowledge during the hands-on workshop. All necessary materials, including a juniper tree, pot, soil, and wire are provided. Some tools will be available. Please bring tools if you have them. Bring lunch for a noon break. Your tree will need an outside space at home after the workshop. These popular workshops sell out so please register early. Fee: $135 ($108 FONA/NBF) Registration required.

FONA/NBF

 

FONA/NBF refers to members of the Friends of the National Arboretum (FONA) or the National Bonsai Foundation (NBF), who receive a discount on many programs. For membership information for FONA, call 202-544-8733 or see their website at www.fona.org. For information on NBF, call 202-396-3510 or see www.bonsai-nbf.org.

 Back to the Arboretum Home Page
Arboretum Information || Events & Education || Gardens & Horticulture || Research Activities
Support the Arboretum || New Plant Introductions || USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map || Comments
Search Our Site

Last Updated   February 13, 2018 1:33 PM
URL = http://www.usna.usda.gov/Education/events.html