Tree Spotters Program


Do you love spending time outdoors? Would you like to learn more about the Arnold Arboretum’s trees? Would you enjoy connecting with the Arboretum ecologists and fellow citizen science volunteers?


If so, we encourage you to participate in our Tree Spotters program at the Arnold Arboretum. The goal of this citizen science program is to open a window into the Arboretum’s phenology––the timing of natural events, such as the leafing out of trees in the spring or the turning of colors in the fall.


To learn more about citizen science and phenology, visit the National Phenology Network, or to learn about the Arnold Arboretum, check our site here. You can visit this page for updates on the 2017 events and training sessions. All experience levels are welcome. Free snacks and fun activities included!


At the training sessions, you'll learn about phenology, exploring the observation methods we use while getting hands-on experience with one of the ten tree species we're tracking. Tree Spotters volunteers can plan on participating in the program by visiting the Arboretum two or more times each month from May through mid-November for a one- to two-hour tree-spotting session. You can do this on your own, with friends and family, or with other volunteers. A Nature's Notebook Observation Deck will provide you with your own personal data repository, allowing you to see the phenology patterns you've recorded from across the season!


Know any prospective citizen scientists who might be interested in Tree Spotters? Let them know by passing on our information page. If you have any questions, you can contact us at


Events Calendar





Currently participating in Tree Spotters or just getting started? Attached are resources to help you get acquainted with our measurement guides and protocols!


Quick Start Guide – A quick guide on where to go and what to bring while you spot

Training Slideshow – An in-depth look at everything you'll need to know to participate

Phenology Timeline – An overview of when to expect our species' phenological events during spring and summer

Flower GuideA guide to all the flowers for each species and a glossary of terms


Species Fact Sheets – Visual references and descriptions for the species you'll be analyzing:

All species

Tilia americana

Quercus rubra

Quercus alba

Populus deltoides

Fagus grandifolio

Carya ovata

Carya glabra

Betula nigra

Betula alleghaniensis

Aesculus flava

Acer saccharum

Follow us on social media:

Tree Spotters Get Social Guide

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Temporal Ecology Lab blog
one lab two worlds:

In Boston
Arnold Arboretum
1300 Centre Street
Boston, MA 02131

In Cambridge 
Harvard University Herbaria
22 Divinity Ave
Cambridge, MA 02138
ph: 617.384.5495