Events Calendar

April – September 2014

Arbor Day
Apr 26 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
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The celebration of trees is scheduled from 10am to 12pm and is free to the public.  Free trees will be given away at the event (Black Cherry and Serviceberry).  Demonstrations and other activities are planned for the morning.  There will be a special appearance by Smokey the Bear.   Join us for a fun and educational day at the  Arboretum.

Four Seasons Family Series – Plant a Pouch of Annuals @ Cafferty Building
May 3 @ 9:00 am – 9:15 am
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It’s time to get started in the garden. And you can take home a little bit of garden today. We’ll look at how plants get started (propagation) and explore the difference between annuals and perennials. Every family will take home a hanging flower pouch. Nan Bonfils, Arboretum staffer, will co-teach with our invited instructor.

Fee: $10 per family per class for Arboretum members and $15 per family non-members. Click here to Register

Registration Deadline:  May 1
Meet in the Cafferty Building.

Advanced Pruning Workshop
May 9 @ 8:00 am – 4:30 pm
Advanced Pruning Workshop
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Sponsored by the Iowa Arborist Association

Fee: $85 for members (Iowa Arborist Association and Iowa Arboretum members) and $100 for non-members.  $75 for students.

Registration must be received by April 25th (Click here to download/print the Registration Form).

CEUs:  6.75

Professional pruning techniques and the latest research-backed information will be brought together in this dynamic advanced workshop.  Dr. Gilman is one of only a few professionals in the world conducting controlled experiments with trees and their reaction to pruning. He will bring his unique approach to teaching in this one day seminar.  The financial success of your future and the stewardship of our urban forests are directly linked to the art and science of proper pruning. 

Meet Our Speaker:
Dr. Ed Gilman, professor, University of Florida

Dr. Gilman presents preventive arboricultural treatments shown to increase tree health and longevity in compliance with the 2008 edition of the ANSI pruning standards. We will discuss young and old members of our tree population showing how to treat them professionally. Inappropriate reduction, raising the canopy, and other techniques designed to help can often end up initiating a downward health spiral. Above ground treatments for old trees will be discussed in light of recent research and practice. We’ll show you the newest crown pruning and root manipulation research designed to improve tree stability and health. You will learn the latest science-based tree care. Key words include: nursery, root pruning, mechanical stress, aspect ratio, roots, taper, damping, rays, wood, branch orientation, inclusions, intervention, subordination, thinning, and reduction.



Check-In 8:00 AM


Morning Session  8:30 AM – 12:00 PM


Root System Development Seed to Mature Tree: Creating Stable Architecture
Understanding how roots develop near the trunk will improve our ability to diagnose problems and
develop effective treatments. You will leave understanding how roots develop in the nursery and landscape and what you can do to improve both.

How Trees Grow in Urban Landscapes: Applied Tree Biomechanics, Biology, and Risk Management (Part 1)
Review how tree structure develops, how trees are put together, and how this impacts your daily
pruning practices and bottom line. You will understand how trees respond to forces experienced in the real world.

Break   30 minutes (Refreshments Provided)

How Trees Grow in Urban Landscapes: Applied Tree Biomechanics, Biology, and Risk Management  (Part 2)
Review how tree structure develops, how trees are put together, and how this impacts your daily
pruning practices and bottom line. You will understand how trees respond to forces experienced in the real world.

Pruning Cut Types: Internal Response to the Three Common Pruning Cuts  
There are three pruning cuts used on trees. Learn which is most appropriate for young and mature
trees. Bring home the ability to make the pruning cut at the appropriate spot to minimize pest problems
and decay.


Lunch  12:00 PM – 12:45 PM (Provided)


Afternoon Session  12:45 PM – 2:30 PM

Developing a Sustainable Canopy Architecture
This is the most important technique to master when pruning young and medium-aged trees. It is the
best way to prevent trunk decay and disease. Learn to choose the right branches and stems to remove
to prevent problems later. With some practice, you can become an expert in this emerging, practical
structural pruning technique.

Effects of Pruning Methods on Tree Survival in Storms
New research provides guidance for better pruning treatments for our trees in storm prone areas. It also
shows us what we should not be doing. This session will provide video and photos of trees blowing in
120 mph wind after receiving different ANSI pruning treatments. This will change the way you view trees
and how to manage them.


Outdoor Session  2:30 PM – 4:30 PM
Outdoor Pruning Exercises: Creating and Maintaining Strong Structure With Pruning
Put to use what is learned during the morning presentations. Under the direction the instructor and
students, arborists will make appropriate cuts on the correct tree branches.

Adjourn  4:30 PM

National Public Gardens Day
May 9 @ 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
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This national event is designed to raise awareness about the role America’s public gardens play in promoting environmental stewardship.  Visit the Iowa Arboretum and the other public gardens in Central Iowa.

The Brenton Arboretum, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden, Better Homes and Gardens Test Garden and  Reiman Gardens – Iowa State University.

Wildlflower Tour
May 10 @ 10:00 am – 11:00 am
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Celebrate Wildflowers at the Iowa Arboretum!

Join the Iowa Arboretum in celebrating Iowa Wildflower Month.  Visit the Iowa Arboretum May 10th, at 10am, for a one hour staff guided wildflower tour through the Woodland Trails system and Native Prairie, as well self-guided tours any weekend in May. Explore the Woodland Trails system and discover Dutchman’s Breeches, Virginia Waterleaf and the unique Mayapple. The prairie tour offers a view into Iowa’s historical native tall grass prairie. Discover many vibrant colors among the tall grass with Prairie Phlox, Purple Prairie Clover and False Indigo in full bloom.

Garden Tour – Noerenberg Memorial Park and Gardens & University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
Sep 3 @ 6:15 am – Sep 3 @ 10:15 pm
Garden Tour - Noerenberg Memorial Park and Gardens & University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
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Travel on a luxury motor coach bus to visit two very special gardens in Minnesota.  The first stop is to Noerenberg Memorial Park and Gardens featuring a wide variety of unusual annuals, perennials, assorted grasses and daylilies.  The next stop is the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum which features 1,100 acres of gardens and woodlands.
The fare per person is $110.  For more information call 515.795.3216

Minnesota Gardens-IARB-914 revised




Native Prairie Tours – 9am & 11am
Sep 7 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
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Celebrate Iowa Prairie Heritage Week at the Iowa Arboretum.

Kick off Iowa Prairie Heritage Week on September 7th with a guided tour through the 8 acres of native prairie at the Iowa Arboretum. Experience the Iowa landscape as it used to be, covered with tall grass and colorful forbs. Bring your camera or binoculars to capture the many birds that call the prairie home, including the brilliantly feathered Bluebird and the majestic Bald Eagle. The Iowa Arboretum’s Horticulture Project Manager, Joe McNally, will guide you through the prairie and talk about how valuable this ecosystem is to the animals and plants that inhabit it. There will be two tours, the first will begin at 9am and the second at 11am, that last for about 45 minutes. Visit for more details and other upcoming events.