COVID-19 Update: The Arboretum is temporarily closed–even to walkers–until further notice. Find updates and information here.
Even though the Arboretum remains closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic, spring is far from cancelled. A small crew of workers reports to the Arboretum daily to maintain the grounds and the gardens. They’re also gathering evidence of the changing seasons to share with us.
As the maple syrup season comes to an end, Richard DeVries, who manages the Arboretum’s maple syrup production, noted earlier this week that it’s been a record-setting year. “We are at 135 gallons of syrup, and that means we just broke the 2017 record of 130 gallons,” he said. “We still have sap to cook, and we might get more sap over the weekend after the frost expected on Friday night.”
Meanwhile, our greenhouses are filled with pansies.
In the gardens, honeybees and native bees have been flocking to early blooms.
These early flowers provide critical early nectar and pollen for honeybee colonies at the Arboretum’s Tashjian Bee and Pollinator Discovery Center, said Arboretum director of operations Alan Branhagen.
“There are many more species of native bees, many of them specialists on particular native flowers,” Branhagen added. “Those lovely pussy willow catkins will be in bloom shortly, and there are a few willow specialist bees that will be out pollinating them and using the nectar and pollen as the only source of food for their brood next year.”
If you look closely in the gardens, you’ll find small pops of color as early spring bulbs are starting to bloom in the Rock Garden and other locations.
There are also some signs of the blooms to come: