March Highlights

March Highlights

Following a warm(ish) February, March is shaping up to really feel like spring in the Arboretum in 2024. We’re already seeing spring blooms like large rhododendron on Wildwood Trail, and we expect to see crocus, trillium, currant, and Prunus spp. blooms this month too.

Update! Early blooming magnolias and flowering cherries in the Rosacea collection are blooming as of March 19, 2024. For a walk suggestion on how to enjoy the spring blooms, read Exploring Spring Blooms from our blog.

The flowering tree collections on the east side of Fairview are budding, and fresh spring foliage is right around the corner! For the clearest signs of spring we recommend Magnolia Tail, the Winter Garden, Wildwood Trail between Magnolia and Hawthorn Trails, Maple Trail, and Overlook Trail.

The meadow at the Overlook Viewpoint is a beautiful spot for a picnic or some journaling time on clear days in March.

Winter Weather

Winter weather like snow and ice can occur in March at the Arboretum (but hopefully not!!). Plan ahead and check our Recent Updates page for information about Visitor Center and park road closures resulting from unsafe conditions. Otherwise, make sure you dress for the weather before your visit! Wear layers and shoes that can get muddy!


Special Events

When school is out for spring break, explore the fascinating natural world with our Nature Educators in the Visitor Center classroom! There will be hands-on activities, fun facts, sensory displays, and conversation to help youth of all ages connect with the trees, flowers, and animals found throughout the Arboretum.


View our events calendar!


Learn with us this spring!

Multi-media Collage: Celebrate the Return of Light  March 17, 2024 at 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

PNW Conifer Tree ID Walk  March 30, 2024 at 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Forest Bathing  April 2, 2024 at 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Common Spring Mushrooms  April 6, 2024 at 10:00 am – 12:30 pm

View the full class list.


Tree Time! Preschool Walks

Join us for story time and a short walk through the Arboretum. Ages 2-5 accompanied by an adult.

Mondays and Saturdays
10:00 – 11:15 AM

Registration for specific dates is required at the link above.


Trees to See and Plants to Peruse!

Cornelian Cherry

Cornus mas

This is one of the “big three” early-flowering shrubs (the others being witch hazel and forsythia). The dense masses of small yellow flowers attract lots of bees in the early season. The berries arrive later in the summer and are often described as being like a combination of cranberry and sour cherry. Fun fact: The wood of this plant is so dense that it doesn’t float. The ancient Greeks crafted weapons from the wood.

Location: Vietnam Veterans Memorial

Indian Plum or Osoberry

Oemleria cerasiformis

The greenish-white, five-petaled, almond-scented flowers of this large native shrub appear in late winter, before its leaves.  The species name refers to its fruit being in the shape of a cherry (cerasiformis).  When red-purple and fully ripe, the fruits are edible, but you’ll have to beat the birds, squirrels, and coyotes to them.  The common name osoberry indicates that bears (oso in Spanish) also enjoy the berries.  New leaves may have the scent or flavor of cucumber.

Location: Oak Trail

Red-flowering Currant

Ribes sanguineum

The pink to bright red flowers of this Northwest native are the source of its species name sanguineum (“blood red”). In Oregon and Washington, it can be found mainly on the west side of the Cascade Mountains. The flowers emerge early in spring and have a resinous scent. They attract hummingbirds and butterflies. In the fall, blue-black berries appear and are a favorite of songbirds. Botanical sources describe the berries as “palatable but insipid,” so best to leave them “for the birds.”

Location: Overlook Trail near the main parking lot

Pacific Trillium

Trillium ovatum

One of the most recognizable plants of the Northwest forest floor, Pacific trillium, a member of the lily family, is notable for its bright white flowers that fade to pink or purple late in their life cycle. The name trillium refers to the plant parts that come in groups of three—the petals, the sepals below the flower, and the leaves. Trillium is very slow to develop, taking up to seven years to flower for the first time.

Location: North of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial



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