May Highlights

May Highlights

May is one of the most reliably beautiful months to explore Hoyt Arboretum. Many trees are in flower, our broadleaf and deciduous species are leafed-out, and sunny days are more common.

The Visitor Center is open daily from 10am-4pm. Please stop by to say hi, grab a map (available in English and Spanish), and get recommendations on where to go. As the weather in Portland improves, please note that the park and parking lots are busier. See our Plan Your Visit page to arrive prepared.

Coming Up This Month

There are a lot of exciting classes, tours, and events on our calendar for all ages. Here are some highlights:

Free Public Tours
Sundays, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Sign up day-of at the front desk in the Visitor Center.

Accessible public tours on fully-paved trails are held the first Sunday of every month beginning June 2.


Classes & Workshops

Forest Bathing  May 7, 2024 at 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Natural Dyes: Celebrating the Color of Flowers  May 11, 2024 at 10:00 am – 11:30 am

Flowering Trees Walk  May 11, 2024 at 10:30 am – 12:30 pm

Healing Herbs of the Arboretum  May 18, 2024 at 11:00 am – 1:00 pm

Forest Bathing  May 18, 2024 at 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Clay Curio Shelf Workshop  May 19, 2024 at 10:00 am – 12:00 pm

Tai Chi (outside)  May 20, 2024 at 10:30 am – 11:30 am

Multi-media Collage: Spring Radiance  May 25, 2024 at 10:30 am – 1:00 pm

Meeting the Trees  May 25, 2024 at 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Tai Chi (outside)  May 27, 2024 at 10:30 am – 11:30 am



Youth & Family Programs

Tree Time! Preschool Walks
Mondays & Saturdays, 10:00 – 11:15 AM

Picture by Shannon Lily Crosby Photography, Tree Time March, 2024

More resources for exploring nature at Hoyt Arboretum with children.

View our full events calendar.

Trees to See:

Dogwoods, the genus Cornus

Spring has arrived, when the dogwoods “bloom”, though their showy white and pink flowers are actually specialized leaves, and not flowers at all! The true flowers of the dogwoods most common to Portland are small and greenish yellow, surrounded by the colorful bracts.  The familiar pink and white dogwoods are mostly varieties of Cornus florida, a native to the eastern U.S. Some cultivars have variegated leaves, adding to their interest in summer once their spring color has faded.

Location: Vietnam Veterans Memorial


Dawn Redwood, Metasequoia glyptostroboides

The dawn redwood is a “living fossil”, thought to be long extinct until it was rediscovered in the 1940s in the wilderness of China. Hoyt Arboretum’s famous dawn redwood is at the end of Bray Lane. It was the first dawn redwood to bear cones in the Western Hemisphere in over 8 million years! The modern dawn redwood is identical to its fossil ancestors from 65 million years ago. This unique conifer loses its needles each fall; you’ll see its new, bright green needles reappearing in the spring.

Location: By Trimet Bus stop at Vietnam Veterans Memorial. You can also find one registered to Portland Heritage Trees on SW Bray Lane


Dove Tree, Davidia involucrata

This moderately fast-growing tree, also known as the Handkerchief Tree or Ghost Tree, can reach 60 to 80 feet tall, but can take a decade to reach flowering size. A native of China, it was named after the French missionary and botanist Armand David (Davidia involucrata), who obtained specimens of the tree for the French government in 1896. In full bloom, the elegant, white flower-like bracts dangle and dance among the branches like doves. As the season progresses, the leaves turn yellow, orange, and red.

Location: Maple Trail, western part of the trail

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