Spring Plant Sale Daily March 10 - 26 , 2017
Our 2017 Spring Plant Sale opens Friday March 10 with our special Members-Only preview day of shopping, and then continues daily through March 26. Wondering if we have specific plants in stock? Call our staff during daily business hours at
520 - 689 - 2723, or
Browse our Most recent Plant Sale List
Fall Plant Sale brings a great selection, also a prime time to buy annual membership at BTA, our annual members save 20-percent on plant purchases during this fundraising sale of trees, shrubs, herbs, flowers, cacti and succulents. Need planting and landscaping advice? Arboretum staff are joined by helpful volunteers from Pinal County's Superstition Mountain Master Gardeners program there to advise and assist buyers with suggestions for trees and smaller plants ideal for awide range of landscaping projects. Special events during the March plant sale include lectures, guided tours and weekend wildflower walks; most are included with daily admission of $12.50. Experienced BTA horticultural staff and Master Gardeners grow many of the the plants we sell, and they maintain many of these same plants in the gardens and plant exhibits throughout the grounds - so they know firsthand how these plants perform, from nursery pot to maturity in your garden or landscape.
* March 10, Friday - Tom's Top Ten Landscape Plants - Guided Walk with Tom McDonald
10: 00 am
Bring photos of your front yard, back patio or landscape blueprints and you'll hear an expert's advice on ideal trees, shrubs, cacti, flowers and herbs that thrive in our corner of Arizona.
Smiling Dog Landscapes owner Tom McDonald returns to guide his popular Tom's Top Ten walking tour on the opening Friday of our Spring Plant Sale; his guided walk procees down to the Demonstration Garden where Tom explains the relative merits of trees ranging from Mesquite to Palo Verde and Eucalyptus -- and spotlights a short list of his favorite plants, and why they're excellent choices to Pinal County and central Arizona. There's no pre-registration required and no fee to attend, Tom's walk is included with $12.50 daily admission -- free to BTA annual members and also free if you have an Az State Parks annual pass.
* March 10-11-12 Walk-In Terrarium Workshop
No registration required - $15 workshop fee
9:30 am – 3:00 pm. Learn the history of terrariums and get step-by-step, hands-on instruction to assemble your own portable little garden-in-glass. The $15 fee includes a drum-style glass fishbowl, soil, decorative rock,
trinkets, and instruction to create your own low-maintenance, and completely portable indoor garden. Choose your own $3-$10 succulents from our well-stocked spring plant sale to include in your custom terrarium (this is the opening weekend of our Spring Plant Sale, and here’s a reminder that BTA members receive 20% discount off plants during the sale). Learn to arrange for aesthetic balance, and how to care for your mini-ecosystem. Is this class appropriate for kids? Yes! Children can participate in this workshop with the help of an adult. Small groups, scout troops, and children's club groups are absolutely welcome to join this workshop but let us know
you are coming by emailing Lacey [ email@example.com ]
* March 11: Edible & Medicinal Sonoran Desert Plants with Jim Shepherd
1:30 pm. Walk the Curandero Trail on a slow-paced tour guided by desert plant enthusiast Jim Shepherd today and you’ll see prickly pear cacti, mesquite trees and more – plus, you’ll have a chance to taste a few ‘desert edible’ samples of prickly pear jelly, nopalitos, mesquite flour, and agave nectar. Jim shares a synopsis of Arboretum history and narrates ways prickly pear cacti, ratany, agaves and jojobas have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than 1,000 years. ** Please note: this guided tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers.
* March 18 - Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk with Dave Oberpriller at
The Sinai Desert lies roughly at the same latitude as our own Sonoran Desert; many of the same plants common in the Middle East thrive in our Arizona climate, and can be seen here at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Arboretum volunteer tourguide Dave Oberpriller leads this tour to learn about palms, pomegranates, figs, olives, and other plants of the Bible Land. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, bring sunscreen and water bottle. The tour, conducted at a leisurely pace, lasts about 90 minutes and proceeds along wheelchair-accessible paths. Check out a few Plants of the Bible Lands on Facebook. Using references in ancient texts, guides will describe how people of the Bible Land used plants as food, medicine, and shelter in ways similar to how native peoples of Southern Arizona continue to do so in modern times. Read more about Plants of the Bible Lands
*Tree Tour with Jeff Payne Sunday March 19
1:30 pm . Silviculturally-speaking, and since an Arboretum is by definition a living collection of trees - what guided tour could be more fitting here than a once-a-month "Trees of BTA" guided walk? We invite those who love all things sylvan and want to learn more about trees to be here for a relaxed, slow-paced afternoon tour featuring Arboretum staffer Jeff Payne, a certified arborist. Here's your chance to learn about trees both native to the Sonoran Desert and exotic, with a skilled professional's tips on tree care and horticulture.
*March 25 - Geology walking tour with Phil St. George at 1:30 p.m.
Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a tour with professional geologist Phil St. George. This tour compresses almost two billion years of geologic history into just over one educational hour! Learn about Pinal schist, the volcanic origins of Picket Post Mountain and the Apache Leap tuff. Read more about Arboreutm geology in this interview with another of our engaging BTA guides:
professional geologist Rich Leveille
* March 26 - Sunday Bird Walk with Anne Leight and Kathe Anderson at 8:30 a.m.
Colorful resident Northern Cardinals were among dozens of species seen and heard around the gardens this past week -- join us for a birdwalk guided by Anne Leight and Kathe Anderson. Read recent bird checklists of sightings reported by visitors.
* March 26: Edible And Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Guided By David Morris at 1:30 p.m.
Explore our Curandero Trail on a walk guided by guided by our special guest, Choctaw Nation member and ethno-botanist David Morris; a leisurely one-hour stroll where you'll learn about prickly pear cacti, ratany, agaves, jojobas -- and the ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years.
** Please note: this guided tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkersRead more about jojoba, creosote and prickly pears
IF YOU GO....
WHAT: Annual Plant Sale
WHERE: Boyce Thompson Arboretumis a 320-acre Arizona State Park located at highway 60 milepost #223 near the historic copper mining town of Superior; just 45 miles due east of Mesa or about 90 minutes drive northeast of Tucson via Oracle Road to highway 79 north to highway 60 east
WHEN: The sale continues daily during business hours from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. through Sunday, October 23
HOW MUCH: $12.50 adult admission ($5 ages 5-12) to enter the grounds, even if the visit is simply to buy plants during the plant sale event. *** Please note that admission is waived for all University of Arizona faculty, staff and students who bring their CatCard or another valid UA identification
FMI: listen to an updated recording about tours or events by calling 520.689.2811; to check with our staff about whether specific plants are available please call 520-689-2723 during business hours daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.