Spring Plant Sale Daily
March 13-29, 2015

       Our Spring Plant Sale March 13 - 29 opens with a Friday "members-only" preview shopping March 13; the trails and gardens are open to all visitors as usual that Friday, but our plant sale is limited to BTA annual members for 'first dibs' on what we have in stock. The sale opens to everyone Saturday March 14.
        Wondering what plants are in stock?
Browse our Most recent Plant Sale List
Spring 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 the opening weekend of 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 a wide 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 $10. 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 14, Saturday, 10am Tom's Favorites -- A Guided Walk
with Tom McDonald
East valley author and landscape expert Tom McDonald (owner of Smiling Dog Landscapes) is a popular guest at the Arboretum's annual plant sale fundraisers. The Gold Canyon resident returns to lead walking tours pointing out "Tom's Top Ten" plants and trees for desert landscaping. He'll explain why plants you see in our Demonstration Garden are among his favorite desert-adapted, colorful, charismatic species for Pinal and Maricopa County landscaping. The author will also explain basic irrigation and water-saving concepts and answer questions. Bring along photos or blueprints of your yard; Tom will be happy to offer one-on-one advice following his walk.

* March 14, Saturday, 1:30pm Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Guided Walk with Kathy & Tom McDonald
Can you name an edible desert plant that's at peak flavor during the first two weeks of March? Miner's Lettuce is bright green along the high trail - but remember not to pick any of that here! Learn more edible and medicinal qualities of desert plants Saturday afternoon when Gold Canyon authors Kathy & Tom McDonald are your guides for a one-hour walk along the Curandero Trail. The owners of Smiling Dog Landscapes are both desert plants enthusiasts -- and share their collective knowledge about the ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than 1,000 years. Can't join us Saturday? Be here Sunday March 22 when Robert Lewis guides the walk. Jim Shepherd guides the walk April 11, Kathy & Tom return April 26 -- and summer walks feature ethno-botanist and Choctaw Nation tribal member David Morris is our special guest guide. ** Please note: this tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers.

* Tree Tour With Jeff Payne March 15 at 1:30pm. So, just what is an Arboretum? BTA staffer and Certified Arborist Jeff Payne guides a walk where visitors learn the answer to that often-posed question during a relaxed and leisurely guided tour through forested areas of the Arboretum to learn about oak and olive trees, native hackberry and mesquite.

* March 22 Lecture: The Key To Successful Edible Gardening In The Desert
with Catherine "The Herb Lady"
March 22, from 10:30 - 11:30, Smith Lecture Room
With an average of 300 days filled with sunshine, subtropical desert climate, and the facts, you can grow all your favorite vegetables, fruits and herbs in the Valley of the Sun. The key is knowing when to plant the variety. Example: Pumpkins are sown in July 15th - August 1st. Find out why at this lecture. Connect with Catherine on Facebook, Bring your questions and get answers from Catherine. After 30 years of "trowel & error" Catherine is considered an expert in edible landscaping in the desert -- read more at her Edible Herbs And Flowers blog

*March 22 -- Sunday Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Guided Walk at 1:30 p.m.
Robert Lewis guides this one-hour walk of the Curandero Trail, a slow-paced stroll where you'll hear some edible and medicinal uses for Prickly pear cactus fruits, jojoba seeds, mesquite pods and other edible and medicinal Sonoran Desert plants that have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. ** Please note: this tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers."

* Geology Tour March 28 at 1:30 pm. Professional geologist and ASU Professor Steve Semken returns as guide for this once-a-month walk, a chance to see rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a guided tour that 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.


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, March 29

HOW MUCH: $10 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.