Spring Plant Sale Daily March 9 - 25, 2018

       Our Spring Plant Sale opens Friday March 9 with our special Members-Only preview day of shopping, and then continues daily March 10 through 25.
      Wondering if we have specific plants in stock?
Call our staff during daily business hours at
520 - 689 - 2723
Browse A Typical List of Plants We Often Have
Seasonal Plant Sales bring 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.


Friday March 9
9:00 a.m.
Tom's Top Ten Landscape Plants - Guided Walk with Tom McDonald

Can you name 10 essential plants that no Pinal County landscape or garden should be without? Would your list include mesquite or palo verde trees; maybe a few native plants with edible or medicinal uses - and a few milkweeds to lure and nourish monarch butterflies? Author and landscaping expert Tom McDonald returns to guide his popular Tom's Top Ten walking tour on March 9, the opening Friday of our Spring Plant Sale. Meet in the visitor center at 9:00 a.m. for his guided walk down to the Demonstration Garden where Tom explains the relative merits of various trees 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. 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.
Connect with Smiling Dog Landscapes owner Tom McDonald on Facebook

Saturday March 10 from 1:00 - 2:30 P.M.
Guitar, Flute & ‘Didge’ Live Music with Bernie Haley & Robert Johnson
Live music in our picnic area is one of the more sublime ways to enjoy a peaceful visit to the Arboretum; fair weather on the opening Saturday of our Spring Plant Sale on March 10 will reunite Bernie Haley and Robert Johnson onstage with flute, guitar -- and even the haunting drone of the didgeridoo.
“Bernie's flute music ranges from soothing and peaceful to soaring and inspiring,” says one fan, “music outdoors at BTA is always something special - and Bernie's style is particularly suited to the gardens and trails. Can you imagine anything more relaxing than having an hour to sit in the sun and listening to live flute music while the wind rustles leaves and birds are singing in the gardens nearby?”
Preview their style; here's a short clip showing Bernie, Robert & Jenn Steege onstage here last Fall:

* Edible And Medicinal Desert Plants Walk March 10 with Jim Shepherd, also March 25 Guided By David Morris 1:30 p.m.
Explore our Curandero Trail on a walk guided by Desert Plants enthusiast Jim Shepherd, and expect a few sample-sized tastes of edibles such as agave syrup and nopalitos made from desert plants. On March 25 our special guest guide is 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

Steve Holmquist Concert Saturday, March 17
12:00 - 1:30 pm
Local singer-songwriter Steve Holmquist celebrates our charismatic neighboring town with original ballads
Superior State of Mind, Greasewood Flats, Borrowed Time , Shadow of the Wind

his songs evoke the history and heritage of rugged mountains that surround us.
Steve will serenade an outdoor audience in our visitor center breezeway March 17 during a lunchtime concert from noon til about 1:30 p.m. Bring a tasty takeout lunch from any of Superior's restaurants (pizza at DeMarcos or Edwardo's; red chile burro combo from Los Hermanos - of tasty Asian noodle dinner from Jade Grill) and invite friends to join you for an al fresco lunch at one of our bistro tables on the sunny patio behind our gift shop.
"We're annual members at BTA and I enjoy sharing my songs and stories with others who love the gardens," says Steve. "Picketpost Mountain, Apache Leap, and the surrounding Superstitions ... this place is so rich in history and beauty -- it stimulates creativity, and I believe that with any visit to Superior or for a walk in the desert we always leave here a little better than we arrived."

*Tree Tour with Jeff Payne Sunday March 18
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" guidedwalk? 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. Learn about trees both native to the Sonoran Desert and exotic, with a skilled professional's tips on tree care and horticulture.

* Guided Bird Walks March 2, 3 , 11, 17 and 25
8:30 a.m.
Lisa Murphy guides a friday Bird Walk March 2, and then Troy Corman leads the walk Saturday March 3 - a special walk followed by a book signing; Troy is among co-authors of the new edition of Birds of Maricopa County, and will sign copies following his walk - around 10:30 a.m. in the visitor center breezeway (other co-authors may be here that morning, too!). March 11 our guides are Anne Leight and Marceline VandeWater, Lisa and Peggy return March 16 for theri "3rd Friday" walk ; March 17 with Mark Ochs, March 25 with Kathe Anderson & Anne Leight. Colorful resident Northern Cardinals were among dozens of species seen and heard around the gardens this past week -- join us for a birdwalk. Read recent bird checklists of sightings reported by visitors.

Geology walking tour with Phil St. George on Saturday March 24
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


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.

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: to ask our staff whether specific plants are available please call 520-689-2723 during business hours daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. For recorded information about tours and events, call 520.689.2811