Classes, Workshops, and Lectures at the Yakima Area Arboretum

The Yakima Area Arboretum hosts many classes, workshops, and lectures throughout the year that cover topics such as gardening tips, hands-on workshops, home decor, and so much more. You can use this page to help you find out what's new to learn about at the Arboretum. This page will be updated throughout the year, so keep checking back for what's new to do at the Yakima Area Arboretum.

Registration Required for Classes and Programs.

Want to save some money on our classes, while also being invited to exclusive events, all while supporting one of your local greenspaces? Then become an Arboretum Member today!

  • Arboretum memberships last for 12 months (1 year) from the date of purchase.

  • Members receive discounts for Arboretum classes as well as 10% off at the Arboretum's gift store.

  • Members are also invited to special Arboretum member-only events and nights such as the Arboretum's Plant Sale, 4th of July Fireworks Viewing, Luminaria, and more!

Upcoming Scheduled Classes and Registration Links

Classes, workshops, lectures, and more are announced in our weekly newsletter, on our Facebook page, and on our events page (here).

Certified Arborist Sean Tait with Leaf on the Wind Arboriculture is Back to Teach About Pruning and the Science of Trees!

We are pleased to present this two-part pruning class as well as 2 free evening lectures led by Certified Arborist Sean Tait.

2-Part Pruning Class

Lecture, March 13: The "Pruning 101" lecture will discuss pruning basics, from theory to technique, for the homeowner. Students will learn about basic tree physiology, how to recognize and fix structural problems through pruning, and the limitations of pruning. Class will focus on ornamental tree pruning.

Hands-On, March 16: Saturday's pruning practice will give students practical experience in making pruning cuts and putting the information covered in the Pruning 101 lecture to use. Sean will also go over some aesthetic and ornamental pruning tips to take your trees and shrubs to the next level! 

Please dress for the weather and bring a pair of gardening gloves with you.

The Effect of Climate Change on Trees in Yakima

The Effects of Climate Change on Trees in Yakima is intended to bring together the recorded data on how the climate in Yakima has changed so far with the effects this has had on the trees growing in Yakima.

Based on local meteorological data from the NOAA weather station at the Yakima airport, and extensive hands-on field work throughout the county working on thousands of trees on hundreds of properties, the presentation concludes with recommendations for homeowners on how to mitigate the damage caused by climate change, and things that homeowners can do to minimize or even reverse climate change itself.

The Intelligence of Trees

What does it mean to be sentient? Are humans the only species that can "feel"? 

Certified Arborist Sean Tait takes guests on a special trip through current research from around the globe to help us better understand how complex our planet's trees and plants really are. From chemical and audible communication, to being picky about who they choose to mate with, you will see trees and other plants in a whole new light!

This lecture is FREE in honor of our state's Arbor Day, but please be sure to register below so we can prepare for your attendance!

2-Part Pruning Workshop

Pruning Jeff


Wednesday, March 13, 6pm to 8pm

Saturday, March 16, 10am to 12pm


$25 YAA Member

$30 Non-Member

The Effect of Climate Change


Wednesday, March 27, 6pm to 8pm



The Intelligence of Trees


Wednesday, April 10, 6pm to 8pm



Growing Cut Flowers with Carol Barany

At the Yakima Area Arboretum

Saturday March 23, 2024

10:00am to 12:00pm


$10 YAA Member

$15 Non-Member

Ready to bring the beauty of fresh blooms into your home? Join us for a wonderful presentation on growing cut flowers in your garden! In this class, you'll discover the joys of cultivating your own vibrant bouquets, from seed to vase. Learn the best practices for selecting and planting a variety of flowering plants that are perfect for cutting, ensuring a steady supply of gorgeous blooms throughout the season. Our expert instructor Carol Barany will cover topics such as soil preparation, watering techniques, and harvesting methods to help you create stunning arrangements with ease. Whether you're looking to enhance your garden or elevate your floral design skills, this class offers something for every flower enthusiast. Come bloom with us and add a touch of freshness to your homegrown creations!

Growing Dahlias with Carol Barany

At the Yakima Area Arboretum

Saturday March 23, 2024

1:00pm to 3:00pm


$10 YAA Member

$15 Non-Member

Dive into the colorful world of dahlias with our upcoming presentation on dahlia cultivation! Join us as we explore the ins and outs of growing these stunning flowers in your own garden. With this presentation, you'll learn everything from selecting the perfect dahlia varieties to planting, caring for, and propagating these beauties. Our expert instructor Carol Barany will share her tips and tricks for maximizing bloom production and keeping your dahlias healthy and thriving throughout the season. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or just starting out, this class is sure to inspire your green thumb and add a burst of color to your landscape. Don't miss this opportunity to become a dahlia aficionado!

Native Plant "Heritage Garden Workshop"

At the Yakima Area Arboretum

Sponsored by the WNPS - Central Washington Chapter

Saturday April 6, 2024

10:00am to 12:00pm



A Heritage Garden expert from the Benton County Conservation District will be telling and showing us how to do it. The workshop participants will learn how to prepare their native plant gardening space, what kinds of plants to plant and where to get the plants. This workshop is free to the public, but space is limited, so you must register ahead of time to attend the workshop.

4-Part Landscape Design Class with Doug Rice

Tuesdays April 16, 23, 30, and May 7th

6:00pm to 9:00pm


$150 YAA Member

$165 Non-Member

$50 for a Partner (Work on Same Design)

Learn the fundamentals of residential garden design for the homeowner with Doug Rice, a landscape architect who taught garden design for over 20 years in the Seattle Community College system.

Doug's first class will discuss how to create a plan and how to "see" what you have and determine what you want. Class two teaches you the design process and how to apply it to your situation. Class three teaches the fundamentals of designing with plants. The fourth and final class will look at each student's plan for feedback and suggestions. 

Each class is three hours long. Remember, if you have a plan, your project will tend to happen!

*All supplies for the class will be provided! 

If your spouse, partner, or housemate would like to join you, then they can be added for $50 to work on the same design as yours. If you wish to work on two separate and different plans, then it will be the full price for each person.

Spring Beginning Mushroom Foraging Class

Wednesday, May 1st, 2024

6:00pm to 8:00pm


$25 YAA or YVMS Member

$30 Non-Member

There is more to mushrooms than those buttons you can get down at the grocery store, your local forest has so much more to offer!

Let us introduce you to the wonderful world of Spring (and some fall) wild mushroom hunting, where you can find choice edible mushrooms that you would normally only see on the menu of a high-end restaurant. Through this class, you can learn some basic tips on how to get started, including helpful supplies, a brief look at some of the more prized edible mushrooms (and areas to find them), and some ideas on how to prepare and cook what you find.

If you're into mushroom hunting but don't where to go, this is the perfect class for you to help get you started. Join the Yakima Valley Mushroom Society (www.yvms.org) to get more information about mushrooms in our area, where to find them, and even what to cook with them!

Ink Trails and Wilderness Tales with Jim Christensen-

Select Tuesdays (and one Monday)

6:00pm to 8:00pm

Cost: FREE

Upcoming Dates:

February 27th- Australia (Queensland and N Territory)

March 26th- South Australia and Victoria

April 22nd (MONDAY)- Wonders within 50 miles of Yakima

May 28th- Washington's Cascade Mountains

June 25th- Butterflies of Yakima County

July 30th- Glacier National Park

August 27th- Alaska Tour

All talks will be from 6pm to 8pm!

World traveler, photographer, author, and fantastic pen artist Jim Christensen will take you through his travels around the globe by showing his photos and drawings, discussing his time exploring the wonders of our natural world. These talks are free to attend, but donations are gladly accepted. Jim will be selling some of his prints from his original drawings to support the Yakima Area Arboretum as well to those interested!

Free Native Plant Identification Public Workshops


Mar 20, May 8, July 10, Sep 11, Oct 9, and Nov 13, 2024

6:00pm to 7:30pm

Cost: FREE

Whether it's learning about grasses, identifying leafless twigs, or spending an evening determining which type of native aster we have in our hands, it's always a fun journey to learn together with the Washington Native Plant Society using the dichotomous keys at the workshops.

These are not formal "classes" but are more like a nature study club that likes to brush up on their flora of the inland northwest in different ways using real samples. Registration is preferred but walk-ins are welcome, though space may be limited.


For class registrants (excludes Nature Day Camp): If you are unable to attend a class, please call at least 72 hours before the class is scheduled to start and you will receive a full refund minus a 10% processing fee. Cancellations within 72 hours of a class start will not be given a refund.

For Fundraising Event Registrants: Unless otherwise stated refunds will not be given for Arboretum fundraising events such as the Garden Tour or Autumn Bounty.

YAA Class or Event Cancellation: Occasionally the Arboretum will need to cancel a class or event due to such factors as inclement weather, insufficient registration, or other things beyond its control. In such a case the Arboretum will issue registrants a full refund.

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