Young Stewards Camp 2021 a Success!

On August we wrapped up the first summer camp program hosted by Viles Arboretum in many years, the Young Stewards Summer Camp Program. 19 children between the ages of 7 and 10 attended the camp, each a budding outdoor enthusiast. The faces of this group represent the future of conservation and environmental stewardship in our community. 


If you have spent anytime outdoors in the Central Maine area in the past three months you have likely become well acquainted with the brown-tail moth. Since late April they have covered almost every outdoor surface, leaving Mainers suffering from terrible rash.

The Lilac Collection Gets Some Love

Every year, aromatic purple, pink and white flowers adorn yards all across the United States. The lilac has been wildly popular ever since its introduction to North America in the 17th century. These resilient shrubs often out-live the residences and homesteads where they were originally planted. If you take a walk in any forested area in New England, you may spot an old lilac shrub marking old home sites long before you locate a foundation. 

Summer Camp at Viles Arboretum!

We are excited to offer our Young Stewards Summer Camp Program here at Viles Arboretum this summer! 

This fantastic opportunity for children ages 7-11 will give children the opportunity to become scientists for the week. Children will collect samples, use tools like microscopes, learn real-life survey techniques and more. Coupled with summer camp classics like group games, arts and crafts, and time to just explore the woods, this week is a celebration of the great outdoors.

Re-visiting the Larch Collection

The Larch Collection, also known as Alfred's Half Acre, was established as a memorial planting in 1991 by Elise Viles. Larch trees are unique as they are classified as deciduous conifers, meaning they have needles that drop every fall.

American Chestnuts Available to Purchase at Viles!

We have confirmed that we will be receiving another batch of American chestnut seedlings in May! These seedlings are provided by The American Chestnut Foundation and all proceeds from their sale directly benefit Viles Arboretum and the TACF. 

How to Plant your Own American Chestnuts

Spring is here and many of us are ready to start sinking our hands into the newly warmed soil and begin our planting season. In addition to traditional flower and vegetable gardens, you may also consider adding trees to the list of things you would like to get into the ground before summer. If you have the space, the incredibly versatile, and endangered, American chestnut should be making your list this year. 

Plant Sale and Volunteer Day!

On May 22nd, Viles Arboretum will be hosting a plant sale, tours of its permaculture garden and a volunteer day. This is a great opportunity for families and individuals to get out and engage with their community in a safe outdoor setting. 

Make-your-own Mushroom Log Class at Viles

On Saturday, April 3rd, participants gathered at Viles Arboretum to participate in a crash-course in mushroom cultivation. Events of the past year have lead to periods of empty shelves and skyrocketing food prices across the country, leading to a revitalized interest in purchasing food from local producers and an increased desire for self-sufficiency. Once you have tackled the home garden, and perhaps even the backyard chicken coop, mushrooms are a feasible next step. 

2021 Spring Fruit Tree Pruning Lecture

Viles Arboretum executive director Ryan Martin recently hosted a virtual Spring Fruit Tree Pruning lecture for the UMA Senior College. 28 people tuned in for this unique opportunity to learn about the history of apple cultivation around the world, fruit tree pruning, and other orchard tree care methods. Attend a recorded version of this Zoom lecture for free in your own home! This is an excellent opportunity to get a jump start on your fall fruit harvest.