Winter jasmine and yellow witch hazel are the first to bloom, followed by the more than 20,000 bulbs that were planted in the fall. As winter’s chill gives way to warmer weather, AU’s 84 acres spring to life with a rainbow of daffodils, alliums, and tulips—a favorite snack for the deer that dwell on campus.
“After that, our perennials come back [and] things start to green up pretty quickly,” says Mike Mastrota, arboretum manager.
By April, the 25 cherry trees nestled near the East Quad Building—the first four of which were presented to AU in 1943 by the Korean Women’s Relief Society of Honolulu—are at their peak. But the cherry blossoms aren’t the only things pretty in pink; the dogwood and redbud trees cloak the quad in shades of fuchsia, magenta, and blush.
While some argue that AU—which was designated as an arboretum in 2003—is at its most picturesque in spring, every flip of the calendar page offers something beautiful and new, as the 3,000 trees and 385 varieties of woody plants ready themselves for fall and winter.
“Our regional climate breaks up the year,” Mastrota says. “It always gives you something to look forward to.”