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You can add tickets to your conference registration or purchase separately in the ASHS online store. 

Special note:  Please carry identification with you at all times on tours.  It is not unusual to be asked to provide ID and go through security check when entering buildings in Washington DC.


5K Fun Run/Walk

Date: Tuesday, July 31st - 7:00 AM-9:00 AM


Participate in the kick-off event of the conference! This year's Fun Run will take place in the streets of Washington DC. See a bit of the city running or walking alongside your conference peers. All participants will receive a run t-shirt and breakfast food items.


Administrators Breakfast

Date: Wednesday, August 1 - 8:00 AM-10:00 AM


This is a venue for department heads, department chairs, and anyone else involved in horticulture administration in the public sector to join together and discuss current issues. We will discuss topics relevant for academic horticulture programs in the U.S. and share information about best practices from our institutions.


Featured Speaker Luncheon: Dr. Gabriele Ludwig

Presented by the Industry Division

Date: Wednesday, August 1, 12:30 PM-2:00 PM


Featured Speaker: Gabriele Ludwig, PhD, Director, Sustainability and Environmental Affairs, Almond Board of California


Featured Speaker Luncheon: Dr. Saharah Moon Chapotin

Presented by the International Division

Date: Thursday, August 2, 2018, 12:00 Noon - 2:00 PM


Title: Trees, Gardens and Food Security – International Connections and Local Impact

Featured Speaker: Saharah Moon Chapotin, PhD, Executive Director,US Botanic Garden


Pi Alpha Xi Luncheon

Date: Wednesday, August 1, 12:30 PM-2:00 PM



Featured Speaker Luncheon: Dr. Chris Walsh & Mr. Wade Butler

Presented by the Extension Division

Date:  Friday, August 3, 12:30 PM-2:00 PM


Title: Long-term Mutual Benefits of Partnering Between the University of Maryland Extension and Butler’s Orchard

Featured Speakers:  Dr. Chris Walsh, Professor, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD ( )

Mr. Wade Butler, Owner, Butler’s Orchard, Germantown, MD. Web link to story about the farm:



The productive long-term partnership between the University of Maryland Extension and Butler’s Orchard began more than 60 years ago after the loss of a peach crop and the subsequent recommendation to consider a pick your own operation for strawberries. The establishment of an Agriculture Reserve in Montgomery County, Maryland in 1980 helped to protect important agricultural land from urban encroachment.   It enabled the Butlers to expand from 60 acres to a 280-acre commercial farm that is a short drive from the Washington, D.C. metro area. Over the years, they have established a strong base of repeat local customers who come to the farm for everything from Christmas trees, to fresh fruit and vegetables. But it is also a destination farm for tourists also seeking agritainment.  They currently have 17 ac. blueberries, 15 ac. strawberries, along with cherries, raspberries, blackberries and many other crops for pick your own harvest.  In the summer, they employ over 150 people.  They also source other products (e.g., milk, eggs, peaches, apples) from local producers in the county.  Mr. Butler’s three adult children represent a third generation of this family farm. The Butlers support other growers in the region by hosting the Young Growers Alliance tours, participating as a scouting site for spotted wing drosophila with UMD Extension, and engaging with UMD Ag. Law on a produce traceability program.  Over the years, they have partnered with UMD Extension on various research and demonstration projects including the evaluation of fungicide resistance of Botrytis and the possibility of using regulated-deficit irrigation.  Mr. Butler is serving his second term as President of the Maryland State Horticultural Society.  He and Dr. Chris Walsh will share additional details about the important mutual benefits they have experienced by partnering over the years.


2018 ASHS Closing Night Event: Night at the Ball Park

Cincinnati Reds vs. Washington Nationals

Date: August 3, 2018

$ 89

Home Plate Tailgate Pre-party, Unlimited food and drinks at the pre-game party, Right Field Corner Tickets and transportation to and from the Nationals Park

Buses leave from the hotel at 4:30.  Pre-party 5:30 – 7:00.  First pitch at 7:05.




Jefferson's Monticello: Gardens and their History

Sunday, July 29  SOLD OUT

6:45 AM - 7:00 PM

$155 - Includes lunch and snacks.  Dinner on your own.

This tour will allow you to have a guided tour of the gardens at Jefferson’s Monticello, learn about the history and pomology of Monticello’s fruit trees and re-creation of the gardens from experts in this field in the morning. After lunch, Peter Hatch, author of The Fruits and Fruit Trees of Monticello, will discuss early American pomology. Next, you will be given a choice between touring the Monticello mansion, our third US president’s estate and a UNESCO World Heritage Site OR visiting the neighboring Carter Mountain Orchard, a family run and operated apple orchard and sampling a flight of Bold Rock hard cider.


Tour of Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens

Monday, July 30 

8:30 AM - 4:00 PM

$89 - Includes lunch.    SOLD OUT

We invite you to join an excursion to the home of George Washington to see, hear, taste and witness Mount Vernon like few have experienced. 

Our day will start at 9:30 at the restored/recreated grist mill and distillery to witness the grinding of corn and to learn the process of making Washington’s own rye Whiskey.  Before departing, we will sample both the original recipe and whiskey aged two years in a charred oak barrel. 

Arriving at the estate at 10:30 we will begin our tour of the historic gardens and landscape with long time horticulturist Dean Norton.  Dean, in his 49th year at Mount Vernon, will introduce us to all areas of the country seat Washington created in 1785 to include the east lawn overlooking the Potomac River, the kitchen garden, pleasure garden and the landscape features to include the groves, shrubberies, wilderness areas, bowling green and ha-ha walls.  Dean will give us plenty of historical insight and share lots of stories of preservation and his own personal experiences from his years as a teenage paper picker.

After lunch at the Inn we will have the opportunity to tour the house as well as embark on a behind the scenes tour exploring the forest, seeing a number of historic trees and other special areas that at this time will remain a surprise.

Before leaving, the estate there will be time for you to explore on your own, tour the museum and also the education center.

It will be a day to remember and a trip that should not be missed.


Urban Farms and Horticultural Ecosystems in Washington DC

Monday, July 30 

8:00 AM - 1:00 PM

$30    SOLD OUT - wait list available

Participants will take the metro (Metro card provided) to three locations (US Tax Court Plaza, – District Department of Energy and Environment, Up Top Acres Urban Farm) in Washington DC, to learn how urban ecosystems and urban farms are contributing to the quality of life and the environment in our Nation’s capital.  The focus will be on how these systems are reducing stormwater runoff, energy use, and providing food and tangible ecosystem services to the community.


Ornamental & Turf Management Tour at Capitol, Smithsonian Museum and National Mall  

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

8:00 AM – 1:00 PM  


The  Capitol grounds and National Mall are visited by millions of people every year, which requires a very high aesthetic standard and makes the landscape and lawn management  very challenging.  The tour will highlight such standards and the management practices

At the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, James Gagliardi, Smithsonian staff, will talk about tree, turf and garden management.

At the National Mall Michael Stachowicz of the National Park Service will talk about landscape and turf management at National Mall.

At the Capitol grounds Jim Kaufman, Architect of the Capitol, and his staff will discuss turf, tree, and garden management surrounding the Capitol. 


Tour of the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center Facilities

Tuesday, July 31

12:00 Noon - 4:00 PM 

$36 - Does Not Include Lunch.    SOLD OUT

Headquartered on Chesapeake Bay, the nation’s largest estuary, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) sits just 25 miles from Washington, DC. Its 2,650-acre campus spans forests, wetlands, marshes and 15 miles of protected shoreline. The site serves as a natural laboratory for long-term and cutting-edge ecological research.  SERC is the home of the North American Orchid Conservation Center (NAOCC) – an alliance of organizations dedicated to conserving the diverse orchid heritage of the U.S. and Canada and ensuring the survival of native orchids for future generations.

In this tour, you will visit SERC’s new LEED Platinum laboratory facilities, where NAOCC researchers extract mycorrhizal fungi from native orchid root samples, and conduct DNA testing on orchid leaf material and fungi for identification and comparison to plant material from various portions of an orchid’s range.  Participants will also visit field sites at SERC where in situ orchid research is conducted.  Travel from the laboratory to field sites will require walking so appropriate foot wear and weather-dependend field cloting is desirable.


Tour of U.S. Botanic Garden

Wednesday, August 1

8:00 AM - 3:00 PM 

$71 - Includes Lunch    TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE

Tour the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory (USBG) and go behind-the-scenes on a tour of the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory Production Facility (PF). Explore a diversity of plants from the USBG collection with horticulture and plant health experts.

Learn how the Garden’s collections and displays plants are safeguarded from pests and diseases, and how the collections policy is implemented. The Conservatory, located on the National Mall, features 11 different rooms of plant displays, and two exhibit galleries. Seven miles south is the USBG Production Facility (PF), which features nearly two acres of greenhouses and is the largest support facility for a public garden in the U.S. Plants grown at the PF are transported daily up to the Conservatory for public display. This tour offers a unique opportunity to see collections that are not usually on display for the public due to their fragile nature or conservation status.


Undergraduate Student Tour of the Smithsonian Gardens 

Thursday, August 2 

9:30 AM - 5:30 PM or 7 PM (This is a walking tour. Participants can return to the hotel on their own)

$15 - Includes Metro Card - Does Not Include Lunch.   LIMITED TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE

On this walking tour, the students will tour several gardens surrounding the many Smithsonian museums on the National Mall including the Hirshhorn Sculpture Garden, the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden, the Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden, and the Enid A. Haupt Garden.  Lunch will be on your own at the café in the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden.  After lunch, we will tour the Natural History museum.

We will depart the hotel at 9:30 AM and take the D.C Metro system to L’Enfant Plaza and arrive at the Hishhorn Sculpture Garden around 10:15.  Next we will meander through the Mary Livingston Ripley Garden then the Kathrine Dulin Folger Rose Garden and then enter the Enid A. Haupt Garden. (1000 Jefferson Drive, SW Washington DC)  These gardens are all located around the Smithsonian Castle and the Hishhorn Museum.  Around Noon we will cross the mall to the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden where we will eat lunch at the café.  Around 1 o’clock we will enter the Natural History Museum (10th St and Constitution Ave. NW) and tour there for the remainder of the afternoon (closes at 5).  The Natural History Museum has a lot of everything from rocks and fossils to mammals and insects and just about everything in between and beyond. Depending on group moral, we may walk up to the American Art Museum (until they close at 7) or head back to the hotel using the Metro again.


National Repositories of Tropical Crop Germplasm Tour

Thursday, August 2

9:00 AM - 2:30 PM 

$45 - Does Not Include Lunch   SOLD OUT

Modern botanical gardens have various functions and roles. Of these, on-site germplasm deposition is certainly one of the most important functions not only for breeders, but also for plant biologists, ecologists, and plant enthusiasts. This tour will visit the Smithsonian Orchid Collection, located in the Suitland Campus in Suitland, MD, which boasts over 8,000 living specimens from all over the world. This collection is currently primarily used for education purposes. We will also visit the living collection of the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG), located in Washington, DC, which is meticulously maintained through documentation and labeling to serve the Garden's mission of promoting botanical knowledge. The Garden also serves as a rescue center for plants confiscated at U.S. borders in cooperation with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora international agreement. The Garden also presents programs, such as native orchid conservation in collaboration with the Smithsonian, and Plant Rescue Center Program. Germplasm deposited at the Smithsonian and USBG could an important source of improving traits of tropical horticulture crops, including orchids, tropical fruits, spices and medicinal plants.


Tour of the U.S. National Arboretum

Thursday, August 2

3:00 PM - 9:00 PM

$79 - Includes box dinner and concert  TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE

The U.S. National Arboretum, located on 446 acres in northeast Washington, DC, is a USDA-ARS facility that focuses on research, conservation, and collections. This trip begins with a windshield tour of the grounds, followed by curator-guided tours of specific plant collections to inspire gardeners and plant geeks alike. Once the grounds close, grab a box dinner, relax in the meadow below the capital columns, and enjoy a summer evening concert.

Accessibility: The Bonsai museum and the Herb Garden are mostly accessible by wheelchair, as would be the concert. However, the collections are not accessible. 


Architectural Beauty with Evensong Performance at the National Cathedral

Sunday, July 29

2:00 PM – 5:00 PM


This tour highlights one of the most beautiful areas of Washington, DC: The National Cathedral and the Embassy Row!

Embassy Row is a place of stately grace and history, and is home of many diplomatic delegations, some in homes built by turn-of-the-last-century tycoons.  A combination bus and walking tour will reveal the decorum and intrigue behind these historical buildings and the countries that are now housed in them.

The National Cathedral, which hosts presidential funerals and other state ceremonies, sits atop a hill, its tower remaining the highest point in the city.  Built in the English Gothic style, the National Cathedral has no local congregation and is considered to be a house of workshop honoring all faiths from around the world.

This tour will conclude with a choral (Evensong) performance at the National Cathedral.


Monuments By Moonlight

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

7:30 PM – 10:00 PM  


There is no better way to experience Washington’s finest monuments and memorials than by the enchanting light of the moon.

As the city calms down from the hustle and bustle of the day, the monuments shine brightly under the magical glow of the moon, creating the best photo-ops for guests wanting to catch the perfect shot.  Guests will pass by the National Mall and various Smithsonian museums; see the Washington Monument, Lincoln, Vietnam Veteran, Koran and World War II War Memorials.  Plus, as the bus rounds the tidal basin, guest will have the opportunity to see the beautiful Jefferson and Martin Luther King Memorials and may go to see Iwo Jima if time and traffic allow.  All along the way, the tour guide will explain the significance of each site, so guests will never view DC in the same light again.


Honoring Our Nation: War Memorials and Arlington National Cemetery


Wednesday, August 1

12:00 PM - 4:00 PM



Bureau of Engraving & Printing

Friday, August 3

10:30 AM – 1:30 PM


Located in the heart of the Nation’s capital, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing is a great place to learn all about US paper currency which has been printed by the BEP since 1862 – over 150 years!  On this exclusive tour, your group will see millions of dollars being printed as you walk along the gallery overlooking the production floor.

Please note that in addition to weapons and dangerous objects, no oversized packages are allowed in the Bureau. Cameras are allowed in the building, but photography of the manufacturing process itself is prohibited.

The tour is wheelchair accessible. Strollers are allowed in the building, however, not in the tour gallery.



1018 Duke Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703.836.4606