David Garison Stevens' headshot.

David Garison Stevens

Ed Hasselkus Curator- Longenecker Horticultural Gardens | UW-Madison Arboretum

Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research | University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum

Hometown: North Freedom, WI

David is the curator of the living collection of woody plants at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum.. He just the third curator since the collections inception in 1935, overseeing the largest and most diverse array of woody plants in the state. His work background includes tree breeding and selection, greenhouse facility management, public garden supervision, and commercial vegetable production. He has a bachelor’s degree in horticulture from Virginia Tech and a master’s degree in horticulture from the U. W.– Madison. When not at the Arboretum, he manages his family’s 130-acre certified organic farm by Baraboo.


Native Shrubs and Trees For the Birds and the Bees
Learn about the rich diversity of woody plants native to the upper Midwest and the benefits of incorporating them into your home landscape to help attract and sustain a diversity of bird and pollinator species.
An Introduction to the U.W.-Madison Arboretum and the Longenecker Horticultural Gardens
From the birthplace of ecological restoration to the largest and most diverse collection of woody plants in the state, the arboretum has been a vital part of the Wisconsin landscape since its inception in the 1930’s. This presentation will introduce you to the arboretum and explore the beauty of the Longenecker Horticultural Gardens.
Flowering Shrubs for All Seasons– Highlights from the U.W. - Madison Arboretum’s Living Collection
While often associated with spring, flowering shrubs can add color and interest throughout the year. Learn about shrub selections that can provide flower interest all year long. David will highlight some of his favorite flowering shrubs from the U.W. Arboretum’s extensive collection.
The Art & Science of Pruning to Maintain Tree & Shrub Health
Learn the science, tools, and techniques to help ensure healthy woody plant structure, proper wound closer, and plant vigor.
Tree to Table: Tapping into Maple Syrup
Always wanted to make your own maple syrup? Whether you have 1 tree or 100, come learn the history and process of maple syruping. This course will teach you all you need to know about tree selection, tapping and collection equipment along with sap processing and preserving.
Lilacs: History, Lore, Culture and Color

With a wide array of species worldwide and countless hybrids, lilacs offer a plethora of color, form and fragrance. Since its initial planting in 1935, the Longenecker Horticultural Garden’s lilac collection has become one of the U.W. Arboretum’s signature plantings, attaching thousands of spring visitors each year. Explore the lilac’s amazing history, the development of the Longenecker collection and some of the fascinating stories behind the plants.