Neural stem/progenitor cells in the mammalian hippocampus generate new neurons throughout life. But how do these integrate into a mature and functional neural circuitry? Here, Sebastian Jessberger and colleagues address this question by using a new imaging approach to analyse neurite growth from newborn granular cells (p. 2823). Using a novel system for culturing sections of mouse hippocampus, combined with retroviral labelling to mark newborn neurons and their progeny, the researchers visualised neurite growth over several days using confocal imaging. Dendritic processes, they report, extended in different directions, with all neurons showing a clear apical extension at ∼4 days. Moreover, the dendrites in such slice cultures follow a linear growth pattern that is characteristic of the growth patterns observed in the intact brain, as assessed by snapshot-based analyses, thus validating their approach. This approach for visualising the adult neurogenic niche opens up the possibility of investigating the dynamic events that occur during adult neurogenesis in both physiological and diseased states.