In Latin, “arbor” means “tree” and “etum” means “grove or garden”.
An arboretum is literally a garden of trees!
A living museum of woody plants from around the world, the 1000-plus acre Arboretum spans Whitnall Park and stretches along the adjoining Root River Parkway. Trees and shrubs belonging to the Arboretum’s special collections are arranged in groves according to plant family. Both beautiful and educational, the arboretum serves as an outdoor classroom for anyone interested in woody plants.
Oak, maple, basswood, magnolia, beech, catalpa, ash, conifers, nut trees, ornamental fruit trees, lilacs, hydrangea and many more await your discovery. One of the nation’s largest ornamental crab apple tree collections is located here. Blossoms from these and other flowering trees grace the Gardens and Arboretum from mid-April to mid-May. Maps are available to help visitors locate collections, and engraved plaques indicate specimens of noteworthy size and age.
Whether you visit to photograph the blooming crab apples or picnic under a huge Bur Oak, take notes for your own landscape plans or conduct more involved research. The Arboretum offers year-round beauty and interest!