An Arboretum is a devoted area set aside for specimen plantings of trees, woody shrubs and vines. Distinct from a forest, nursery or park, it is in a sense an outdoor museum of trees.  It is a place where many historical varieties of trees are grown for research, educational, and ornamental purposes and where trees and shrubs are cultivated for exhibition.




In even the busiest of cities you can often find an arboretum, a sort of museum for trees, where many different types of trees and shrubs are growing, kept for scientific study and for the enjoyment of the general population.

The word arboretum comes from the Latin arbor, "tree," and the suffix -ētum, "place," making the meaning "a place of trees." The concept of the arboretum goes back even further than the word itself, all the way to the ancient pharoahs of Egypt, who raised and studied trees from other lands. The oldest known arboretum in the Western world is the Trsteno Arboretum, in Trsteno, Croatia, which was established in the 15th century.

Definitions of arboretum

  1. noun a facility where trees and shrubs are cultivated for exhibition
    botanical garden


The Yellowstone Arboretum is truly a "museum of trees". Like all arboretums it offers a close look at the trees that make our environment so unique. Native trees are perhaps the oldest to discover such as the Plains Cottonwood. Near the Children's Garden you will find "The Five Sisters" a monolith of a tree and perhaps even larger is an unaccessioned cottonwood located behind the upper Otter viewing area on the way to the Dell pathway on the left side. As you walk the pathways be aware of countless mysteries such as the Bristlecone Pines in the Lynx habitat, the Koyami Spruce of the Endgandered Spruce Grove and the Yellowhorn located in the Sensory Garden. All of these mysteries can be found here on our website before you walk the arboretum.

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