Yellowstone Arboretum


After a hot and dry summer we can finally look forward to coolness and color invading the arboretum. The Sensation Boxelder has already begun it's new color palette and hints of what's to come can be found throughout the pathways. It's a great time of year to visit the Zoo with "hopefully" comfortable days for the next two months. Keep on the lookout for arboretum volunteers as we kick off our fall campaign with trimming, pruning, planting and watering !



Tree and shrub maintenance will begin in September and continue into early winter, weather permitting. Volunteers will be pruning and coppicing trees and branches so visitors you may see a few extra piles of branches here and there. See the homepage for more info.

Note to Gardeners: The arboretum has initiated a maintenance log so contact Volunteer Curator, Scott, to request any work that you would like performed during the campaign.


" The Best Color Locations "

One of the best kept secrets in Billings is the parade of colors that can be found while cruising the pathways at the Yellowstone Arboretum @ZooMonana. Look for the split personality of the Glow Wasatch Maple in front of the Lynx habitat, the Callery Pear in Waterways, the north hill of Bear Meadows, any spot in the Sensory Garden and the golds and yellows of any of the three Aspen Colonies. Remember, keep looking up !


          "A Strange Little Tree"

Curators note: The arboretum recently introduced two new specimens of Amur Maackia located in the Asian Garden and the South Plaza. Both trees flowered this season, although late, and as of this writing are showing seed pods. Don't overlook this great specimen for your landscape ideas.

Maackia amurensis, commonly known as the Amur maackia, is a species of tree in the family Fabaceae that can grow 49 ft tall. The species epithet and common names are from the Amur River region, where the tree originated; it occurs in northeastern China, Korea, and Russia.

Only reaching about 15 feet  tall in the American midwest and Rocky Mountain region, Amur maackia tolerates severe dryness, cold and heavy soils. More interesting than the summer flowers are the unfolding buds in spring which appear silvery and showy like flowers with frost on them.

Named for Karlovich Maack (Richard Maack), a 19th-century Siberian explorer who discovered the tree in the Amur River region on the Siberian Chinese border.

Common Name: maackia 

Type: Tree

Family: Fabaceae

Native Range: Russia, eastern Asia

Zone: 3 to 7

Height: 20.00 to 30.00 feet

Spread: 20.00 to 30.00 feet

Bloom Time: June

Bloom Description: Dull White

Sun: Full sun to part shade

Water: Medium

Maintenance: Low

Suggested Use: Shade Tree, Street Tree, Flowering Tree

Flower: Showy, Fragrant



Best grown in average, medium moisture, well-drained soil in full sun to part shade. Prefers full sun. Adapts to a wide range of soil conditions.



Spokane, Washington

"Arboretum Travel Escape"

A great opportunity for tree travel exists in Spokane, Washington and the Finch Arboretum. Located on the western fringe of the city it has a wonderful collection of mature trees. Be sure to visit Corey Glen (picture on left) and the colorful Rhododendron collection. In fact, Spokane is a fantastic destination for tree discovery with presentations in Manitou Park and the entire "South Hill".


John A. Finch Arboretum

The John A. Finch Arboretum is located in southwest Spokane on 65 acres of wooded hills. The Arboretum is a botanical collection of trees and woody plants that have been labeled for field study. The collection has been planted along the Garden Springs Creek and contains a wide variety of native and cultivated plant material compatible with growing conditions in Spokane.


Visitors to the Arboretum can enjoy the varied landscapes which range from a native pine forest to a shady glen filled with rhododendrons. There are seasonal activities planned year-round and tours are available.

Arboretum grounds are open daily during standard park hours. Admission is free. Download the Walking Guide for a self-guided tour of some of the Arboretum's collections and specimen trees. For additional information please call the Arboretum at 509.363.5466.

View more photos of the Arboretum on the Spokane Urban Forestry Facebook page.

About John A. Finch

Born in England, John Finch came to America when he was a boy and eventually settled in Spokane where he partnered with Amasa B. Campbell, who became his neighbor in Browne's Addition. Together, Finch and Campbell invested heavily in Coeur d'Alene mining operations and developed the Gem, Standard, and Hecla Silver Mines. Finch was also president of many businesses including the White and Bender Company, Coeur d'Alene Hardware Company, Blalock Fruit Company, and the National Lumber and Box Company. He was elected to the Idaho State Senate in 1891. John Finch died in 1915, leaving 60% of his fortune to his wife and 40% to charity and civic enterprises.


The John A. Finch Arboretum is free and open to the public year round from dawn until dark. Restrooms are open May 1 through October 31, weather permitting. The gate to access parking for Lilac Lane and Corey Glen is open weekdays from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM from April 1 through October 31. For more information call 509.363.5466.



Be sure to check out our website home page to access more information regarding the European Buckthorn Eradication Program commencing in this Fall. Meet Hunter the force behind the program and his plans for making this a successful operation !

Check out our Homepage for more information and Hunter's "GO FUND ME" campaign

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"The mission of the Yellowstone Arboretum is to cultivate arboreta appreciation and understanding of our local heritage through public education, organic preservation and stewardship of our natural environment."





The arboretum will be hosting a special tour of the grounds September 10th as part of the Montana Nursery & Landscape Association's Fall Tour. Nursery, landscape and tree people from around Montana will participate is viewing the trees. Open to members of MNLA. 


Arboretums from around the globe are invited to celebrate ArbNet's 10th Anniversary Virtual Conference;

"Partnering to Plant & Protect Trees"

The virtual conference is scheduled for September 14-16


The Yellowstone Arboretum will have representatives at all of the above "Comings & Goings"

Thanks !

Special thank you to Nancy, Karen , and Lynn, all of the arboretum crew, for their help in maintaining the flower pots along the pathways and habitats while our curator Scott was recuperating this summer. Pots were watered, fertilized and dead-headed throughout the summer months and turned out to be a great delight for arboretum visitors.


" It's Here "

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2021 NRTS - Sheridan, Wyoming

This years event will be held September 22-24 in Sheridan. It will be an in-person, Holiday Inn-Sheridan, and virtual event with speakers from throughout the country.

The 2021 Billings Arbor Day Celebration will take place September 16 at North Park. Selected 4th graders representing city schools will attend the informative talks from local nursery experts, arborists and more. The celebration also includes tree climbing and tree planting.

The new Yellowstone Arboretum information kiosk is in place. It is located along the pathway towards the Schoolhouse Entry and Homestead Collection. It is a great opportunity to educate oneself on the importance of arboretums in a community. It is especially informative for young children as it offers a perspective into the value of trees. Special thanks to MUCFA, ZooMontana  and SignPro for making this a reality.

October 20th is the date set aside for a Walk & Talk tour with the Rocky Mountain College Forest Ecology Class. Emphasis will be on practical tree pruning and investigation into a few tree mysteries on the arboretum grounds.