JULY 2020
"Emerging Winners"

As summer returns for another year we see some repeat winners in the category of supporting actors. Our "Study in White" feature tree (below) this month includes the Catalpas, with another great performance. You can find both specimens in the Homestead Collection and on the south hill of the Sensory Garden, both are putting on quite a show. Our tree of the month, the Tulip Tree, was planted  on the east hill of the Sensory Garden. It's a great addition to our inventory and we hope it gives many, many years of "tulips". Be sure to check out our latest addition, the Sassafras tree located near the large koi pond in the Homestead Collection.


Donation Thanks


We want to say thanks to Good Earth Works for their recent donation of an American Redbud. You can visit this newest addition in the Waterways collection near the south entrance to The Dell. We anxiously await next spring's show !

Good Earth Works

4215 Hwy 312, Billings,MT 59105

" A Study in White "

After the pastels of spring are finished, the shades of white emerge and this season is no different. By this time in July a few Japanese Lilacs are still white but as they fade away the Catalpa, Abbot's Wood Potentilla, Elderberries (below), Dogwoods and Mock Orange take over. The photos below will attest to the delight of finding white secrets hidden throughout the arboretum. They can be found at the Plaza Junction, Homestead, Wolf Conifer Garden, Red Panda exhibit, Sensory Garden and more. So when you are walking through the arboretum keep an eye out for that burst of white when you least expect it.


" A Great Year for Elderberries"

The Elderberry specimens are loaded with elderflower this year, perhaps more than what has been witnessed in past recent seasons. To see examples check out these locations:

Plaza Junction: "Sambucus canadensis" Aurea planted in 1997

Homestead Barn: "Sambucus canadensis" interesting history. This specimen was originally planted near the Tiger Habitat before 1997 and then transplanted near the back of the barn in 2000. The original tiger plant is still in it's location and blooming heavily this year.

East Corral: "Sanbucus canadensis" Unaccessioned.

Bison Exhibit: Recently planted is a Sambucus var. Maddonna variegated Elderberry donated from Canyon Creek Nursery.

" The Catalpa's Alabaster Blooms "

from Andrea Sarubbi Fereshteh "In the Company of Trees"

A standout among the lush spring (and early summer) arbor, the Catalpa tree commands attention with it's unusual shape and effluence of billowing alabaster blooms. The flowers emit a fragrant aroma that mixes honeysuckle in warm spring air to draw the passerby. Each bloom appears as though it has been hand-painted by an artist, with delicate purple splatters emanating from the center os a white canvas, interspersed with blots of amber and yellow. The tree's trumpet-like flowers attract hummingbirds and bees and also play host to the catalpa sphinx moth. Commonly found in forests from the midwestern United States to the country's East Coast, the catalpa is also known for it's oversized, heart-shaped leaves and dangling seed pods, which have inspired nicknames for the tree, including 'cigar tree' and 'Indian bean tree'.

"Tree of the Month"

Tulip Tree


Tulip trees (Liriodendron tulipifera) live up to their name with spectacular spring blooms that resemble the flowers. The tulip poplar tree is not a poplar tree and not related to tulip flowers but is actually a member of the Magnolia family. The plant isn’t suitable for every landscape, as it can exceed 120 feet (36.5 m.) in height, but it is hardy in USDA plant hardiness zones 4 to 9. Considerations on where to plant tulip trees should also take into account the rapid growth and brittle branches of this native tree. Read on for information on how to grow and care for tulip trees.

About Tulip Trees

Look upward in April to June in parts of the east and southeast parts of the United States. During these months in the spring, the tulip poplar tree will be in full bloom with yellowish green to orange cupped fragrant flowers, 2 to 3 inches (5-7.6 cm.) in diameter covering the plant. The plant is attractive to numerous pollinating insects and birds. The leaves are also tulip shaped and can get up to 8 inches (20 cm.) long.

Tulip poplar trees are deciduous and will lose their leaves in winter, but first you get a spectacular color display of brilliant golden foliage. An interesting fact about tulip trees is that it is the host plant for tiger and spicebush swallowtail butterflies.

The arboretum Tulip Tree can be found on the east hill of the Sensory Garden and is accessible from the main pathway. It has been used as a picnic location many times this season !



July Meeting

Thursday June 2 , 9:30 a.m.

ZooMontana Sensory Garden


The Yellowstone Arboretum is happy to announce that it has received a $1000 check from the Montana Nursery & Landscape Association for this year's "Community Beautification Award". The award will be used as initial funding for the North American Conifer Garden to be located just west of Dottie's Garden along the main pathway. This garden brings awareness to visitors with a display of conifer specimens that can be found in the Rocky Mountain region as well as those found in other parts of the U.S. and Canada plus the MNLA commitment and support of Montana communities through awareness of this program.


New shrubs have been added to the Badger building and display in the Waterways collection. The much needed landscaping includes American Cranberry bush, Ivory Halo Dogwoods, Yellow twig dogwoods, Hydrangeas and a Magnolia tree.


Be sure to take a look at the new Taylor's Garden located in the Asian garden. It includes decorative Kale, Dwarf Korean Lilacs, Butterfly plants, Glads, Japanese Spirea and Russian Sage.


We have created some features on the website that may be worth investigating.



The new "Smart Tour"is on the arboretum website. This unique tour can be followed by visitors to the arboretum on their smart phone. The tour guides the visitor through different areas of the grounds highlighting selected trees and offering a "Did You Know" segment with some cool  information for each area!


Highlighting trees and plants with useful information about planting and Montana survival

Did You Know ?

Have you checked out the Yellowstone Arboretum Facebook page ?

Our page shares tree articles and videos of interest to arboreta enthusiasts as well as updated info from the arboretum.

CLICK HERE to find out more

You can follow the progress of the monthly climatic reports by clicking on the information below:








Readings for April and May were suspended due to Clovid-19 restrictions. They resumed in limited fashion in June.



Work has begun on the new "Wild Bird Garden" located along the main pathway between Wolf Junction and The Dell.

This display will include specimens that attract wild birds both for food and habitat. It also will include plants that attract pollinators. Currently the garden includes donated Spindle Tree, Caragana bush, Serviceberries, Asanti Dogwood and existing Milkweed and Buckthorn. In addition a series of bird feeders will be set-up throughout the Zoo grounds.


"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."

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