Davis Arboretum in Davis, California


UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden

UC Davis Arboretum and Public Garden

One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616
(530) 752-4880

The Arboretum is a collection of paths and gardens along the old North Channel of Putah Creek, covering about 100 acres and making a total loop of about 3.5 miles. The Arboretum is home to over 22,000 kinds of trees, plants, and shrubs, as well as a variety of wildlife such as ducks, turtles, and rabbits. Students and visitors take in the beautiful gardens and enjoy its peaceful tranquility. Davis Arboretum is free of charge. Sustained by both animal and plant life, the arboretum maintains 22,000 plants in 17 collections spread over 100 acres. UC Davis also offers demonstration plantings, providing information and interesting facts about sustainable gardening. 

The Arboretum is famous for its garden collections from around the world. This living museum of different climates and unique plants is organized by taxonomy or by geography. The taxonomic collections, such as conifer and oak, contain hundreds of specimens of one specific type of plant within the garden. The geographic collections exhibit a variety of different plants from within one specific location, such as the Desert collection and the South American collection. One of the most famous exhibits that the Arboretum houses is its beautiful evergreen grove, which is one of the largest collections of coast redwood trees outside their native range. The managers of the Arboretum are committed to creating as natural a setting as possible, usually only planting wild grown plants and prohibiting the use of any pesticides.

Visitors can come learn all about the Arboretum and experience the beauty of its garden collections for themselves through one of the frequent free guided tours. Every weekend, the Arboretum hosts a free guided tour which is led by trained expert docents. Each tour focuses on a particular garden, collection, or theme depending upon what is in bloom. Tours include exploring the Redwood Grove or exploring the Roses of the Storer Garden. Visitors can also enjoy other free events in the gardens of the Arboretum such as Folk Music Jam sessions and the Writers in the Garden series which hosts such celebrated authors as David Robertson and Dorine Jennette.

The Arboretum is also an important resource to Davis residents who are seeking to develop similar gardens in their own backyards. It is dedicated to teaching and promoting sustainable Valley-wise gardening. This type of gardening is based upon choosing native California plants because they require much less water and pesticides than do many non-native plants which dominate the backyards of most California homes. The Arboretum staff offer the sale of these plants, which have been affectionately dubbed the Arboretum All-Stars for their reliability and toughness, to encourage visitors to adopt the Valley-wise gardening practices.

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