There’s a Chinese proverb that reads, “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second-best time is now.” Fortunately, for all of us here in New York at The Woodlawn Cemetery, those who came before us had a vision we can all enjoy for generations to come – and there’s no better time to do so than during the fall months when visiting our Arboretum.
The Woodlawn Cemetery has been known for its collection of more than 140 unique tree species and cultivars trees for over 150 years. That recognition was taken to a new level in 2017, when The Woodlawn Cemetery was awarded the Level II Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum. This honor was given for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens.
We are proud to welcome over 100,000 visitors from around the world each year, as they soak up the history and serenity of these 400 stunning acres. While Woodlawn has been recognized as one of America’s most historically significant properties, for those who stroll the grounds it becomes so much more.
A green sanctuary. The Arboretum harbors 11 specimens that are remarkable simply because of their overwhelming large size, measuring over five feet in diameter. What a perspective giver! These mature specimens include a Massive White Oak guarding the north edge of the Cemetery, a unique weeping European Beech (Fagus sylvatica), an unusual fine-leaved cultivar of the same species, an American Basswood (Tilia americana) , and a Black Oak (Quercus velutina) that measures six feet across its trunk.
An escape from the busyness of life. Take a walk through our Arboretum and notice how you feel. Your blood pressure lowers. Tension melts away. You have an increased sense of well-being. You sleep better that night – and it’s no wonder. The unique blend of nature and the perspective that comes from roaming a cemetery is like none other.
An opportunity to learn. Open our tree map to follow our tree walk and learn more about each of our unique trees. The Arboretum features five specimens identified in the “Great Trees of New York City” program, including a Japanese Umbrella Pine (Sciadopitys verticillata) and a native Eastern White Pine (Pinus strobus). The Arboretum collection contains several other introduced and native trees of note including one of the largest empress trees (Paulownia Tomentosa) in New York which is native to China, and a Native Tulip Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera ) that measures over 125 feet tall and 63 inches in diameter.
Fall is the perfect season to visit our outdoor oasis. Take an afternoon to enjoy the beauty and serenity of our Arboretum. You’ll be glad you did.