UC Davis Arboretum
Davis, California
June 2008

The 100-acre arboretum was established on campus in 1936.

Entry Sign

The plantings are concentrated along a creek with walkways on both banks.


A series of bridges connects the two banks. It's a beautiful layout for an arboretum, with plenty of great scenic views across the water.

Bridge Over Creek

The collections are primarily laid out geographically, with collections representing Australia, South Africa, South America, the Mediterranean, the southwest United States and California. There are also a few taxonomic collections, including conifers and Acacias.

One of the highlights is a small grove of Coastal Redwoods. The trees are young, and small by redwood standards, but the tall, straight trunks and beautiful colors make an impressive statement.

Redwood Grove

There are also excellent interpretive signs telling about redwoods and their importance.

redwood sign

The Australian area has a very nice collection of Grevilleas which were in full bloom. Sadly, the labeling on them was very poor so I learned the name of only one, this beautiful 'Ruby Clusters'.


Another favorite display is a Mexican Elderberry bush with an interpretive sign explaining its importance in the lifecycle of an endangered Longhorn Beetle. I like interpretation that reminds us that plants are not only beautiful, but also an integral part of the web of life.
elderberry sign

I really enjoyed this arboretum. The site along the creek is fantastic and the interpretive signage is very good. The labeling of plants was poor, but I imagine loss of labels is an ongoing problem. The arboretum is free and unfenced so disappearing labels must be a common occurrence. I was pleased to see no other signs of vandalism. The arboretum seems heavily used by visitors. We saw lots of joggers, walkers and bicyclists. It's a fine place to spend a leisurely few hours.

here to see more photos of the UC-Davis Arboretum.

To visit the official website of the Davis Arboretum, click

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