Top Navigation

A new way to tour the F. R. Newman Arboretum

Published: 
51 weeks 23 hours ago

Cornell Plantations has recently completed its yearlong process of enhancements to our visitor services in the F. R. Newman Arboretum with the installation of a self-guided audio-visual tour. In addition to this self-guided tour, Cornell Plantations has installed new interpretive and way-finding signs throughout to help visitors better orient themselves and to learn more about these unique collections. These enhancements were made possible by a $20K grant from the Stanley Smith Horticulture Trust received in January 2012.

These enhancements help Plantations to better tell our story to the tens of thousands of visitors who enter our gates every year. From learning about the striped maple (Acer pennsylvanicum) a small tree with distinct vertical white stripes on its bark, which is also called moosewood, the namesake of a nearby famous restaurant; to learning that the much loved Sculpture Garden was not intended to survive past the year it was constructed in 1962, visitors will now have a much fuller and richer understanding of the amazing collections that can be found in the rolling hills of the F. R. Newman Arboretum. 

Since the completion of the Arboretum in 1981, Plantations has had limited visitor information in the arboretum to explain to visitors the importance of the plant collections found there. This grant allowed for expanded services that include new signs and mobile phone audio-visual tours to communicate the significance of the key plant collections within the 150-acre arboretum, and reveal how researchers from Cornell and around the world use these collections for scientific study.

“The aim of all interpretation in the arboretum is to emphasize the significance of plant diversity, and how plants strongly affect human well-being,” stated Sarah Fiorello, interpretation coordinator at Cornell Plantations.  “Before these interpretive upgrades in the arboretum, many visitors viewed the space as a beautifully manicured park, not as an arboretum -- with significant plant collections that are used for educational and research purposes.  It’s our hope that these visitor enhancements will help bring a fuller awareness to our visitors.”

The collections located in the F.R. Newman Arboretum include nut trees, crabapples, oaks, maples, shrubs, and urban trees.  There are also specialty gardens found in the arboretum that include the Zucker Shrub Collection and the Treman Woodland Walk.

To listen to the audio tour, visit our F.R. Newman Arboretum page and browse the collection list.  Once a collection is selected, click on the audio icon to listen to the short audio clip.

About Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust:
The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust was created in 1970 by May Smith, in honor of her late husband. The Trust supports education and research in ornamental horticulture, primarily in North and South America. Grants up to $20,000 are typically made to botanical gardens, arboreta, and universities.