The ETSU Arboretum
Frequently Asked Questions

What is an arboretum:

An arboretum is a place where trees are grown and displayed for scientific, educational, and aesthetic purposes (an outdoor tree museum).

Where is the ETSU Arboretum:

The ETSU Arboretum comprises the whole campus along with the adjacent University Woods Natural Area.

When was the ETSU Arboretum established?

The ETSU Arboretum received certification from the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council in 2002. Organization of the Arboretum began in 2000. The careful planting and maintenance of trees on campus dates to the earliest days of the University.

What does the ETSU Arboretum do?

The ETSU Arboretum manages many activities. For example, it plants new trees; it installs tree identification signs; it publishes interpretive brochures; it arranges public talks; it arranges tours and other arboretum activities for the public and schools; it supports the ETSU Botany classes; and it hosts Celebrate Arbor Day events.

How is ETSU Arboretum funded?

Since 2001, the ETSU Arboretum has received over $50,000 in grants from public agencies (Tennessee Department of Agriculture Forestry Division) and private benefactors (Harris Fund of the East Tennessee Foundation and the Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust). Many (tax-deductible) gifts from area garden clubs and individual donors have supported purchase of new trees and other arboretum functions. The Arboretum receives no regular funding from the ETSU budget.

Where do I get more information on the ETSU Arboretum?

Join our mailing list (free) by writing to: ETSU Arboretum, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Box 70703, ETSU, Johnson City, TN, 37614-0703, by sending an email to, or through this link.

Are printed materials available?

Yes. Three brochures — “A Walking Tour of Notable Trees on the ETSU Campus,” “A Walking Tour of Coniferous Trees on the ETSU Campus,” and “ETSU Arboretum Map and Species List” — and several Newsletters are available free on request. New publications for winter/spring 2003 include: “Non-Visual Identification of Coniferous Trees” audio tour, a tour of “Tree Giants on ETSU Campus,” and a guide to “Memorial Trees of the ETSU Arboretum.”

Who runs the ETSU Arboretum?

The ETSU Arboretum is a cooperative effort. Dr. Foster Levy and Dr. Tim McDowell (Department of Biological Sciences) direct activities, grants, and publications; Horticulturalist Kathleen Moore (Physical Plant) directs planting and maintenance of trees and landscape; Interns Susan Antkiewitz and Nancy Fischman manage outreach activities and website; and other active participants include students and volunteers from the university community.

Do you accept donations?

Yes, thank you! Tax-deductible gifts to the ETSU Arboretum Fund of the ETSU Foundation greatly enhance our efforts to beautify the ETSU campus with interesting and unusual trees. Gifts may be sent to the ETSU Arboretum, Dept. of Biological Sciences, Box 70703, ETSU, Johnson City TN 37614-0703.


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ETSU Arboretum
Department of Biological Sciences
Box 70703
East Tennessee State University
Johnson City TN 37614

Tim McDowell
(423) 439-8635