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About UI Arboreta

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The University of Idaho
Arboretum and Botanical Garden

The jewel of the University of Idaho’s lush, landscaped campus is the 63-acre UI Arboretum and Botanical Garden which fills the valley south of the President’s Residence on Nez Perce Drive — against a backdrop of the tilled, rolling Palouse hills.

Organized into geographical groupings of Asian, European, Eastern, and Western North American sections, and display plantings are hundreds of species and cultivars of North Temperate trees and shrubs and a xeriscape garden. In addition to native Idaho species, there are over 120 dedicated trees and groves, trails, water features, and 27 granite benches for viewing, study, contemplation, enjoying northern Idaho’s spectacular seasonal changes. Walking trails range from easy grades through steeper climbs to the most spectacular overview sites from which the Blue Mountains of Oregon can be seen.

Although conifers, ornamental species and cultivars of pear, forsythia, cherry, crabapple, lilac, shrub rose, mock orange, magnolia, shrub peony, maple, oak, and elm constitute the bulk of the collection, there are scores of special specimens in the many environmental niches of the Arboretum’s valley. In a typical year, there is something in flower from February and March (e.g., alder, willow, filbert, and poplar) through October. Autumnal coloration commences in September with the maples, and progresses into November with a brilliant final color show of the Eastern North American oaks.

In addition to the opportunities for plant study and observation, the Arboretum provides a unique site for observing resident and migratory birds throughout the year. The ever changing habitats among the maturing ornamental plants provide food, nesting sites, and stopping points for the common and uncommon songbirds and raptors throughout the year.

The Charles Houston Shattuck Arboretum

When Charles Houston Shattuck came to the 20-year-old University of Idaho in 1909 to start a forestry curriculum, the campus was essentially treeless. In 1910, he initiated planting a 14-acre weedy slope with hundreds of introduced trees and shrubs for education and beautification of the campus. His legacy, “Arboretum Hill,” was named the Charles Houston Shattuck Arboretum in 1933, two years after his death.

Today the Shattuck Arboretum, a tranquil grove of mature trees, is one of Western North America’s oldest university plantings where superior specimens of American beech, California incense-cedar, English maple, Canadian hemlock, etc. can be seen. Among these treasured specimens, probably the best to be found in the northern Rocky Mountains between Minneapolis and Seattle, is a magnificent giant sequoia. Adjacent to the arboretum is a new amphitheater available for lectures, concerts, barbecues, weddings, and other events.

The Shattuck Arboretum is located immediately west of the UI Administration Building and north of the UI President’s Residence.

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