The University of Iowa

The UI Campus Arboretum

A campus-wide arboretum

The campus grounds of the University of Iowa are an accredited arboretum, showcasing an exceptional variety of trees and woody plant species including over 8,000 trees of over 300 total species, historic and rare trees, and several state champion trees including the State Champion American Elm, Dawn Redwood, and Scarlet Oak. While its primary function is to support the educational mission of the University of Iowa, the Arboretum is also open for the public to enjoy. The trees and shrubs in the collection are chosen following the guidelines of our tree collection policy.


In spring 2021, the University of Iowa was recognized as an arboretum by ArbNet, a professional network of arboreta and tree professionals. The University of Iowa earned Level II Accreditation by meeting a series of professional standards.  The UI is one of only 145 institutions worldwide to receive this accreditation, and only the second in the state of Iowa.

Read the Iowa Now article on the recent accreditation.

The Facilities Management Landscape Services team maintains a number of professional standards to earn this distinction. To achieve Level II accreditation by the ArbNet program, the UI meets the criteria of maintaining over 100 species of woody plants, a documented collections policy, and enhanced public education programs.



Notable Features

Tree Crew plants a new larch tree on the Pentacrest to replace the one downed in a storm in September 2019

The Landscape Services tree crew plants a new Larch tree on the Pentacrest to replace a half-century-old European Larch tree lost to a thunderstorm in September 2019. The tree crew maintains approximately 8,000 trees on the UI campus, including nearly 300 plantings each year. 

The UI campus arboretum consists of over 8,000 trees comprised of over 330 species. Plantings of interest include:


Featured Plantings Locations

The Tree Inventory App is an effective tool for exploring trees on the UI campus. The following map images from the Tree Inventory App show the locations of featured plantings in the campus arboretum. Use the Tree Inventory App to explore these and other tree locations on the UI Campus!

Collection of donated Gingko trees located on the southeast side of Hancher Auditorium

The Ginkgo collection on the southeast side of Hancher includes over 75 cultivars of different Ginkgo varieties. The trees were donated from a larger Ginkgo collection given to the UI by Charley and Cheryl Hunter.

Location of Literary Grove that includes trees with connections to famous authors, located on the North side of Dey House

The Writers' Workshop Literary Grove includes eight plantings with connections to famous authors and poets. Among the plantings include a Red Maple sapling from Henry David Thoreau's beloved Walden pond, a Birch tree from Robert Frost's home in Franconia, New Hampshire and more.

Map location of the UI's orchard of rare and historic fruit trees near the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex

An orchard of rare and historic fruit trees is located near the Hawkeye Tennis and Recreation Complex. It features apple trees connected to Sir Isaac Newton and Johnny Appleseed and more!

Location of American Conifer Society recognized Conifer Reference Garden Dancer's Garden, located on the East side of Halsey Hall

One of two American Conifer Society recognized Reference Gardens is Dancer's Garden, located on the east side of Halsey Hall.

American Conifer Society recognized Conifer Reference Garden located on the Southeast side of the Eckstein Medical Research Building
On the southeast side of the Eckstein Medical Research building is the second American Conifer Society Reference Garden.

Location of Oak Quercetum on the UI Research Campus along Oakdale Boulevard

A quercetum of 60+ Oak species along Oakdale Boulevard on the UI Research Park campus.


Explore the UI Campus Arboretum

Click on one of the resources below to learn more about the University of Iowa campus arboretum.

Tree Inventory App
Tree Inventory App

 The UI Tree Inventory app delivers information about the number and location of trees and their condition, size, and species, with additional links to photos and descriptions.

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Dancer's Garden
American Conifer Society Reference Gardens

 The University of Iowa is home to two American Conifer Society Reference Gardens, which serve to teach the University of Iowa community about conifers.

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Tree Campus USA 2019 award
Tree Campus Higher Education (Formerly Tree Campus USA)

 The UI was designated the state of Iowa's first Tree Campus Higher Education institution in 2009 for its excellence in tree stewardship, as well as student and community involvement. The campus has achieved this status each year since.

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