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Arboretum Project

Happy Holidays

Photo Gallery | Featured Plant | Elmore Holly Garden | Tree ID | Programs

The UT Arboretum is a place for all seasons! Walkers can enjoy our over five miles of Walking Trails year round. There is always something in bloom at the Arboretum and our Featured Plants page showcases a different plant each month. Bird and Wildlife spotting is common during every season and holly berries abound in the Elmore Holly Garden during the holidays. Enjoy a virtual tour of the Arboretum via our Photo Gallery. The Arboretum and Arboretum Society hosts spring and fall plant sales, seasonal workshops, timely lectures, and special guided walks - even on New Year's Day!

Arboretum Hours

The University of Tennessee Arboretum Visitors Center and Office is routinely open Monday - Friday from 8:00 am - Noon and 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm (excluding holidays.)

The Arboretum grounds are open for walking daily from 8:00 am until sunset.

The parking lot is accessible during office hours, but is subject to restrictions after office hours on weekdays, weekends, and holidays.

Click to view and print an Arboretum Location Map.

Rules for Visitors

All public access is walking only. (Persons with disabilities may obtain permission to drive on roads.)

  • Please stay on designated areas and observe all posted signs
  • No collecting of any materials
  • No picnicking
  • No pets
  • No bikes or skateboards

Featured Plant - Holiday Hollies and Mistletoe

Hollies Mistletoe

Hollies have been associated with the winter solstice since ancient times. They have a rich history of medicinal uses and have been regarded as religious symbols. Hollies are widely used for wreaths and other holiday decorations.

Clumps of Mistletoe resembling large green squirrel nests are conspicuous in the upper branches of deciduous trees after the leaves have fallen. Sprigs of its green leathery leaves and stems and its white berries are a familiar component of the Christmas time tradition of kissing under the Mistletoe. In ancient times Mistletoe was used in Druid and pre-Christian traditions to decorate houses at the mid-winter and mid-summer solstices.

More detailed descriptions of Hollies and Mistletoe can be found on our Previously Featured Plants page.

Hollies Mistletoe

Tennessee Urban Forestry Council Member

The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center and Arboretum officially received the Level 4 arboreta re-certification status by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council (TUFC) on Monday March 16, 2018. This accomplishment was a year-long team effort by the FRREC staff, center volunteers, and UTIA/UTK personnel. Visit our Urban Trees page to read about this special certification and view a map containing the locations of the over 120 trees that qualified for the Level 4 designation.


Bo Duncan and Yvonne Hitchcock Receive Awards Yvonne Hitchcock (right) and Bo Duncan were recently recognized for their long tenure and meritorious service at the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (UT FRREC). Both staff members received the completive Branch Station Service Director Award earlier this summer. The award recipient requirements are for non-exempt support staff of a branch agricultural experiment station who in the opinion of the selection committee have contributed most to the attainment of the mission of the branch stations. Read about these awards on our News page.


View the UT Arboretum and UT Arboretum Society Events Calendar for information about all the scheduled up-coming events!

The Arboretum Auditorium

The University of Tennessee Arboretum Auditorium is a picturesque setting for events, meetings, and workshops. It is available for rent during all seasons! Our Auditorium Event Rental page has information about how you can rent this unique facility.

The Auditorium and the nearby Sharp Program Shelter is also a beautiful place to celebrate your wedding and reception. Visit our Weddings and Receptions page to plan your special day at the UT Arboretum.

The Arboretum Society

The University of Tennessee Arboretum Society (UTAS) is a non-profit organization of volunteers from throughout Tennessee, dedicated to furthering the objectives and programs of the Forest Resources Research and Education Center's Arboretum Project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.

Chartered in 1965, the Arboretum Society has assisted the Arboretum by providing support and funding for such projects as expanding plant collections, constructing facilities to enhance the public's use and enjoyment of the Arboretum, and informing the public of the unique value and importance of the Arboretum to the area. Recently, the Society accepted the challenge of providing a portion of the operating funds needed to assure continued public access to the Arboretum.

Information about the Society and membership opportunities are available at the UT Arboretum Visitors Center or by e-mail at A history of the Society can be viewed on our web page UTAS History.

Inclement Weather

Please be advised that the UT Arboretum follows the same weather closures as the Knoxville Campus. In the event that our staff cannot make it in and/or the conditions are deemed unsafe, we will close the UT Arboretum and the gate will be up and locked. We ask that you refrain from entering the property at any time the gate is locked.

Professional Photographers Policy

The UT Forest Resoures AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC)/Arboretum is proud to provide an attractive venue for all types of outdoor photography in the East Tennessee region. However, considerable materials and labor are required to maintain the UT FRREC/Arboretum to the high standard that has attracted so many professional photographers for their photography sessions. As a result, starting on July 23, 2014 the UT FRREC/Arboretum implemented a new Photography Policy. Click here to view the new Photography Policy.

University of Tennessee - Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
901 South Illinois Avenue, Oak Ridge, Tennessee 37830 · Telephone: 865-483-3571 · Email: