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Arboretum Project

Fall Color at the UT Arboretum

Enjoy the colorful fall season with our Fall Leaf Color Guide!

Photo Gallery | Featured Plant | Elmore Holly Garden | Auditorium | 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 - Ginkgo

Ginkgo (or Maidenhair Tree) puts on its spectacular fall display toward the end of October or early November. For a short period its leaves turn bright yellow, and then almost overnight, they fall to the ground creating a conspicuous leaf shadow under the tree’s spreading branches! Read more about this unique tree on our Featured Plants page.

Upcoming Events

Event: Holly Work Day
Event Date: Saturday, October 14, 9:00 am - Noon
Location: UT Arboretum Elmore Holly Garden
Details: The UT Arboretum Society Holly Task Force will be performing fall mulching, pruning, and general maintenance in the Elmore Holly Collection. Volunteers are welcome!

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Event: Lecture by Kathryn Aalto
Event Date: Tuesday, October 17, 7:00 - 8:00 pm
Location: Roane State Community College, City Room
Details: Kathryn Aalto, an author whose books have appeared on the New York Times Best Sellers List, will be discussing her book, "The Natural World of Winnie-the-Pooh: a Walk through the Forest that Inspired the Hundred Acre Wood."
About the Lecturer: An adjunct lecturer in English at Exeter College in England, Aalto lectures widely both nationally and internationally at arboretums, natural history museums, universities, gardens and civic clubs. For the past 25 years, her focus has been on the places where nature and culture intersect: teaching literature of nature and place, designing gardens and writing about the natural world.

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Event: Bioenergy Day
Event Date: Wednesday, October 18, 2:00 - 5:00 pm
Location: UT Arboretum Auditorium
Details: "Investigate the World of Bioenergy" at this free event sponsored by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory Center for BioEnergy Sustainability. Click to read more information about this Bioenergy Day event for children of all ages.

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Event: Fall Plant Sale
Event Date: Saturday, October 21, 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
Location: UT Arboretum Program Shelter
Details: This UT Arboretum Society sponsored event will feature plants especially for fall planting, expert advice on successful planting, arts and crafts vendors, and Dano's Hot Dogs!

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Event: Make and Take Pumpkin Center Piece Workshop
Event Date: Tuesday, October 24, 10:00 am - Noon
Location: UT Arboretum Program Shelter
Details: Michelle Campanis, UT Arboretum Program Coordinator, will share ideas and examples of fall themed centerpieces using pumpkins.
Fees: $25 class fee. Materials supplied.
Registration: Registration required. Class limited to 20 participants. To register, contact Janet Bigelow at 865-675-3822 or

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Hunter Connell and Scout Troop 451 Hunter Connell from Troop 451 completed his Boy Scouts of America "Eagle Scout" project in the UT Arboretum this past July. He and members of his troop rebuilt/replaced an aging bridge on the upper Heath Cove Trail. Read more news on the Forest Resources Center and Arboretum News page and view other Scout Projects that have been completed at the UT Arboretum.

Host Your Event at the NEW Auditorium

The pastoral landscapes and vistas stretching across the rolling hills of the University of Tennessee Arboretum can create a picturesque setting for your meeting, wedding ceremony, or workshop. Our auditorium features nearly 2,000 square feet of open floor space, a beautiful stone fireplace, and exposed Douglas fir roof beams, creating a rustic park-like experience. The building has a small kitchen, bathroom, electricity, water, and parking accommodations for up to fifty-five cars.

To host your next program, meeting, or workshop at the new auditorium, read our Event Rental Information guide.

The UT Arboretum is a very special place to celebrate your wedding. Ceremonies are held in and around the Sharp Program Shelter and the Auditorium - located adjacent to each other. Read our Wedding and Reception Rental Information guide to plan your special day.

View and print a promotional brochure about the NEW Arboretum Auditorium!

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: