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Arboretum Project

Monarch Butterfly on Milkweed

Plan to attend the Butterfly Festival on July 29 from 10 am until 2 pm!

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 - Southern Red Oak

Southern Red Oak is one of several red oak species at the Arboretum. The red oaks have sharply lobed leaves that are bristle-tipped and their acorns require 2 years to mature. Other common native red oaks occurring here include Black Oak (Q. velutina), Scarlet Oak (Q. coccinea), Northern Red Oak (Q. rubra), and Blackjack Oak (Q. marilandica). Red oaks differ from white oaks that have rounded leaf lobes or teeth without bristle tips and acorns that require only 1 year to mature. Southern Red Oak has distinctive alternate leaves which are shiny on the upper surface and rusty colored pubescent on the underside. Read more about the Southern Red Oak on our Featured Plants page.

Upcoming Events

Event: Butterfly Festival
Event Date: Saturday, July 29, 10:00 am - 2:00 pm
Activities: Monarch Butterfly release, UT Insect Zoo, Food and Plant Vendors, Artisans, Live Music
Location: UT Arboretum Auditorium

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Event: Lecture: "A Day in the DARK! Eclipse 2017!"
Lecturer: Janet Ivey of Janet's Planet
Event Date: Thursday, August 10, 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Location: UT Arboretum Auditorium

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Tree Care Workshop for 4-H Students The UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center (FRREC) hosted several field-based forestry programs this spring. In mid-June, Dr. Sharon Jean-Phillippe, UT Department of Forestry, Wildlife and Fisheries, hosted a contingent of Tennessee 4-H students at the auditorium for a workshop on Urban Forest tree care practices (photo at left). Other tours/programs included a field tour focused on reforestation practices at the UT Cumberland Forest, a tree I.D. workshop in the Arboretum, and another field tour focused on sustainable forestry and bioenergy in collaboration with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. More such field-based programs are being planned for the future as part of the increased education and outreach efforts of our new Arboretum Education Progran Coordinator, Ms. Michelle Campanis. Read more about these and other recent events on our Forest Resources Center and Arboretum News page.

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: