University of Tennessee
Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center
Oak Ridge Forest Cumberland Forest Highland Rim Forest Arboretum

Arboretum Project


Kevin P. Hoyt, Director
901 S. Illinois Avenue
Oak Ridge, TN 37830
Phone: (865) 483-3571
Fax: (865) 483-3572

The Arboretum is a project of the University of Tennessee Forest Resources Research and Education Center. It generally hosts more than 30,000 visitors annually. This 250 acre research and education facility has over 2,500 native and exotic woody plant specimens that represent 800 species, varieties, and cultivars. The UT Arboretum is truly a place for all seasons. A fall walk among the major plant collections near the Program Shelter can be a very colorful experience. Click to read more about the Arboretum Walking Trails.

The Arboretum serves as an outdoor classroom to university students in a variety of fields. It is also a place that provides a natural laboratory for research in plant uses, genetics and adaptability, insect and disease control, and the management of associated natural resources. The facility is recognized as an official Wildlife Observation Area and part of the National Watchable Wildlife Program by the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. It is also recognized by the Holly Society of America as an official Holly test garden and the trails are part of the Tennessee Recreational Trail System.

Our Mission

(1) To establish a collection of woody plants, including species and cultivars, and those plants with potential commercial value as forest species or for landscape development, from which materials are obtained for breeding and propagation. (2) To provide a place open to the public where individual groups may study the woody and associated herbaceous plants which are adapted to the environs of Tennessee. (3) To provide land and supporting physical resources to facilitate associated plant research programs.

Looking to the Future

The University of Tennessee, The UT Arboretum Society, and other partners have launched a campaign to secure the future of the UT Arboretum by building a $3 million endowment.

This effort will fund the following critical features of our grand vision for the UT Arboretum:

  • Expanded collections of plants
  • Creation of an arboretum coordinator position
  • Improved facilities for public access and enjoyment
  • Enhancement of the grounds, displays and trails
  • Perpetuation and care of existing plant collections
  • Creation of vibrant education and outreach programs

Please consider making a tax-deductible pledge to the University of Tennessee Arboretum Endowment. Every gift will be critical to our successful campaign. Click here for more information about the Endowment.

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.

Read A History of the Arboretum Society from the beginnings through 1980 and The 25th Anniversary History Update from 1980 through 1990.

Information about the Society and membership opportunities are available at the UT Arboretum Visitors Center or by e-mail at

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.

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.

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

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 will implement a new Photography Policy. Click here to view and print 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: