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Arboretum

An All-New Outdoor Experience

Coming April 2022

Adventure Science Center is proud to have deep roots in Music City and we are excited to announce that we have officially planted the trees for our 75th Anniversary Arboretum project. By carefully adding 14 new native species of trees to our site under the guidance and supervision of Tennessee Valley Archaeological Research (TVAR), we now have more than thirty different species, thereby making us eligible for declaration as a Level 1 arboretum by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council. This new arboretum will teach about the importance of trees and also introduce visitors to the story of the historic African-American Bass Street Community that once resided partially on our site. 

There are many benefits of our arboretum, including the improvement of community park space; accessible and free learning opportunities about nature and our site’s history; and added structural support for St. Cloud Hill to better preserve the overall site, which extends to Fort Negley.

Did you know that trees provide homes for animals, keep us cool and clean our air? Click here to learn more about the benefits that trees provide to us and our world. Read More >

This site has a rich human history, including the story of the Bass Street Community, one of the first Free Black neighborhoods in Nashville. Click here to learn more about St. Cloud Hill and its many inhabitants over the years. Read More >

ARBORETUM FAQ

An arboretum is a botanical garden that is dedicated to trees. Usually, they are created to serve a purpose, such as education or research. Our arboretum is classified as a Level 1 arboretum by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council. To be considered a Level 1 arboretum, a site must have a minimum of 30 different tree species.

There are arboreta all around Nashville! The Tennessee Urban Forestry Council has a complete list of certified arboreta for the state of Tennessee. To find the closest one to you, check out their website: Tennessee Urban Forestry Council

According to Tennessee Urban Forestry Council, a tree is considered a woody plant with single or multiple trunks capable of growing to a height of 15 feet or more. Other organizations also include a minimum trunk diameter of 3 inches measured at a height 4.5 feet off the ground.

This can be a difficult question to answer because shrubs and trees can be very similar, especially when trees are young. In general, a shrub is a woody plant with multiple trunks that do not grow larger than 3 inches in diameter and are shorter than 15 feet. Because trees can have multiple trunks and may be smaller than tree requirements when they are young, it is important to know if the plant is mature before deciding if it is a tree or a shrub.

A deciduous tree loses its leaves every year. This is also know as leaf exfoliation. Usually, leaves turn a different color in the fall before falling off. New leaves are grown in the spring. Examples of deciduous trees include all oaks, maples, and hickories. If a tree is an evergreen it has live, green leaves throughout the year. Examples of evergreen trees include pine tree species, eastern red cedars, and some magnolias.

An invasive species is, typically, a non-native species that competes with native species. It spreads quickly and takes resources away from native species. Often, these species are introduced by accident. They may also be brought into an area because they are beautiful or interesting.  A well-known invasive species in Tennessee is the kudzu vine, which originates in Japan.

There are several groups around Nashville that provide information and help with planting trees. Here are a few links to organization that can help you get started:

Nashville Tree Foundation

Root Nashville

Metro Nashville Public Works

Root Nashville is a partnership between the Cumberland River Compact and Metro Nashville, along with the Mayor’s office. Their goal is to increase the number of trees within Davidson County by planting 500,000 trees on public and private property by 2050. For more information, and to find out how you can be a part of this project, visit rootnashville.org.

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