The Troia Arch in Longenecker Horticultural Gardens

The Troia Arch in Longenecker Horticultural Gardens

The UW Arboretum has three distinct garden collections that provide sensory delights, educational opportunities, and practitioner resources. They include Wisconsin’s premier collection of hardy trees, shrubs and vines, as well as a unique native plant garden representing native plant communities of southern Wisconsin.

The gardens are designed and maintained to display plant diversity, illustrate gardening practices and inspire visitors throughout the seasons. Students, homeowners, green industry professionals, families, teachers, community members, and international guests visit our gardens for learning and enjoyment.

Garden tours are offered in spring, summer, and fall.

Tree climbing, pets, picnics, drones, hammocks and slack lines, collecting natural materials, in-line skates and skateboards, and bicycles on trails are not permitted at the Arboretum. These policies are for the benefit and protection of people, plants, and animals at the Arboretum.

Longenecker Horticultural Gardens

Map of Longenecker Horticultural Gardens (PDF)»

Located on 35 beautifully landscaped acres near the Visitor Center, this internationally recognized living collection features approximately 4,000 specimens comprising more than 2,600 kinds of trees, shrubs, and vines. It is Wisconsin’s largest and most diverse collection of woody plants.

Visitors can experience the beauty and wonder of woody plant diversity from Wisconsin and around the world. Highlights include the third-largest public collection of lilacs in the United States, along with renowned collections of flowering crabapples, magnolias, conifers, and flowering shrubs. The Gardens promote the beauty and importance of trees and other woody plants for education, enjoyment, and genetic resource preservation.

New selections are added yearly, keeping the collection ever evolving. Each specimen is carefully planted, catalogued, labeled, mapped, and maintained. The collection was named for Professor G. William Longenecker, the Arboretum’s original director and the Gardens’ first curator from 1935 to 1966. It is called a horticultural garden to distinguish it from the restored natural landscapes that surround it.

Viburnum Garden

Located east of the Nakoma Road and Manitou Way intersection, this three-acre garden is part of Longenecker Horticultural Gardens collection and features a variety of viburnum and arborvitae selections along with stunning bald cypress and dawn redwood specimens.

Wisconsin Native Plant Garden

Wisconsin Native Plant Garden
Wisconsin Native Plant Garden

Map of the Wisconsin Native Plant Garden (PDF)»

The Wisconsin Native Plant Garden, designed by landscape architect Darrel Morrison, is a place where people of all ages participate in land care and learn about native plants, restoration, pollinator conservation, and ecological relationships.

Located on 4 acres surrounding the Visitor Center, the WNPG includes 15 gardens and hundreds of native Wisconsin species. The Garden introduces visitors to ecological restoration and diverse communities in the Arboretum and the region. It is a key teaching resource that demonstrates landscaping with native plants. We promote sustainable gardening practices: limited water use, minimal pesticide use, diversity in plantings, rain gardening, and pollinator conservation.