Walking through the arboretum

Hoyt Arboretum Friends (HAF) is a membership-based, nonprofit organization working in partnership with Portland Parks and Recreation to support Hoyt Arboretum.

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About Hoyt Arboretum


Established in 1928, Hoyt Arboretum is Portland’s museum of living trees where we grow and exhibit trees and plants from around the world while educating our community and conserving vitally important plant biodiversity.  

The arboretum is open free to the public and encompasses 189 ridge-top acres in Washington Park that are accessible by 12 miles of trails. Our collection nurtures 6,000 specimens from 6 continents, including over 2,300 species, 63 of which are vulnerable or endangered. To the local community, Hoyt Arboretum is an urban oasis for education and recreation. To the world, Hoyt Arboretum is a critical partner in scientific research and global conservation. Over 800 volunteers donate 11,000 hours annually to maintain the arboretum and help in these efforts.

Hoyt Arboretum is a living laboratory where the public, scientists and students can study trees and plants. Hoyt Arboretum is:

  • A unique collection of trees and plants from around the world
  • A living laboratory for preservation and research
  • A vital resource for conserving plant biodiversity
  • A sanctuary for 63 vulnerable and endangered species
  • A place to learn about trees and their relationship to the environment
  • A peaceful urban oasis
  • A 189-acre refuge with 12 miles of hiking trails
  • A promise to future generations

At Hoyt Arboretum, every tree has a story to tell. Tree collections are organized by taxonomy (plant families) and geography. Identification labels and interpretive panels help you learn about trees that catch your interest.

The Hoyt collection includes more than 2,300 true species with specimens grown from seeds collected in the wild. The provenance, or lineage, of each tree is known. These plants produce seeds that can be used to replant native ecosystems that have been destroyed or are at risk. Archival vouchers (dried samples) for over 900 species can be researched in our herbarium.

Five Ways Hoyt Arboretum is Unique:

Curation - Every tree is carefully curated, labeled and researched.  In the same way an art museum researches each piece of art, we know the provenance of every tree in the collection.  This information can be found online in our collection database.

Conservation - We nurture 63 threatened and endangered species and work with other arboreta to play a part in global conservation strategies.

Global Representation - We have species from six continents.

Historic Value - Species are arranged evolutionarily, so you'll find flowering trees in one area and coniferous trees in another.  This is an historically significant way to organize species and is indicative of the period in which the arboretum was created in 1928.

Scientific Value - We are a peer reviewed scientific resource, primarily accessed through our collection database and our herbarium.

Fun Facts:

  • Our Dawn Redwood is a Portland and Oregon Heritage Tree.  Once thought to be an extinct species, a tree was identified in China in 1946. Seeds from that tree were planted in Hoyt Arboretum in 1952 and ours was the first tree to set cones in the Northern Hemisphere in six million years!
  • Ralph Hoyt was a civic leader in Portland in the early 1900s.  He served as president of the Rose Festival and chairman of the Multnomah County Commission between 1920 and 1924.  He was instrumental in the formation of Hoyt Arboretum and Washington Park.
  • Hoyt Arboretum Friends was founded by Portland Park's staff and volunteers in 1986 to support Hoyt Arboretum through advocacy, resources, awareness and education.

Hoyt Arboretum is a promise to future generations. Just as we are enjoying mature trees that were planted in 1931, the seedlings we plant today will provide myriad benefits to the environment, opportunities for research and conservation and natural beauty for centuries to come.

Hoyt Arboretum Friends
Mission Statement

To maintain and improve Hoyt Arboretum and its collection for all people through advocacy, resources, awareness and education.

Support Hoyt Arboretum by becoming a member