Arlington National Cemetery is both the most hallowed burial ground of our Nation's
fallen and one of the most visited tourist sites in the Washington, DC, area. A
fully operational national cemetery since May 1864, Arlington National Cemetery
conducts an average of 27 funerals each workday--final farewells to fallen heroes
from the fronts of Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as to veterans of World War II,
the Korean conflict, Vietnam and the Cold War and their family members.
The grounds of Arlington National Cemetery honor those who have served the nation
and their families by providing a sense of beauty and peace. The rolling green hills
are dotted with trees (some that are older than the cemetery itself), monuments
and gardens throughout the 624 developed acres of the cemetery. This impressive
landscape serves as a tribute to the service and sacrifice of every individual and
their families laid to rest within the hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery.
Maintaining these grounds is a sacred duty and the Arlington National Cemetery staff
is committed to environmental excellence in all aspects of its mission. Great care
is taken by a considerable number of dedicated cemetery employees, from both the
government and private sector, who work tirelessly throughout the year to ensure
the grounds are maintained to the highest standards.
Arlington’s developed burial sections and non-burial sites total 562 acres of turf.
All the grass is mowed at least once a week and trimming is done around all the
headstones once a week. In addition to the mowing and trimming, various types of
applications are utilized throughout the year to help maintain the turf in its best
possible health. Each year, six acres of turf are hydroseeded, seventeen acres have
new sod installed and fifty acres go through a total renovation process.
There are approximately 8400 trees at Arlington National Cemetery. There are about
300 varieties of trees that are maintained on a four year pruning cycle. The cemetery
boasts a wonderful population of very large and ancient trees. This includes many
trees that are estimated to be over 200 years old. The State Champion Pin Oak is
in section 35 and is considered the largest specimen in the Pin Oak species in the
state of Virginia. There are also many diverse plantings of shrubs, perennials,
and several annual planting beds throughout the cemetery. Arlington is also incorporating
perennials, ornamental grasses and native plants into the landscape.
Arlington National Cemetery is providing a more earth-friendly landscaping approach.
The earth-friendly landscaping involves:
- Perennials vs. Annuals: Arlington National Cemetery is
decreasing its use of annual plants to reduce the use of plastic containers, water,
and fertilizers. We are replacing some of the traditional flowering annuals with
perennial, herbaceous plants. Arlington has some invasive plants on our grounds,
however, we have adopted the practice of not planting plants that are invasive,
potentially invasive, or a species of concern, such as English Ivy or Butterfly
Bush, which can overrun natural plant habitants.
- Water-Wise Approach: Arlington is adopting a water-wise
or Xeriscaping approach using ornamental grasses and other native plants that don’t
require as much water once they are established.
- Native Plants that Help Wildlife: Arlington is working
to incorporate more native plants that provide food and shelter to attract and sustain
insects and birds.
- Reduce Pesticide Use: We continue to plant resistant cultivars
and varieties that lead to a decrease in pesticide use and overall pest problems.
Arlington National Cemetery strives to achieve diversity in all of our tree plantings
and landscape plantings. The urban forester and horticulturist at Arlington National
Cemetery are working to make sure that regional, native plants are chosen for the
upcoming stream bank restoration project. It will be an opportunity to ‘showcase’
plants that are native to the Coastal Region of Virginia.
In addition to the beautiful stone and metal monuments and memorials, individuals
and organizations can donate trees and plants in memory of a loved one or group.
As of March 11, 2011, Arlington National Cemetery has 142 memorial trees - those
that have a plaque or marker. However, there are hundreds of trees that have been
planted at Arlington in memory of loved ones.
View a listing of
at Arlington National Cemetery.
There are 36 Memorial Trees at Arlington National Cemetery as a living tribute to
the nation's Medal of Honor recipients. View the listing of the Medal of Honor
To learn how to donate a living gift call toll-free: (877) 907-8585.
Learn more on the Living Gift process page.