Welcome to the Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Arboretum.
The hallowed grounds of Arlington National Cemetery have long been recognized as a place of honor for those who have served our nation.
Rolling green hills, majestic trees and a diverse collection of ornamental plants serve as the backdrop to this national shrine.
The cemetery’s 624 acres are a unique blend of formal and informal landscapes, dotted with over 8,500 native and exotic trees. Intimate gardens enhance the beauty and sense of peace.
To commemorate its 150th anniversary, this historic landscape has been established as the Arlington National Cemetery Memorial Arboretum. The Arboretum serves as a living memorial to those that have served our nation and connects visitors to the rich tapestry of the cemetery's living history and natural beauty.
We are honored to preserve and interpret this iconic landscape for generations to come.
We invite you to explore the Memorial Arboretum.
Winter Highlight: Cedrus species
Photo Credit: Mary Mokarzel Papers (IHRC1614), IHRC Archives, University of Minnesota
On March 31, 1934 at six o’clock on a cold, rainy Easter eve in Arlington National Cemetery, Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt, on behalf of the President of the United States, accepted twelve Cedar of Lebanon trees from the American University of Beirut, Syria and the Near East Institute.
The trees were donated as a token of gratitude for the United States’ support during World War I and as a symbol of enduring friendship. President Roosevelt chose Arlington National Cemetery as the planting location. So important to the Syrian people, the event was radio broadcast between the United States and Syria.
Mrs. Roosevelt ended her remarks by stating she was happy to accept the cedars of Lebanon, hoping they would flourish and grow for many years as a symbol of the spirit of the Near East, planted in a spot we cherish.
Unfortunately, all of the original trees died. It is unclear whether it was the stress endured during shipment, loss of soil around the trees roots or the periods of drought and rain after planting. Eventually all of the trees would be replaced. Currently, three Cedar of Lebanon trees stand tall in Section 25, off of Jessup Drive.
More on Cedar trees:
You often hear people refer to the native Juniperus virginiana as a cedar tree. Actually this tree is a Juniper not a Cedar.
However there are three, true to Genus Cedars; Cedrus atlantica, native to the Atlas Mountains, Cedrus libani, native to Lebanon and Turkey, and Cedrus deodara native to the Himilayan Mountains.
Ascending, descending or level branches are terms commonly used to differentiate among these true Cedars. In reality, it’s not that easy.
Graceful, pendulous branches covered with fine textured needles up to 1½, sometimes 2” long are usually an indication it’s a C. deodar.
But the Cedrus atlantica and C. libani are harder to tell apart.
Both, including the C. deodara take on what is called a flat or table top crown, over time.
When young, the C. atlantica appears a bit stiff, with its skinny, tall reaching crown, whereas the C. libani has a more pyramidal shape.
Locations in the cemetery:
- Cedrus atlantica: Section 3, Section 4, and Section 48
- Cedrus deodara: Outside Columbarium Courts 1, and 2
- Cedrus libani: Section 59, in memory of the victims of the 1983 Beirut Terrorist Attack.
Arlington National Cemetery strives to achieve diversity in all of our tree plantings and
landscape plantings. Arlington's earth-friendly approach to landscaping includes:
Arlington has adopted a water-wise or Xeriscaping
approach using ornamental grasses and other native plants that require less water
Plants that Help Wildlife
Arlington has incorporated more native
plants that provide food
and shelter to attract and sustain insects and birds.
Arlington uses different species in its landscape and
tree plantings to achieve diversity (rather than monocultures) in order to prevent
species from being wiped out in the event of disease.
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 donate a living gift call toll-free: (877) 907-8585.
Learn more on the Living Gift process page.
Arlington National Cemetery’s Horticulture Division hosts guided tours of the grounds.
The tours include turf and grounds maintenance, landscaping techniques, the urban forestry program, including Arlington’s state champion trees.
Check the calendar of events on the website for upcoming tours.