Current News

Arboretum Webcam

Directions, Parking, and Garden Hours

Giving Opportunities in the Arboretum

A Special Thanks to Our Major Donors

Event Rental Information

Ethan Reed at Bird Lookout in children's garden

Childhood's Gate Children's Garden Rules

Childhood's Gate FAQs

H.O. Smith Botanic Garden Rules

General Arboretum Rules

Geocaching Policy and Guidelines

Cardinalis cardinalis (northern cardinal)
Source: Tina Hay

Avian Education Program

(May 15, 2014) Tulipa 'Creme Upstar' peony-flowered tulip

Arboretum Map

Watershed Map











 “The Arboretum at Penn State . . . an outreach, teaching, and research facility dedicated to preserving the beauty and ecological functions of vegetated landscapes in an urbanizing society.”


This year the Arboretum welcomed the holiday season with its first-ever Winter Celebration event on December 12. The seasonal displays, including the large tree in the Glass House in Childhood's Gate Children's Garden, will remain throughout the holidays for visitors' enjoyment.

The gardens are open daily from dawn until dusk, and there currently is no fee for admission. Please observe our garden regulations, Arboretum rules, and photography policy as you enjoy the gardens.

WeatherSTEM Unit Installed in Arboretum

On October 21, 2014, WeatherSTEM, a company that provides educational opportunities involving meteorology for grades K-12, installed a unit that collects atmospheric data in the Arboretum. You can now access that data, including radar views, current temperature, wind speed, precipitation, and pictures of the sky at one-minute intervals, as well as the forecast, by visiting

A "Time Spiral" has been installed in the Fossil Gap section of the Childhood's Gate Children's Garden.

Embedded in the stone surface of the Time Spiral are medallions bearing the images of creatures and plants of central Pennsylvania at intervals throughout our history.

The children's garden, which opened in July, is located within the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens. Read more about Childhood's Gate Children's Garden. Thank you to all of our Friends of the Arboretum whose generous gifts made this garden possible.

Childhood's Gate Children's Garden Map

The H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens in the Arboretum are adjacent to the University Park campus near the intersection of Park Avenue and Bigler Road. The entrance to the parking lot is on Bigler Road, facing the parking lot for the Lewis Katz Building which houses the Dickinson School of Law. Phase I, which was constructed in 2009 on a tract of approximately 35 acres, contains over 17,000 individual plants representing over 700 species.

Our planning pages contain information about projects or endeavors elsewhere in the Arboretum:

  • Air Quality Learning and Demonstration Center - Outdoor teaching facility about monitoring air pollution in "Happy Valley"

  • Arboretum Ecological Restoration Group - Volunteers who are trained to recognize and remove invasive, nonnative plants to restore natural areas in the Arboretum

  • Bellefonte Central Rail Trail - Crushed limestone trail (approximately one mile) that officially opened in 2006 and is currently being extended another 3/10 of a mile

  • Hosler Oak - First official tree planted in the Arboretum to honor meteorologist Charles L. Hosler

  • Hybrid Chestnut Seed Orchard - A cooperative initiative between Penn State and The American Chestnut Foundation dedicated to developing a blight-resistant chestnut to re-introduce this species to American forests

I hope that you return regularly to find out the latest news, and encourage others to visit us, as well! You may share suggestions or comments about the site by e-mailing me or Kate Reeder.

Kim C. Steiner, Director
The Arboretum at Penn State

Frequently asked Questions

The plant illustrated in the banner at the top of this Web site's pages, Panex quiquefolius L. (ginseng) is an herb that bears greenish flowers in May and red fruit from September to October. Although it was once encountered frequently in Pennsylvania's woodlands, its abundance has declined greatly due to excessive collecting. Illustration: Rae Dickson Chambers.

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