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A living
museum
of trees
and shrubs

 


History of the Arboretum


The Mountain Top Arboretum was born in 1977 when Dr. and Mrs. E. H. Ahrens, Jr., decided to share their love of plants by developing a portion of their property into an Arboretum and donating it for use as a public resource. The property was transferred to The Mountain Top Arboretum, Inc., which was incorporated in 1977 and declared tax exempt in 1979. Its board has administered the Arboretum ever since.

    

Plantings of unusual and exotic trees and shrubs began in 1981. Their precise locations within the carefully gridded landscaping plan of the collection are pinpointed on computer, together with records on the growth history and fate of every acquisition.

The Woodland Walk

An additional 3.5 acre parcel has been developed alongside the original Arboretum. This shaded woodland walk area, as a contrast, features some indigenous plants of the Catskill Mountain forest, including medicinal goldenseal and ginseng, maidenhair fern, hepatica, blue cohosh, and more, as well as interesting non-native, shade-loving exotics. The native growth of trees has been selectively cut as a demonstration of good forest management.     

The East Meadow

We have acquired eleven acres of meadow and woodland. This land, the gift of a benefactor, is virtually contiguous with our Main Meadow and Woodland Walk. All our facilities, including the new land, abut Maude Adams road, the private-way that leads into our buildings. The new land has prolific springs, providing running stream water even in drought years, and will be of particular interest for the teachers and children who are students in our Outdoor Awareness Program.