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1927 Map of the Arboretum

On March 29, 1872, the Arboretum began its story by collecting seed and plant material to establish a museum of living trees. 150 years later, the Arboretum continues adding individual specimens, each with its own story to tell, carefully documented in curatorial records. The 2022 Tournament of Trees consisted of representatives from each decade since the Arboretum’s founding. Taken together, they highlight some of the “favorite hits” of this institution. It is with pleasure that we announce a Champion: red pine 16573*L, collected as seed by Jackson Dawson in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and added to our collection in 1879. It seems fitting that the most voted tree after 4 rounds stands in for our founding.

Although 150 years seems like a long time, the truth is that many of our trees will outlive us by many decades, if not centuries. That is our charge and our hope. In this way, age is not only relative, but also a relative—a member in a family tree of sorts; one that includes human time, evolutionary time, and geologic time. Read below the musings of red pine 16573*L, written by Ana Maria Caballero, our Outdoor Educator.

See the 2022 contenders below.