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The purpose of the Oakwood Arboretum is to preserve and enhance an historic landscape dating to the 1850’s. Over five acres are filled with a variety of old and new trees and shrubs that require dedicated horticultural care and long-term, sustainable planning, based on an evolving historic landscape management plan. A special focus is placed on engaging children in learning about the natural environment through the arboretum.
Newly added species of trees to this 5-acre property include a:
- pair of Stewartia trees on either side of the Narragansett Avenue gate
- Franklinia tree near the children’s playhouse
- Ginkgo tree at the North end of the West lawn
- Princeton Elm tree, replacing a felled Beech tree, on the South half of the West lawn
A Turkey Oak located in the southwest corner lawn is considered one of the tallest surviving specimens in North America.
Work in progress that visitors may see is the installation of a firethorn espalier (Pyracantha coccinea ‘Mohave’) along the face of the Narragansett Street wall. This is an evergreen shrub that will be trained in a criss-cross “X” pattern on the wall. Installing this espalier requires work from masons to place anchors in the wall along with the landscaping team to train the shrubs. It should look especially festive in cold winter months when it will be full of bright red berries and evergreen foliage.
The Newport Arboretum Living Collections Committee will be the governing body as it pertains to fulfillment of standards and authorizing the participation of Oakwood as an accredited arboretum.