US Arboretum / Chesapeake Bay Program

U.S. National Arboretum

The United States National Arboretum is an arboretum in Washington, D.C., operated by the United States Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service as a division of the Henry A. Wallace Beltsville Agricultural Research Center. It was established in 1927 by an act of Congress after a campaign by USDA Chief Botanist Frederick Vernon Coville.

It is 446 acres (1.80 km2) in size and is located 2.2 miles (3.5 km) northeast of the Capitol building, with entrances on New York Avenue and R Street, Northeast. Nine miles of roadways wind through and connect the numerous gardens and collections on the campus.

The arboretum functions as a major center of botanical research. It conducts wide-ranging basic and developmental research on trees, shrubs, turf, and floral plants. It has a library with 10,000 volumes and approximately 90 publications concentrating in botanical literature.

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Image Credit: US Arboretum / Chesapeake Bay Program


The Arboretum grounds are open every day of the year except December 25 from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The Visitor Center is open from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.daily except for federal holidays November through February. Please note the Visitor Center will be open on January 1st but closed on January 2nd (holiday observed).

The National Bonsai & Penjing Museum is open from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.daily except for federal holidays November through February, so plan to visit this collection first if you visit late in the day.

The Arbor House Gift Shop is open daily from is open Monday through Friday from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m and Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

(Note: Many places fill to capacity on busy, nice weather days, especially holiday weekends. Please call ahead or visit the official website to get the most up-to-date information before visiting.)


Admission is free.


By car, bus, or bicycle: Nine miles of roadways wind through and connect the numerous gardens and collections on our 446-acre campus.   Small parking areas can be found near most of the major collections.  Bicycling is encouraged on the roadways and bicycle racks are located at each parking area.  Bus tours usually follow a prescribed route and may be accompanied by a guide who can tell you more about the Arboretum.

On foot: If you are disabled or prefer a short walking tour, you may visit four beautiful areas that are easily accessible and situated adjacent to each other–the Aquatic Garden and Koi Pond surrounding the Administration Building, the Friendship Garden, the National Herb Garden, and the National Bonsai & Penjing Museum. Serious hikers will also find many intriguing trails throughout the Arboretum.

By tram: A tram for touring the grounds was introduced in the fall of 1997.


Established in 1927 by an Act of Congress. The Arboretum is administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service.


Last updated: July 09, 2022