101. Red Maple: Dig Deeper

See a timeline of Arboretum history.

  • 1872:Harvard College accepts the James Arnold bequest, executes the indenture of the Arnold Arboretum, and agrees to locate the Arboretum on its Bussey estate in West Roxbury.
  • 1873: Charles Sprague Sargent is appointed director the Arnold Arboretum.
  • 1877: Sargent commissions Frederick Law Olmsted to produce a design for the Arboretum.
  • 1882: Harvard transfers the Arboretum’s land to the City of Boston, which leases it back to Harvard for 1,000 years.
  • 1883: The city begins work on a road system within the Arboretum.
  • 1885: Permanent tree planting begins with the installation of the beech (Fagus), ash (Fraxinus), elm (Ulmus), and hickory (Carya) collections.
  • 1886: Material from the nursery is planted and the first section of roadway, Valley Road, is completed.
  • 1892: The administration building is constructed with funds from Horatio Hollis Hunnewell.
  • 1895: The Peters Hill tract (roughly 68 acres) is added to the Arboretum.
  • 1905: An herbarium wing is added to the Arboretum.
  • 1937: The Larz Anderson bonsai collection is donated to the Arboretum.
  • 1938: The hurricane of September 21 decimates the living collections.
  • 1961-1962: The Charles Stratton Dana Greenhouses are constructed.
  • 1985: The Bradley Collection of Rosaceous Plants is dedicated on the site of the former shrub and vine collection.
  • 1996: The Arboretum adds the 24-acre Bussey Brook Meadow to its landscape.
  • 2002: The M. Victor and Frances Leventritt Shrub and Vine Garden is dedicated.
  • 2011: William (Ned) Friedman is appointed Director of the Arboretum and the Weld Hill Research Building opens.
  • 2015: The Campaign for the Living Collections, a transformative 10-year initiative to boost plant exploration and collections development, begins with expeditions to Idaho and China.