Ornamental Separator

Arboretum & Gardens

The Colonial Williamsburg Arboretum is a Level 2 Certified Arboretum comprised of 18th-century tree and woody shrub varieties. The collection features 25 period species of oak trees and more than 30 historic gardens. The Arboretum is home to 20 Virginia state champion trees and two national champion trees—the jujube (Ziziphus jujube), and the Paper Mulberry, (Broussonetia papyrifera) .

More than 30 carefully maintained gardens dot our 301 acre living history museum. From flowering backyard pleasure gardens to our grand Governor’s Palace Gardens and Grounds, these gardens can offer insight into the ways the colonists and lived and worked as a community.  Ongoing research and new archaeological techniques continue to improve our understanding of 18th-century Williamsburg gardens, which is reflected in the design and interpretation guests can enjoy and learn from throughout the year.  

Trees You'll See

Compton Oak (Quercus X Comptoniae)

The Compton oak is a natural hybrid between the live oak (Quercus virginiana) and overcup oak (Quercus lyrata). The specimen on the Court House Green is a state champion big tree, measuring over 70 feet tall and 97 feet wide, with a trunk circumference of 14 feet.

American Beech (Fagus Grandifolia)

The long arbors on both sides of the Governor’s Palace north garden are made of the American beech. A long-lived native tree, the American beech provides shelter and food for many mammals and birds. Passenger pigeons, before their extinction, were among those species that ate the brown 3-angled nut.

Paper Mulberry (Broussonetia Papyrifera)

The paper mulberry, native to the Far East, was introduced into North America in the 1780’s. Thomas Jefferson noted “They are charming near a porch for densely shading it.” Native to the Orient, the inner bark was harvested in Japan to make paper lanterns and umbrellas.

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Interactive Map

Helpful Links

Bassett Trace Nature Trail

Take a self-guided tour of the Bassett Trace Nature Trail. Use the Nature Trail Map to identify shrubs, trees, and flowers found throughout the trail.

Boxwood Blight Task Force

Learn more about how the Virginia Boxwood Blight Task Force provides leadership in safeguarding and protecting the ornamental horticulture industry, historical gardens, and landscape plantings from boxwood blight.

Farm to Table Trades

Our farm to table trades work throughout the year to grow food for the community and to prepare the grounds as needed for the seasons to come. Historic cooks work in locations throughout the Historic Area preparing authentic colonial dishes; gardeners grow vegetables, herbs, and flowers, and maintain our Sankofa Heritage Garden and our Three Sisters Gardens; and farmers grows large-scale crops in the farming plot near the windmill.

Art Museums for CW Kids

Explore items from the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg's collection. Learn cool facts, have some fun with at-home craft projects, and find out where to see these items in person when you visit!

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Make A Difference!

As we are not state or federally funded, The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation relies on individual donations of any amount to fulfill our mission: that the future may learn from the past. Send in your gift today and make a difference!

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