Garden & Collections

Arboretum Grounds

The Yakima Area Arboretum’s 46 acres of land features roughly 30 acres of lawn filled with trees, facilities, and display gardens, and 15 acres of natural area.  The grounds are wedged between Interstate 82 to the west, Highway 24/Nob Hill Blvd to the south, Buchanan Lake to the north and the Yakima River to the east. The Yakima Greenway trail passes through the Arboretum along the Yakima River.  

The Arboretum shares this wedge of land with the Yakima Greenway Foundation‘s Sherman Park and the Yakima Humane Society. Look for the off leash dog park in this area and a picnic shelter.

The Jewett Interpretive Center

The Jewett Interpretive Center was a gift from Don and Helen Jewett of Yakima in 1992. Among its features are a carillon bell tower, the Heritage of Trees display, Gardenview and Solarium meeting rooms, Tree House Gift Shop, and courtyard with benches, as well as kitchen, restrooms and staff offices.

The Collection

The Yakima Area Arboretum is a living collection of trees and plants, where the plant materials are broken up into collections and display gardens.

Plant habitat zones in the Yakima River Watershed range all the way from the shrub-steppe to the sub-alpine to the riparian. Likewise, collection specimens on display at the Yakima Area Arboretum range from native, to adapted, to exotic species.

Every attempt is made to keep the trees, plants, and display gardens labeled, but theft of markers does occur. Trees will either be marked with an in ground plaque, or with hanging labels. The labels are small silver tags found on the south side lower branches of smaller trees or nailed to the trunks of larger trees, about chest high.

Key Collections

  • Rock Border Garden
  • Compost Demonstration Site
  • Centennial Oaks
  • Joyful Garden (Japanese Garden)
  • Edward M. Schroeder Wetland Trail
  • Viburnum Collection
  • Trees of Washington
  • Carlson Butterfly Garden
  • Giant Sequoia/Living Fossil Collection
  • Hawthorn Collection
  • Conifer Collection
  • Flowering Ornamental Fruit Tree Collection
  • Raised Bed Vegetable Garden
  • Xeric Garden Demonstration Site
  • Kara Kondo Dryland Garden
  • Beech Collection
  • Rose Garden
  • Nut Collection
  • Maple Collection
  • Utility Friendly Trees
  • Herbarium

We know that nurturing the connection between people and plants is important. Trees and plants will remain essential to body and soul as long as life exists. Today, in the United States alone, more than one of every three plant species is under threat of extinction. As plants, and the planet, grow vulnerable, the Arboretum must meet its responsibility as Yakima’s center for tree development and environmental education.