Providing an Educational Experience
Established in 2019, the Chesterfield County Arboretum is located on the 580-acre Chesterfield Government Complex and helps to increase canopy coverage, improve water quality, decrease the area of managed turf and provide an educational experience for citizens on the benefit of trees and plants.
The arboretum collection currently includes an engaging tree walk and urban orchard, home to various varieties of fruit trees, nut trees and fruiting shrubs, from seasonally changing annuals to varying perennials. Native plants are used as much as possible and selectively cut back to leave food for wildlife. Through the arboretum’s work, we promote healthy, active lifestyles and encourage people to get outside and enjoy nature.
What is an arboretum?
An arboretum is a botanical garden specializing in trees and other woody plants, using living collections that are grown to study and conserve trees.
The Chesterfield County Buildings and Grounds Horticulture Shop, a branch of Chesterfield’s General Services Department, is responsible for all maintenance, planting, care and removal of the trees and plants. The Horticulture Shop is staffed with committed professionals, including:
- Two International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborists, one who holds an ISA Municipal Specialist and ISA Tree Risk Assessment qualification
- One Virginia Nursery and Landscape Association (VNLA) Certified Horticulturalist
- Other qualifications include Orchard People’s Fruit Tree Care and Master Fruit Tree Pruning
The Horticulture Shop stays at the forefront of industry knowledge by maintaining accreditations, obtaining and continuing educational units, and attending landscape courses.
In May of 2019, the Chesterfield County Arboretum was awarded a Level I accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens.
What is ArbNet?
ArbNet is an interactive, collaborative, global community of arboreta that supports the common purposes and interests of tree-focused public gardens. ArbNet was launched on Arbor Day in 2011 to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, experience and other resources to help arboreta meet their institutional goals and to raise professional standards through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program.
View all accredited arboreta in Virginia, including Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery.
Plan Your Visit
The Chesterfield County Arboretum is located throughout the Chesterfield County Government Complex, open seven days a week, 365 days a year, from dawn until dusk. The tree walk is self-guided, around a mile walking distance and takes about 45 minutes to an hour to complete. Leashed pets are welcome; admission is free.
Directions and Map
Although the walk is circular and visitors can start anywhere in the loop, we recommend parking at the County Administration Building, 9901 Lori Road, and starting your tour in front of the Chesterfield County Museum and Historic 1862 Jail.
Make Sure to Visit These Tour Highlights
- The Nunnally Oak - This white oak tree was planted in 1814 by Lawson Nunnally. In 1916, by order of the Circuit Court Judge, the diameter of the tree was to be measured every 10 years. In 1916 it was 11’ 11”, 2001 17’ 2” and in 2018 it was 18’, 3”.
- The Hickory Trees were planted using a post hole digger because of their long taproots. The taproots on these trees were longer than the height of the above ground parts.
- Carya Ovata or the Shagbark Hickory has extremely hard wood. Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the United States had a cane made out of Hickory bark, leading him to have the nickname “Old Hickory,” for his cane and his toughness.
- Carya Glabra is commonly known as the “Pignut Hickory,” earned its nickname in colonial times, when the nuts were eaten by hogs.
- Ficus carica the ‘Peter’s Honey’ fig tree is a highlight of the orchard producing sweet, juicy fruit.
- Tilia Americana or America Linden is soil enriching. It draws up calcium and magnesium from deep in the soil profile and deposits it in the leaf litter on the soil surface.
Regardless of the season, there’s always something to see at the Chesterfield County Arboretum!
- Tilia Americana has flagrant blooms.
- Prunus Americana has fragrant blooms in early spring.
- Liriodendron Tulipifera has light greenish/yellow fragrant flowers.
- Malus Sylvestris var. Domestica “Jonagold” has fragrant flowers.
- Prunus Salicina “Methley” has fragrant flowers that bloom early, sometimes as early as February.
- Prunus domestica the ‘Stanley’ plum tree has medium sized fruit that has a blue skin and pale-yellow flesh. The fruit is sweet and juicy. The high sugar content makes it a great choice for canning and drying.
- Quercus Alba – the Nunnally Oak – is majestic in any season, but summer shows off the grandeur of the tree in full leaf.
- Lagerstroemia Indica “Natchez” grows white, showy, fragrant flowers from summer into fall.
- Viburnum Dentatum grows blue/black berry-like drupes from late summer to early fall. Birds love the fruit.
- Fagus Grandiflora starts producing nuts around 40 years of age. Compare the large one on the in front of the 1917 courthouse to the one planted in 2015 on the tree walk.
- Cotinus Coggygria “Grace” has brilliant shades of orange and red foliage in the fall.
- Cornus Kousa grows large raspberry-like edible fruit that appears in August through October.
- Ginkgo Biloba has stunning yellow foliage in the fall.
- Fagus Grandiflora's pointed buds are distinct and a great way to identify this tree.
- Quercus Hemisphaerica is a semi-evergreen tree
- Lagerstroemia Indica “Natchez” develops beautiful light and dark shades on the trunk due to exfoliating bark.
- Cornus Kousa develops tan and brown shades on the trunk due to exfoliating bark.
John H. NealDirector of General ServicesPhone: 804-748-1373
General ServicesPhysical Address
6751 Mimms Loop
Chesterfield, VA 23832
6751 Mimms Loop Chesterfield VA 23832
Department of General Services
P.O. Box 40
Chesterfield, VA 23832-0040
Phone 804-717-6624Fax 804-748-3032
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.