You are here

Hamilton College Arboretum

spring blooming trees

Hamilton College Arboretum


Hamilton College is located on a verdant, 1,350-acre campus with 800 acres of undeveloped land in Central New York. The Hamilton College Arboretum encompasses the trees, shrubs and flora across the campus, and its mission is to preserve Hamilton’s stately historic campus landscape, to further diversify its collection with sustainable species, to reinforce the aesthetic character of the campus, to provide visitors with a broader understanding of the landscape, and to promote long-term stewardship of the environment. The College traces its landscape-preservation commitment to 1850, when Oren and Nancy Root bought a building near the center of campus and set about planting trees, shrubs, and flowers in the cleared pasture around their house, an area that came to be called the Root Glen, “a place of beauty for public enjoyment, to be used  for educational purposes, to encourage programs that conserve rare and threatened plants, and to promote interest in the study of birds.”

Today’s Root Glen is the result of the work of three generations of the Root family, whose members are widely known for their various achievements in scholarship, diplomacy, and art collecting. It is the jewel of the Arboretum containing some 75 species of trees, dozens of shrubs, and varieties of flowers. The Root Glen encompasses several distinct areas of plantings – the Hemlock Enclosure, the Grace Root Memorial Garden, the Primrose Basin and others – as one walks along the red shale trails. It also includes the Grant Garden which contains the internationally renowned peonies hybridized by Hamilton Professor A.P. Saunders. His notable work and research originally having been done adjacent to the college grounds are now encompassed within the Arboretum. Saunders efforts with tree peonies resulted in 80 named varieties, many of which are on display here, spectacular in their size, color, and blooming longevity. The Arboretum sponsors educational workshops and presentations open to the Hamilton community and the public, and the grounds are open year-round sunrise to sunset.

Accredited Arboretum Level II imageArboretum GlenArb Root Glen
198 College Hill Rd., Clinton, 13323, United States,
0.000000 0.000000
E-Mail Address
Website Address