Welcome to the State of Montana Arboretum

Support the ArboretumAn arboretum is a living museum devoted to trees and shrubs selected for education, scenic beauty, and passing on a legacy.  Our arboretum showcases eight forest regions of North America. Visit often as we add regional trees and expand mini-habitats to demonstrate natural communities.

Forest Regions
Bird-filled corridors of cottonwoods, boxelder, green ash, and bur oak line rivers in a semi-arid sea of grass. Ponderosa pine & other conifers grace mountain islands. Lightning strikes ignite fires in windy, drought-adapted plains.
A glacier-created mosaic supports northern hardwoods mixed with conifers on poorer sites. Hardwoods: sugar maple, American beech, & yellow birch. Conifers: eastern hemlock, red & white pines, & spruce-fir. Wildlife ranges from Canada lynx to pileated woodpeckers.
This forest brews up a rich mixture of >70 hardwood species. Abundant rains, optimal temperatures & fertile soils nourish oaks, hickories & more. Stunning freshwater ecosystems are vital for mussels, fish & invertebrates.
From 300-foot tall redwoods to sugar pines with 2-foot long cones, magnificent forests prosper. Sitka spruce, western hemlock, western redcedar, Douglas-fir, redwood, sequoia, & silver fir all rely on a temperate rainforest climate.
Northern trees survive short, cold growing seasons. Caribou, lynx, moose, & timber wolves dwell here. Spruce, pine and fir dominate, with poplar and larch. Treeless areas dazzle with lakes, rivers & wetlands.
Fire-shaped mountain ecosystems harbor wildlands big enough for grizzly bears, wolves, elk, moose and wolverines. Conifers include ponderosa, lodgepole & whitebark pines; western larch, Douglas-fir & Engelmann spruce.  Hardwoods feature aspen & cottonwood.
Atlantic coastal plain & Piedmont plateau shelter oak & pine diversity, including longleaf, shortleaf, loblolly, pitch & Virginia pines. Longleaf pine forests support rare wildlife, from red-cockaded woodpeckers to gopher tortoises.
High elevations, short growing seasons, & seasonal droughts define forests of slow-growing conifers.  Regional standouts include bristlecone pine, Colorado blue spruce, foxtail pine & Jeffrey pine. High-elevation snowmelt supplies critical water to people, wildlife & fish.


Forest Regions of North America