Welcome to the State of Montana Arboretum

An 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 and has more than 2,000 trees here on the University of Montana campus. Visit often as we add regional trees and expand mini-habitats to demonstrate natural communities.

Forest Regions MapForest Regions

Great Plains

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.

Northeastern Mixed Woods

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.

Central Hardwoods Forests

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.

Pacific Coastal Forests

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.

Boreal Forests

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.

Forest Regions of North America

Northern Rocky Mountain Complex

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.

Southeastern Mixed Forests

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.

Southern Rocky Mountains Complex

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.