A Short History of Central Gardens’ Arboretum

The citizens of Central Gardens have long prized the tree canopy of the neighborhood.   The Central Gardens Handbook states that “much of Central Gardens’ distinctive character is due to its abundant trees and other landscaping”.

Early in the 1980s, the Central Gardens Association Board adopted a formal plan for a Tree Replacement Program.  Canopy enhancement trees were donated and planted at board expense if the home owner agreed to water and care for the tree for a year.  Trees were planted in front or in side yards.  The CGA Newsletter featured ‘A Tree to Consider’ column. Trees suggested were ones eligible for the arboretum as the association had begun the process of becoming a Level 3 Arboretum as certified by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.

An Arboretum Committee worked diligently to identify at least 90 tree species.  A list of 109 trees with 97 different species was ready to submit by May 2008.  Before a tree could be placed on the arboretum list each homeowner had to be notified in person and asked to sign a permission slip to add the address, location and name of the tree to the arboretum list.  A small (4” x 6”) sign would be placed on the tree or in close proximity to the tree.  Our certification came in 2008 with scheduled workdays following for sign placement and maintenance annually.  Recertification took place in 2013 and was recertified again in 2020.

Efforts verifying the health of arboretum trees and monitoring to ensure signs remain in place are continuous.  Committee members work in assigned teams to accomplish this.  Future work will include updating arboretum changes on the neighborhood app and website.

Please refer to our Trees to Consider articles, which can be helpful when selecting a tree to plant in your yard. 

Take a walking tour of the Arboretum! Or download our Central Gardens Arboretum materials by clicking on the following: master mapzone maps, and arboretum list. Print out a copy and explore the arboretum by taking a leisurely walk through the neighborhood!

Find out more about our Tree Replacement Program here.