Arboretum History

This arboretum was established in 1999 to recognize the many rare and unique trees which exist on the Queen's campus. The boundaries of the arboretum include the entire lawn area in front of Theological Hall and Summerhill.This area has long been associated with history and the preservation ofunique living plants.

Summerhill was the first building acquired by Queen's College in 1853 and at that time, the building was the site of classes in theology, classics, mathematics, and philosophy. The medical faculty eventually held classes in the east wing. It was in 1880 that the Old Arts Building (Theological Hall) was opened.

Summerhill at 1865
Summerhill (1865)
Through out most of these early years, the slope in front of Summerhill was the site of Canada's first botanical garden. This garden was established in 1861 to foster the study of botany and it thrived for about a decade. The Botanical Society of Canada was founded in Kingston and its main project was the botanical garden.

This arboretum is a diverse collection of trees including those native to Canada and others which have been introduced from other parts of the world. Some specimens native to Canada are not found in this region of Ontario and therefore their presence in this climate is unusual. It can be concluded therefore, that the arboretum area has a unique microclimate influenced by Lake Ontario and the surrounding campus. The order of the collections is shown on the map and for each numbered specimen there is a corresponding commentary.

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