Local Spotlight: Donald E. Davis Arboretum

Donald E. Davis Arboretum

Agriculture flows through the veins of Auburn University. Nowhere is that seen more than at the Donald E. Davis Arboretum, a historic botanic garden nestled in the heart of Auburn. Its roots in Auburn culture run deep, tracing back longer than you might think!

About the Arboretum

Beginning humbly, the Donald E. Davis Arboretum grew out of a School of Agriculture teaching seminar in 1959. Soon after, the original seven-and-a-half-acre plot was staked out. The arboretum achieved final approval in 1963. On June 15, 1977, the arboretum and pavilion were dedicated.

The arboretum flourished under the direction of ecology professor, Donald E. Davis, who eventually became the grounds’ namesake. Donations poured in from multiple benefactors, allowing the arboretum to continue to develop. Six additional acres were soon secured for the arboretum, bumping it up to its current 13.5 acreage.

On May 29, 1982, the arboretum officially took on its recognizable title: the Donald E. Davis Arboretum. Dr. Davis’ wide-ranging contributions to the garden led to its rededication in his name.

Today at the Arboretum

Today, the Donald E. Davis Arboretum boasts more than 300 native species. The arboretum also holds three water features and miles of walking trails. Its crown jewel, so to say, is the Founder’s Oak, a 170-year-old oak tree. The Founder’s Oak celebrates its birthday well before Auburn University, being erected six years prior to the East Alabama Male College’s opening.

Open year-round sun up to sun down, the arboretum is free for the public and plays host to a number of Auburn festivals and events. These include:

Bones and Boos: An Outdoor Skeleton Exhibit;

Fright Night Fridays;

Auburn’s Azalea Festival;

Red, White, and Blueberry Bash;

and an annual photo contest.

It’s safe to say that Auburn and the arboretum have forged a close bond, in community and activity.


The Donald E. Davis Arboretum calls the heart of Auburn home–and is close to our hearts as well.

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