A Tree City USA, the Town of Jonesborough maintains a state certified, Level-2 arboretum. Named by the Town “Ardinna Woods,” after the Celtic deity venerated as guardian of forests in ancient times, the arboretum hosts more than seventy tree species native to the Southern Appalachian region, in two principal collections. Large and medium size trees, along Britt Drive, include such rare species as Yellowwood, Black Tupelo and Kentucky Coffeetree, as well as hickories, oaks and other, more common species. It also showcases the Restoration American Chestnut tree, bred by the American Chestnut Foundation for resistance to the virus blight that had killed all Eastern Chestnut Trees during the early decades of the last century. Small-stature trees, mostly in a bank area along Highway 81S, include the Umbrella Tree, Carolina Cherry Laurel and Carolina Buckthorn, American Smoketree, Hoptree dogwoods and others.
Most of the arboretum choices in trees and shrubs, and its native vines and wildflowers, serve as hosts or nectar plants for eastern region butterflies, and their fruits nourish birds and other wildlife.
The arboretum also showcases a mural designed and painted by a local artist displaying the colorful richness of plants and wildlife in the heart of the Southern Appalachians, from the Blue Ridge to the Cumberland and Ridge-and-Valley region of Tennessee. This region is regarded by botanists as the “Noah's Ark” of the flora of eastern North America, and more than hundred of its native wildflower species are part of the Ardinna Woods collections.
The site includes a butterfly garden featured in The Tennessee Conservationist Magazine (link HERE) which is registered and certified as Waystation 1953 under the International Monarch Waystation Program.
Public, guided arboretum walksand butterfly-watch tours are held at the site during the summer months. Free brochures describing some of the plant collections are available at a parking-area kiosk, including one for self guided viewing of its trees; the tree brochure may be downloaded HERE. In addition to scheduled, guided tours, the site is open for free, public viewing year-round. For more information on the Ardinna Woods Arboretum and Butterfly Garden call Frances Lamberts at 423.753.5288.
Frances Lamberts also writes a column for the Herald and Tribune newspaper in Jonesborough. The feature: White Ash fights a deadly insect for the Tree of the Month column can be read HERE.
Archived articles from the Herald and Tribune are listed below and can be accessed by clicking on the name:
Tree of the Month Common Witch Hazel 12/14/16
First opened in September 2011, the arboretum was re-certifies, in October 2016, by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.