The Old City Cemetery


A Museum of Trees

An Arboretum is a botanical garden specifically for trees. The goal is to curate a diverse collection of tree and woody plant species, and to promote education and conservation. The Arboretum at Old City Cemetery was officially established in 2022, when we earned accreditation and Level II Arboretum status from ArbNet,  and became recognized by the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of 2,177 arboreta and gardens across the globe who focus on woody plants. We are the only arboretum in Lynchburg, and one of only 151 Level II Arboreta in the world.

We have about 600 trees on our grounds, comprised of about 121 different species. Also a part of our Arboretum are about 665 shrubs, 450 roses, many of which are antique and heirloom varieties, and countless more woody plants and trees in the woodlands surrounding the property. 

It is our goal to have something in bloom all year round. You can stroll the grounds and explore the different trees, shrubs and roses in our collection any time of year! In the spring, the landscape pops with color from flowering trees like Dogwood, Magnolia, Redbud, Apple and more. Spring is also the best time to see our antique rose collection in full bloom. In the summer, big oaks and other hardwoods, like our Pecan Tree, provide beautiful green foliage and refreshing shade. In the fall, the leaves turn to orange, and put on a showy and spectacular performance to usher in the coming cold, especially in our Confederate section. Then in the winter, long, bare branches stand in contrast against the gray sky, and shrubs like Winter Jasmine provide color, even on the coldest of days.

As you walk the hills and valleys of our 27-acre garden, you’ll find identification plaques on most of our trees and shrubs. The plaques will tell you the common name and Latin name of the plant. There are Oak and Magnolia collections placed around the grounds, ancient and intriguing catalpas in our “second acre” where many of our award winning trees are located, gorgeous sugar maples, a historic boxwood hedge around the Confederate section, and an alley of of Atlantic White Cedars along the entrance drive. These formed the original bones of the landscape, and of course, many more species have been added.

Some of our trees have been awarded special recognition due to their size, or age.



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