The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Arboretum is located in one of the most diverse regions for natural hardwood forests in the United States. Visitors are urged to explore our 1,200-acre campus landscape, which contains 5,217 living trees in our inventory including 72 genera and 155 species. Six tree identification tours have been designed to promote the Arboretum, and to protect it for future generations by building a diverse and engaged community of students, donors, volunteers and advocates.
One hundred and fifty trees were initially included in the arboretum as selections of self-guided tours to coincide with the campus's 150th anniversary celebration.
The Southern Illinois University Carbondale Arboretum was formally established as a campus arboretum through ArbNet, a global network for tree-focused arboreta, and has been an Accredited Arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta since 2019. Southern Illinois University Carbondale is the first university in Illinois to receive the Level II accreditation, and has been designated Tree Campus Higher Education by the Arbor Day Foundation since 2015, as one of 11 university campuses in the State of Illinois that meet the five core standards of tree care and community engagement.
The Grounds Department utilizes software to map the campus tree inventory. The software can be accessed electronically and utilized by the public.
The Arboretum Advisory Committee expanded on a tree tagging effort initially established for a tree identification course, where QR codes were affixed to select trees at about four and a half feet high on the side of the tree most visible to the nearest walkway.
The QR codes, when scanned by a smartphone with a code scanning application, link to a dedicated website that tells the user about the tree. The website identifies the tree by both common and scientific names, and shows identification markers such as leaves, twigs and buds, bark, and fruit.
The Grounds Division and IT staff of Plant & Service Operations provide technological assistance with this project, while Print & Duplicating provide the design and the School of Art and Design provided the etching of the QR tags. The tree identification program is available to the public, as the QR codes can be scanned by anyone with a smartphone or tablet. The program is the only one like it in the state, and one of very few at colleges and universities nationwide.
Funds donated to the SIU Arboretum will help maintain and expand the campus tree inventory software and tree tagging system, further enhancing the growth of the arboretum in the years to come. For more information visit our webpage here: https://arboretum.siu.edu/ Or to view our virtual tree tour click here.
This Day of Giving on March 3rd, please consider supporting our efforts below by making a donation to the SIU Arboretum Fund!