Arboretum Accreditation Renewed

Arboretum Accreditation Renewed

Monday – May 20, 2024

Newton Cemetery & Arboretum Level II Accreditation has been renewed by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program.

The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. Newton Cemetery & Arboretum is also recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.

The management and staff are proud and honored receive the renewal of Arbnet’s accreditation as a Level II Arboretum. It formally recognizes the Newton Cemetery & Arboretum’s commitment to its woody plant collection and grounds care. The designation is the culmination of years of ongoing work.

Tree tours are held regularly, but visitors can explore on their own using the self-guided tour available on-line and at the Cemetery office. In addition, Newton Cemetery worked with Bartlett Tree Experts to document the trees on the property. More than 2,500 have been physically tagged and logged into a geo-database. Search the database using the Arborscope tree inventory tool.

Visitors also have the unique opportunity to appreciate a rare specimen tree, the Newton Sentry Sugar Maple. It is the first identified tree of its kind, discovered at the original Claflin School in Newtonville by J.F.C. Hyde, Newton’s first mayor. It was moved to its present location in the Cemetery in 1885. The Cemetery staff has collaborated with the Arnold Arboretum and Mount Auburn Cemetery to propagate new plants from the original Newton Sentry Maple so more can be planted on the grounds.

Trees are planted regularly throughout the new and historic areas according to the Cemetery’s “Horticultural Master Plan”. Newly planted trees are available to sponsor and sponsorship includes a plaque at the tree. The “Sponsor a Tree” program offers a way to dedicate a tree as a living tribute while supporting the ongoing planting program. More information is available at


Newton Cemetery & Arboretum is a private, non-profit organization and an active, non-denominational cemetery. It serves as the final resting place of more than 45,000 individuals, but is still an active cemetery with more than 350 services a year.  The Cemetery was founded in 1855 during the rural garden cemetery movement that began with Mount Auburn Cemetery. Cemeteries established during this time were not only cemeteries but also America’s very first public parks, predating even Central Park. The 100 acres of park like grounds are situated within a densely populated urban area in the geographical center of Newton, and serve as an important open space resource for the community. The public is welcome to come explore and enjoy the peaceful tranquility of the historic grounds every day of the year.


The Friends of Newton Cemetery was established in 2017 and is a charitable, non-profit organization dedicated to maintaining the cultural, historical and natural aspects of the Cemetery. The Friends plan and host events such as tree tours, bird walks and history tours and supports horticultural projects like the new pollinator garden and preservation projects such as the recent restoration of the historic Whipple-Beal Fence. Donations to the Friends provide for these programs and support is truly appreciated.


ArbNet is an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta. ArbNet facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience, and other resources to help arboreta meet their institutional goals and works to raise professional standards through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. The accreditation program, sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois in cooperation with American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta based on a set of professional standards. The program offers four levels of accreditation, recognizing arboreta of various degrees of development, capacity and professionalism. Standards include planning, governance, public access, programming and tree science, planting and conservation. More information is available at