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Southern Adventist University Arboretum

Eastern Red BudExplore the Arboretum on PlanstMap

An interactive journey through the arboretum showcasing the location, photos, and information about each of our trees and woody plants.

Close up of a leafHow to use PlantsMap

Tutorial videos explaining ways to more fully enjoy the arboretum, and how to use our interactive journey through the arboretum on Plants Map.

Our Mission

Here at the Southern Adventist University Arboretum our mission 
is to educate others about the nature that surrounds us, provide the campus with aesthetic beauty, celebrate the lives of important people in Southern’s past, and preserve the unique and varied species of trees that inhabit our Tennessee mountains. 

About the Arboretum

We are located on the beautiful campus of Southern Adventist University in Southeast Tennessee. Southern is nestled in the picturesque foothills of the Smoky Mountains and covers over 1,300 acres, 800 of which are forested. Just steps from the residence halls, students enjoy access to 37 miles of walking and biking paths, natural rock walls with 40- to 60-foot climbs, a cave with underground trails and lake, and an outdoor amphitheater.  

The trees and woody plants of the Southern Adventist University Arboretum are spread out among academic and residential buildings on campus. The best way to view Southern’s Arboretum is to stroll the half mile down the campus promenade from the Hickman Science Center, where our offices are located, to Brock Hall. Be sure to stop along the way at the Garden of Prayer to see some of our memorial trees that were planted to celebrate the lives of people who were instrumental in Southern’s past. Another beautiful spot is the small garden between the Hickman Science Center and Thatcher South Hall which contains some gorgeous white oaks and eastern hemlocks.  During your stroll, take a moment and scan the QR codes on the posts to learn more about each of the trees you see.     

A sweetbay magnolia behind a walkway and a water feature Gallery

A collection of photographs of the trees and woody plants in the arboretum.

A close up of the bloom of a redbud flowerEvents

Check out our latest events.

Number of Trees and Woody Plants


Number of Species


Number of Native Species



Ben Thornton | Southern Arboretum Director

(423) 236-2859