Across Agnes Scott’s 100 acres are approximately 2,000 trees which make up 54% canopy coverage as of 2018. All the trees on the college’s campus make up the Agnes Scott College Arboretum, a collection of woody plants for display, education, and research. The college has been a certified Tree Campus USA since 2012 and has applied for re-certification every year after. It is also a Level II accredited arboretum certified by ArbNet since 2019. This designation requires having 100 or more unique species of trees and meeting arboreta and landscape practices required for Level II certification. No other international program of accreditation exists that is specific to arboreta. Every year in February, Agnes Scott adds to its collection of trees by planting honor trees in celebration of Georgia’s Arbor Day. Employees of the college with 25+ years of service can opt to have a tree planted in their name. 

The Arboretum in itself is a reflection of Agnes Scott’s liberal arts curriculum starting from its conception in 2012 to now. Staff and faculty from different departments: classics, art, biology, anthropology, environmental and sustainability studies, women’s gender and equality studies, facilities, ITS, communications and sustainability came together to create the arboretum, its website, tours, and Arboretum Advisory Committee. 

The college uses a consulting arborist to provide the best decisions in terms of care, tree species and planting placement, and risk assessments. Agnes Scott has also recently adopted a 2020-2025 Tree Care Plan which was written by a sustainability fellow with guidance from the consulting arborist and executive director of the Center for Sustainability. The tree care plan contains information about all aspects of the arboretum including best management and care practices, education and service goals, the honor tree program, ecosystem services benefits of trees, and tips for other institutions to create their own tree care plan. 

Check out the Arboretum website!