Arboretum, a place where trees and shrubs are cultivated for ornamental, educational, and scientific purposes. Arboretums serve as museums where visitors can learn about trees and shrubs and enjoy the attractive surroundings. They are also often used as laboratories for developing new varieties of trees and shrubs.
The first scientifically arranged arboretum was established in France during the first half of the 18th century. The Kew Gardens in Kew, England, have one of the finest collections of woody plants in the world. Leading arboretums in the United States include Arnold Arboretum in Boston; Morton Arboretum near Lisle, a suburb of Chicago; the Missouri Botanical Garden near St. Louis; the New York Botanical Garden in New York City; and the National Arboretum in Washington, D. C.