John Bartram Arboretum

John Bartram Arboretum

 Kendal at Oberlin


As the pandemic wanes, Kendal at Oberlin is almost completely open to outside visitors. Access to the Stephens Care Center is still lightly controlled. Check with your host for current restrictions.


This is a perfect time for residents, visitors and staff to walk the Heiser Circle Tree Walk perhaps while using the Tree Walk GIS Map

The John Bartram Arboretum is an integral component of Kendal at Oberlin’s green infrastructure. The Arboretum is managed primarily by the Grounds department of Kendal at Oberlin’s Facility Services (Grounds) with guidance and assistance from the Arboretum Committee of the Kendal at Oberlin Residents Association.  We have a full-time certified arborist who manages most of day-to-day aspects of our collection. The residents who first envisioned the arboretum saw our more than 1,000 trees and 100 acres as an opportunity to enhance the lives of Kendal residents by creating a sustainable ecosystem for enjoying nature’s beauty, exercising, watching birds, and, of course, planting and fostering the growth and appreciation of trees.Bartram

As a community based on Quaker values, we decided to name our arboretum in honor of John Bartram (1699 - 1777), a Pennsylvania Quaker and friend of Benjamin Franklin who is known as America’s first botanist. Bartram traveled widely in the colonies, including trips to Ohio, collecting and cataloging plant specimens and seeds. Many of these were shipped in “Bartram’s Boxes” for sale in Europe. His introduction of the American Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) in Europe created a sensation when it was first seen. This inspired us to designate the Tulip Tree as the signature tree of the arboretum.

Mission Statement

 The mission of The John Bartram Arboretum at Kendal at Oberlin is to be a model of responsible urban arboriculture to engage, sustain, and educate our residents and the broader community.


In December 2015, The John Bartram Arboretum at Kendal at Oberlin was accredited as a Level I Arboretum by Arbnet, the international community of arboreta and other tree-focused institutions founded and run by the Morton Arboretum. Thus, we joined Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands among the continuing care retirement communities that support accredited arboreta on their grounds.

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