The University of Maryland College Park began as an agricultural college in 1856, and with the Morrill Act, became a Land Grant institution in 1862. In the 150 plus years since, the campus has expanded to 1250 acres, a spacious setting for the trees, shrubs, and flowers that now make up the UMD Arboretum and Botanical Garden.

The idea for our Campus Arboretum started as a collaboration between the Departments of Plant Sciences and Landscape Architecture, and Facilities Management. In preparation, for several years, staff worked to inventory the trees on campus and to develop a master plan for the campus landscape. Since the designation of our campus landscape as the UMD Arboretum and Botanical Garden in 2008, we have been named a Tree Campus USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation for twelve consecutive years. In 2019, we became a Level IV ArbNet Accredited Arboretum by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum, for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism.