Located in the city of Portland, Maine, the Longfellow Arboretum is set within Payson Park and is the result of collaboration between the Longfellow Garden Club and the City of Portland’s Forestry Division.
Having a Level 1 Accreditation validates what the Longfellow Garden Club and the City of Portland are trying to accomplish to educate the public on the different varieties of trees and native plants not commonly grown in Maine.
The Longfellow Arboretum is free and open daily to the public. The original arboretum, which began with only 11 trees representing 11 families and three continents, has expanded to 116 trees, both native and exotic. The garden is also home to several varieties of shrubs including lilac, hydrangea, dogwood, azaleas and rhododendrons. The boundaries of the arboretum are comprised of native oak forest and a small tidal marsh.
The Arboretum’s mission is to provide the public with an opportunity to observe labeled tree and shrub specimens, both exotic and native. Planting combinations and growth patterns of individual tree specimens are demonstrated.
The location of the Longfellow Arboretum is unique, being beside a small tidal marsh connecting with Back Cove. The plant hardiness zone is 5b. The soil is a silt loam formed from silty and clayey marine lacustrine sediment typical of coastal areas. The site tends to be fairly moist, therefore the tolerance of species to this environment is demonstrated. Other notable features of the arboretum include several shrub beds which are under development throughout the site. Several types of lilac, hydrangea, dogwoods, azalea and rhododendron are located in these beds. “Squirrel Paths” can also be seen throughout the arboretum. These safe, well traveled routes, connect the primarily native oak forest to the neighborhoods via individual arboretum trees.
The Longfellow Arboretum is a Level 1 ArbNet accredited arboretum. Arboreta are accredited at different levels of accreditation depending on degrees of development, capacity, and professionalism.