Elmwood Cemetery Logo

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAElmwood Cemetery is Detroit’s First Certified Arboretum!

In 2015, Morton Arboretum and the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program announced Elmwood’s arboretum was certified as a Level 1 Accreditation. The Morton Arboretum said Elmwood achieved “particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens … and is now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboretum.” As part of this process, Elmwood’s trees were surveyed and tagged, creating a detailed report of the species, location and condition of each of its trees. This has verified that Elmwood has practiced sound management in its care and reforestation of the 91 species among its 1,450 trees.

“The cemetery’s trustees have provided our grounds maintenance team with the resources necessary to properly maintain our collection of trees,” said Michael Shukwit, director of operations for Elmwood Cemetery. “With this certification, that commitment will continue and we plan on planting no less than 400 trees over the next ten years.”

Sandy McMillan said, “The cemetery’s certification as an arboretum is an important step in our education and outreach programs.” Late this winter, we placed identification signs adjacent to some of the trees. The Foundation offers tree tours that highlight the history of the cemetery as well as the different species of trees across our 86 acres.

Elmwood is partnering with Greening of Detroit on its reforestation plans and is offering Elmwood as an outdoor classroom to the forestry program with Greening of Detroit.

In 2017, the Historic Elmwood Foundation developed self-guided tree tours for the arboretum. The tours are separated into three geographic areas and identify different species of flowering, deciduous and evergreen trees. They are intended to permit visitors to walk different areas of the cemetery and learn about a variety of species while enjoying Elmwood’s park-like environment. On each of the featured trees we have placed a tree identification plaque that contains the scientific name, common English name, and a QR code to be used with smart electronic devices. The QR code will link the visitor to additional information about the species. With continued reforestation management, Elmwood now has over 100 species of trees across its property.

Here are links to Elmwood’s self-guided tree tour maps:

pdfElmwood Tree Tour Southern Sections

pdfElmwood Tree Tour Center Sections

pdfElmwood Tree Tour Northern Sections

View our accreditation certificate here: Elmwood Arboretum Accreditation