Fullerton Arboretum is a beautiful garden paradise located in scenic Fullerton, Orange County, California. It is a favorite of both garden enthusiasts and random tourists alike, as guests do not need any knowledge of gardening to appreciate the beauty. The arboretum was established in the 1970s with the mission of helping to provide guests with an appreciation and increased knowledge of plant world while making use of collections that help to both preserve as well as promote stewardship of plant diversity worldwide and agricultural heritage regionally.
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The arboretum was established in the 1970s with the mission of helping to provide guests with an appreciation and increased knowledge of plant world while making use of collections that help to both preserve as well as promote stewardship of plant diversity worldwide and agricultural heritage regionally. They also seek to use education to help the local scholar community teach more efficiently. The main drivers of this work in the beginning where Dr. Walkington and Dr. Jones at what is now California State University (then known as Orange State College) after the local orange crops were affected by disease. It is operated and maintained in combination with the Friends of the Arboretum as well as local government help. The Visitor Center was opened in 2004 during the 25th anniversary celebration.
Heritage House - This Eastlake style cottage underwent a full structural restoration (with the help of some of the construction students at Fullerton College) in the 1970s and now serves as one of the arboretum main buildings and exhibits. Even the landscaping was recreated with historical accuracy. The interior of the house was furnished to look as authentic as possible as a home as well as in home doctor’s office from 1890s California, with some memorabilia and furnishing that came from the original occupants of the home, the Clarks. Eventually other out buildings were purchased and added - a windmill (1895), an outhouse (1880s), and a tank house.
Arboretum - The actual arboretum is the largest draw at the grounds. The website has a complete map so that guests do not miss any of the must-see attractions. There are multiple collections to peruse.
Tours - There are a variety of tour options of the arboretum.
1. Private tours are available for groups with 5 or more people and must be booked at least two months in advance.
2. Guided private nature tours are available as well and can accommodate groups of up to 15 people, 5 years old and older (adult must be present for the entire tour). The tour lasts approximately an hour and half and are only available during the weekdays until 2:45pm.
3. There are guided tours of the Heritage House for groups of up to 10 people, 8 years old and older (adult must be present for the entire tour). They are run every 5 minutes on Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 4pm and are led by tour guides dressed in Victorian clothing. Be aware that the Heritage House is closed for the months of January and August.
4. Guided public nature tours can also be requested, which are led by one of the many knowledgeable tour guides and show guests some of the hidden and secret features of the gardens. Learn about the folklore and stories of the grounds. These tours are held on both the second and the fourth Saturday of every month at 10am and meet at the Nature Center.
There are many different and diverse special events held at Fullerton. Below is just a small selection of the most popular events.
Green Scene - The plant and garden exposition has been around for over 40 years and is still going strong. Every spring, thousands of enthusiastic garden lovers head to Fullerton to purchase bulbs, plants, art, and home goods. There is also a food court and a beer tent! This is one of the premier events for the gardening community in Southern California.
Victorian Tea - Around Mother’s Day, the arboretum puts on a Victorian tea and fashion show moderated by the Fullerton College fashion department. Tickets must be purchased in advance and guests are strongly encouraged to dress in their Victorian finest!
Brews and Blues - With August comes a festival focused not on gardening, but on beer and blues music! It is one of the most popular fundraisers hosted at Fullerton and many local breweries participate.
There are no dining options at the arboretum, but picnics are welcome and encouraged! However, guests should be aware that all picnics do require reservation and a permit ahead of time. Contact the main office for additional information. All guests are also required to pick up and dispose of any trash.
Fullerton Arboretum, 1900 Associated Road, Fullerton, CA, 92831, Phone: 657-278-3407