Mountain Top Arboretum is a sanctuary for trees and the plant communities associated with them.  The Arboretum has twenty-five different species of trees indigenous to the northern Catskills that grow here naturally.  Visitors walking from the West Meadow, along Maude Adams Road and up into the East Meadow will encounter all twenty-five.  The largest specimens of most of these trees will be discovered along the trails in Black Spruce Glen.  Notice where each tree species grows in terms of sun and shade, soil moisture, how exposed or sheltered its site may be.  Does the tree grow solitary or in a grove of its own species?  What are the companion species it often grows with?  Visit the trees through all four seasons to enjoy how they interact with the larger landscape.


Catalog of native species

 yellow birch ( Betula alleghaniensis)

yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis)

Abies balsamea balsam fir

Acer pensylvanicum moose maple, striped maple

Acer rubrum red maple

Acer saccharum sugar maple

Amelanchier sp. shadbush

Betula alleghaniensis yellow birch

Betula lenta sweet birch

Betula papyrifera paper birch, white birch

Betula populifolia gray birch (not accessible via trails)

Carpinus caroliniana musclewood, American hornbeam

hop hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)

Fagus americana American beech

Fraxinus americana white ash

Ostrya virginiana hop hornbeam

Picea rubens red spruce

Pinus resinosa red pine (historically planted for lumber)

Pinus strobus white pine

Populus grandidentata big-tooth aspen

Populus tremuloides quaking aspen

Prunus pensylvanica pin cherry

Prunus serotina black cherry

Quercus rubra northern red oak

Sorbus americana mountain ash

Thuja occidentalis northern white cedar

Tilia americana American basswood

Tsuga canadensis eastern hemlock

Ulmus americana, American elm (not accessible via trails)


A Word About Latin Names: Though at first Latin names might be jarring to our eyes on paper and to our ears when heard, horticulturists and scientists use Latin names when referring to plants because it’s easier to communicate the plant being described.  Across regions--around the world and even within New York State—many different common names are used to describe one single species of plant.  Indeed, sometimes one common name refers to one species of plant in New York and might refer to a completely different species in Virginia.  Using Latin names makes it easier to discuss plants because a Latin name can only refer to one species.  As evolutionary botanists discover new species and discover new relations between plants, Latin names change, too.  So neither system is perfect… use whichever works best for you. Or don't worry about the name, and just experience the tree.

Learn how to ID Mountain Top Arboretum's native trees.