Mountain Top Arboretum is a sanctuary for trees and the plant communities associated with them.  The Arboretum has twenty-nine different species of trees indigenous to the northern Catskills.  Visitors walking from the West Meadow, along Maude Adams Road and up into the East Meadow will encounter most.  The largest specimens of most of these trees will be discovered along the trails in 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 CATSKILLS native Tree 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

Acer spicatum mountain maple
(not accessible via trails)

Amelanchier arborea  serviceberry

Betula alleghaniensis  yellow birch

Betula papyrifera  paper birch, white birch

Betula populifolia  gray birch 

Castanea dentata American chestnut (planted)

Carpinus caroliniana  musclewood, American hornbeam

hop hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)

Fagus grandifolia  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 coccinea  scarlet oak

Quercus rubra  northern red oak

Salix bebbiana  Bebb's willow

Sorbus americana  mountain ash

Thuja occidentalis  northern white cedar (planted)

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.