Welcome to the Willowwood Arboretum

Exciting Events at Willowwood

In 1908 two brothers used a small legacy to acquire their country home near Gladstone, New Jersey.

The two brothers, Henry and Robert Tubbs, and Henry’s adopted son, Dr. Benjamin Blackburn, developed this country place into the Willowwood Arboretum, New Jersey’s most comprehensive and longest continually operating Arboretum.

Since 1980 under the stewardship and management of the Morris County Park Commission, the Willowwood Foundation and the support and hard work of countless donors and volunteers have made it possible for the public to enjoy this beautiful green space of gardens and meadows.

Willowwood Arboretum is open free to the public daily, 365 days yearly from 8am to dusk.

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Spring, 2017 Update: Brace Krag, President of the Willowwood Foundation

As you are very aware, the mission of Willowwood Foundation is carried out by your contributions. We are grateful to the many donors, volunteers, Foundation trustees and MCPC park employees who make the Willowwood Arboretum possible.
As we enter the busy spring season, the Foundation has multiple upcoming events planned which will be of great interest: On Sunday April 23rd, Fred Spicer, Executive Director of the Chicago Botanical Garden, and former Manager of Horticulture at Willowwood, will be presenting on plant exploration at 1:30pm. Tickets may be purchased through Morris County Park Commission. Call 973-326-7601 for your reservation!
Fred's great perspectives and life experiences offer a very thought provoking and passionate view of this topic. His engaging style and personal history with the Willowwood Arboretum having walked a mile in the shoes of the Tubbs brothers and Ben Blackburn will be especially meaningful.

In rapid succession, Our Mother's Day Open House on May 14th and famous Lilac Party on May 21st (see more information on our event page) coincide with one of the most exciting times at Willowwood. As the name implies, Lilacs are at their blooming zenith and the weather generally (last year the weather gods didn't quite get the memo) provides the perfect backdrop for a evening to remember filled with beauty, song and wine. What could be better?

We at the foundation and the MCPC have worked very hard to offer these horticultural inspirations. Please join us for our busy spring repertoire and take some energy, ideas and enthusiasm to your plot. Good gardening, I look forward to seeing you soon!
Warm Regards, Brace Krag

Willowwood Cell Phone Tour resumes April, 2017.

The Willowwood Foundation and the Morris County Parks Commission partnered together to implement a tour of the key highlights (core gardens and buildings) at the Willowwood Arboretum via your cell phone. Visitors simply dial 973-349-3020 and begin their walking tour, stop by stop, listening to short audio clips about each place of interest. This technology is very similar to audio tours found at museums etc.

Willowwood’s beauty is clearly evident, but its fascinating history is not. Using cell phone technology helps us to share the story of Willowwood Arboretum with visitors and provide in depth plant information. Rob Diemar, Past President of the Willowwood Foundation noted, “The Willowwood Foundation is excited to have been able to work with the Morris County Park Commission to introduce the first cell phone tour to Willowwood Arboretum. This project brings Willowwood into the 21st century and provides guests visiting the Arboretum an opportunity to learn so much more about its rich history. This will truly enhance the visitors experience at Willowwood."

To see a map of the Cell Phone Tour Stops, click here or on Cellphone Tour in the Menu Box.

2016 Photo Contest Winners Announced:


1st Place Winner

The 2016 Photo Contest Topic is "Spring Awakening at Willowwood"...glimpses of how the flora and fauna greet early Spring at Willowwood. Photos were be taken at Willowwood from end February, 2016 through April, 2016. Congratulations to 1st Place Winner, Donna Formica, 2nd Place winner, Wendy Kaplowitz and tied for Third Place: Michelle Francomacaro and Clarke Warren. You may browse all the finalists' entries on our Photo page.

The 2015 Photo Contest topic was "Fall and Winter Flora and Fauna at Willowwood" -The Willowwood Foundation is very pleased to announce the following winners: the 1st place winner was Barbara Storms. Tied for 2nd were two wonderful shots by Dave Mojica and 4th place was won by Navjot Singh. All top photos are pictured on our "Photo" Page.

Willowwood on Film

Greener New Jersey Productions has produced a new half-hour film featuring Morris County as part of the "Open Spaces & Historic Places" series. The Willowwood and Bamboo Brook Arboreta are a part of this. It originally aired on NJTV in May, 2014. BUT there is a repeat viewing on Monday, April 6, 2015 at 10:30 pm on NJTV.

Or, you may view the entire 30 minute production on vimeo by clicking below.

Visitors are invited to enjoy the gardens Spring through Fall. During Winter, the Ornamentals Collection offers evergreen and deciduous plants featuring interesting fruit, bark or branching habit.

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Willowwood, 130 acres of rolling farm land, has about 2,100 kinds of native and exotic plants, many of them rare. In addition to the formal gardens near the residence and undisturbed forest, historic collections include oak, maple, willow, magnolia, lilac, cherry, fir, pine, a superb specimen of Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia) now more than 98’ tall, masses of ferns and handsome stands of field and forest wild flowers.

2014 "Cherry" Photo Contest Winners Announced:

The 2014 Photo Contest topic was "Willowwood's Cherries" - There are many varieties of cherries at Willowwood (see list under garden information). One of which is one of Willowwood's most unusual cherries: Prunus serrulata ‘Asagi’. Each spring visitors marvel at its curious apple-green flowers. Winning Finalist photos are shown on the Photo page of this website. Visitors at the Mother's Day Event and the Willowwood Foundation annual Lilac Party Fundraiser voted for their favorite photo and the winners are: Navjot Singh, a remarkable photographer, won 1st Place and tied for second! David Mojica also tied for 2nd Place. 4th Place was won by Jessica Brent Huelsbergen and Fifth Place was won by Jim Punderson! Many thanks to all who voted and all those who entered this contest. When you look at the photos you will understand how hard it was for the voters to choose.

Our next photo contest topic is Fall/Winter Flora & Fauna at Willowwood! Check out more info on our events page listed top right! Deadline for photo submission is April 15, 2015.

In 2012 the Foundation sponsored our first competition - the topic was Daffodils. First place winner was Ashton Temples for his photo of a single daffodil. Michael Hartnett's photo came in 2nd place and Gene Moretti had two of his photos tied for 3rd Place. The top finalist photos are displayed here on the photo page on this website.

The 2013 contest featured Willowwood’s Magnolias. Generally in bloom March into April, the top twelve photos of Magnolias were displayed at WW on Mother's Day and at the Lilac Party, May 19, 2013. After voting, the winning photos were featured in this website's Photo Section. First Place prize winner is Elise Ange. Navjot Singh won 2nd Place, Peggy Wagemann, 3rd Place and David Mills, 4th Place.

The 1st Annual Tubbs Lecture

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The 1st Annual Tubbs Lecture was held on Sunday, April 19th.

Professor Anthony Aiello, Director of Horticulture at the University of Pennsylvania, presented a fascinating lecure entitled, “Japanese Flowering Cherries: A 100 Year Long Love Affair.”

Please click on the image at right for more information or go to the longer writeup on our Events page.