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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Update: Brace Krag, President of the Willowwood Foundation

This year we hit the ground running rallying to accomplish many things in a very short time period. In terms of our mission of horticultural education, in May we hosted Bennett Saunders of the multigenerational Saunders Brothers Nursery, Piney River Virginia, to discuss the many nuances of growing successful Boxwood. This is a topic near and dear to many of us and very relevant given the numerous challenges facing boxwood in our area. We hosted a sellout crowd in the stone barn and kept Mr. Saunders answering questions for an extended period.
Our Mother’s Day open house was graciously embraced by Mother Nature with both picture perfect weather and resplendent Dogwood, Redbud, Lathyrus, Wood Poppy, Trillium and Viburnum.
Following Mother’s Day, Lilac Party was what I would describe as “epic” in many ways: near record attendance, huge volunteer participation and weather that can only be described as unseasonable. I think we actually saw all four seasons in a matter of four hours. In the end, Mother Nature once again smiled upon us with a rainbow that won’t soon be forgotten.
The Fall Open House proved to be a lovely day with many visitors taking garden tours and walking through the Tubbs House.
Going forward, the Foundation looks forward to partnership with The Morris County Park System in the “Willowwood entrance experience” initiative in 2017. This translates into both improved aesthetics upon entering Willowood as well as more fitting and comprehensive signage throughout the Arboretum.
We are also planning the April, 2017 Tubbs Lecture and our speaker and topic will undoubtedly result in another acclaimed horticultural lecture.
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.

Warm Regards, Brace Krag

Willowwood Cell Phone Tour concludes October 30, 2016 - 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.