KY – Baker Arboretum
The Baker Arboretum in Bowling Green Kentucky is the 17th participant in the Southeast Region’s Reference Garden program. The Arboretum was established in 1992 on the estate of Jerry E. Baker on the outskirts of Bowling Green, Kentucky. His vision for creating an arboretum was a result of traveling the world viewing the outstanding arboreta, botanical gardens, and other public and private gardens with horticulture friends. In 2006, Mr. Baker made an endowed gift to Western Kentucky University of his home, arboretum, and art collection. In 2009, The Downing Museum opened, featuring artwork by the late Joe Downing. Now with over 115 acres, the Baker Arboretum is open to the public to explore the landscape and art of Kentucky.
The landscape is European-inspired, with the focus on conifers, Asian maples, other ornamental trees and woody ornamentals. Specimens are integrated in the landscape, with art woven throughout. With 82 living species and 385 taxa at last count, conifers are the largest collection at the Baker Arboretum, and represents a myriad of sizes, shapes, and colors. The Baker Arboretum serves as an educational and research facility, and a living laboratory for the WKU students. The arboretum annually sponsors a grafting seminar for WKU horticulture students to which the public is invited, space permitting. In addition, they sponsor nationally recognized horticulture experts as annual speakers. Ongoing research at the arboretum includes conifer research. This research includes the determination of species that can thrive in Kentucky, characteristics and cultural needs of the conifers that affect the health and beauty, and cultural practices that can enhance their survivability.
The Baker Arboretum invites you to visit, explore the beauty and variability of their conifers and other trees, and learn with them as they grow.