Fullerton Arboretum Day Trip
Fullerton Arboretum is your passport to the world of plants. Without going far from home, you can inhale the fragrances of the Mediterranean, feel the cool shade of the Redwood Forest, delight in the glorious fall color of the North East.
Hear the rustle of the palm trees, take a break in a desert oasis, observe succulents, and smell the perfume of roses at his wonderful Orange County garden oasis.
This collection of more than 4,000 plants is located on 26 acres at the Cal State Fullerton Campus. The ultimate goal of the arboretum is protecting the earth’s plant treasures, and a staff of volunteers and generous supporters are making that it a reality.
The Arboretum was officially opened in 1979 next to the historic Heritage House, the home and office of Fullerton’s pioneer physician Dr. George C. Clark in 1894. The restored and now serves as a museum of the family life of the 1890s.
Also on the Arboretum’s grounds is the Nikkei Museum. This unique building highlights the region’s agricultural history and the contributions of the local Japanese American community and other pioneering farmers in early Orange County.
The museum offers tours the third Saturday of every month (except January and August), starting at 10:00 am and typically lasting about an hour. Tours are free; however, donations are requested. Fullerton Arboretum’s garden paths wander through four major collections: cultivated plants, woodlands, Mediterranean and desert collections.
Highlights are southern California native vegetation, a rare fruit grove, an 11,000 square foot organic vegetable garden, the Channel Islands garden, an extensive cycad collection, a conifer collection, palm grove, community gardens, and a children’s garden.
The Arboretum offers community education classes during the week and weekends that help you to grow and connect with your own garden.
Lessons on home composting, the care and pruning of roses, growing fruit trees, gardening with perennials, botanical watercolor painting, the art of pressing flowers, or just exploring California native plants are offered by the Arboretum.
Any gardener and plant lover can find something of interest. Kid’s classes for junior gardeners are also available. Classes require registration so check their website and call for availability.
The Potting Shed is best described as “the gift shop”. It’s where you can treat yourself to a new and unique plant from the Arboretum collection.
If you dream of your own little garden, but perhaps lack space, community garden plots are available to the general public on an annual basis. They are allocated on a first come, first, serve basis so call ahead to check availability.
Tours of the heritage house are offered on Saturdays and Sundays from 2:00 pm until 4:00 pm.
Fullerton Arboretum Events
The grounds host several unique events throughout the year; one of the most interesting is the Victorian Fashion Show. Hostesses in proper attire will serve guests tea and tasty treats. All are welcome to join in; hats, gloves, and costumes of the era are encouraged.
Another popular event is the annual Tomato Tasting and Sizzlin’ Summer Salsa Contest. Tomato Tasting awards are given for best cherry, tomato paste, and sliced tomatoes.
Where is the Fullerton Arboretum
Next time visiting Orange County, or when looking for a serene experience close to home, stop in and visit the Fullerton Arboretum.
The Fullerton Arboretum 1900 Associated Road at Yorba Linda Boulevard in Fullerton. Open daily from 8 am to 4:45 p.m. Parking is free. A five dollar donation is suggested but not necessary.