Welcome to the Willowwood Arboretum

Exciting Events at Willowwood

Autumn Open House at Willowwood

- Sun, 09/23/2018 - 12:00pm

Willowwood 24th Anniversary Lilac Party!

- Sun, 05/19/2019 - 4:30pm

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.

Click to enlarge

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. This year we supported the WW cell phone tour plus have had the pleasure of providing internship funds for Craig Hart and Jordan Hunt. Both Craig and Jordan are Landscape Design students at the County College of Morris and have a strong interest in horticulture. They both were extremely helpful and hard-working in the gardens this past season and worked a combined total of 1,496 hours.

As we plan the busy spring 2018 season, the Foundation has multiple upcoming events planned which will be of great interest: On Sunday April 29th, Dr. Allan Armitage, award-winning writer of 15 books and a monthly column for "Greenhouse Grower", speaker, and researcher throughout the world, will be presenting the 4th Annual Tubbs Lecture on his new book "Of Naked Ladies and Forget-Me-Nots". Attendees will experience his sharp wit and bottomless curiosity and learn the backstory behind the plant names “hookers’ lips” and “hairy balls,” along with other favorites including, “bachelor’s buttons,” “boneset,” and “bouncing bet” at 1:30pm. More details re ticket reservations will be available in early March!

In rapid succession, Our Mother's Day Open House on May 13th and famous Lilac Party on May 20th (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 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, 2018.

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."

An exciting new addition in 2018 includes a new walk highlighting the relationship with the Tubbs and E.H. 'Chinese' Wilson, plant explorer extraordinaire. Starting about 1928 when E. H. Wilson became 'Keeper' (Director) of the Arnold Arboretum, the Tubbs and Wilson exchanged letters with plant advice and commentary as well as seeds and plants. Today, Willowwood displays a collection of some of the plants Ernest Henry Wilson (1876-1930) brought back from his trips to China. See our Cell Phone Tab for more information.

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

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.


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.