Arnold Arboretum is founded by Harvard University, making it the oldest public arboretum in North America.

Trustees of Harvard University establish the Arnold Arboretum in the Boston neighborhoods of Jamaica Plain and Roslindale. After the Civil War, prosperous Americans appear to have come to terms with their changed society and to have embraced a new set of brazenly acquisitive values. Horticulture was to take on new associations and functions.

Two wealthy merchants from Massachusetts, Benjamin Bussey and James Arnold, donated pieces of their estates to agricultural and horticultural research. The two properties were developed by numerous famous architects, including Frederick Law Olmsted, Alexander Wadsworth Longfellow Jr. , and Beatrix Farrand.

Phyllis Anderson, et al. Keeping Eden: A History of Gardening in America. Edited by Punch, Walter T., (Boston: Bullfinch Press, 1992.)