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Hoyt Arboretum
Pine and cedar trees along the Overlook Trail
Holiday Trees of Hoyt
If you're looking for a tree to decorate your home this holiday season, the Arboretum is an ideal place to do some window shopping. With 271 species of conifer, just about every common holiday tree you could imagine grows here. Nowadays, the Scots pine (Pinus sylvestris 'Fastigiata') is the most widely used Christmas tree in the world - largely due to its fast growth in a plantation setting - but there are a lot of options to choose from, depending on what you're looking for. 
Evergreen conifer trees have been used for winter festivals for thousands of years. If you want to go traditional, a fir tree is a good choice. Noble firs (Abies procera) have stiff branches, making them good for holding heavy ornaments. This year's Capitol Christmas tree in Washington DC is a Noble fir from the Willamette National Forest, and historically, much of the greenery for wreaths and garlands are sourced from Noble firs growing in Oregon's National Forests. The Nordmann fir (Abies nordmanniana) is a good option for families with allergies, as it gives off less fragrance than other trees. It also has good water retention, if you're the type that forgets to water your plants.  
The Deodar cedar (Cedrus dedoara), also known as the California Christmas tree, grows well in pots, so you can use it year after year. Colorado blue spruce (Picea pungens) has great color and form and is another good living Christmas tree that can be maintained over several years - but be careful of its sharp needles. And with its short, stiff needles, White spruce (Picea glauca) will shed fewer needles on your floor than other varieties of spruce. 
In addition to US favorites, there are also internationally beloved holiday trees on display here, like the Sacred fir (Abies religiosa), the preferred choice for religious festivals in Mexico, and the Sub-Alpine fir (Abies lasiocarpa) the most commonly grown Christmas tree in Europe. 
Colorado blue spruce growing in the Arboretum, 1948 

Holiday "Pests" at the Arboretum

It's less of a problem these days, but in the early years of the Arboretum, the small size of planted trees tempted vandals to steal trees for their holiday displays. In a 1964 document titled Then and Now by the Arboretum's first curator Ernie Fischer, Fisher wrote,"All the aforementioned pests are minor in comparison with the 'pests' who annually look to the Arboretum for their Christmas tree and never fail to chop down a perfect specimen of some rare exotic tree; this is an annual occurrence, despite warning signs and all-night vigils of the Arboretum staff."  With that in mind, please note that you are definitely not allowed to cut down any trees in the Arboretum.


You can see these trees and learn more about their characteristics and history on our annual Christmas Tree Tour on Saturday, December 15 at noon. If you can't make it on the 15th, don't worry - you can take our self-guided tour of Christmas Trees, available through the Arboretum's plant database. 
THANK YOU 
for Making #GivingTuesday a Success!
We're thrilled to share that this year's #GivingTuesday was the best yet for Hoyt Arboretum. More than 60 individuals contributed to our week-long matching campaign, and together, we raised more than $12,500 for education and conservation programs at Hoyt Arboretum. Thank you to everyone who contributed! If you haven't seen it yet, take a look at our 2018 Highlights report to see what's been happening this year with education programs at Hoyt, alongside conservation and recreation efforts. 

Trailbrayker Beer Release
at Breakside Brewing 

This Weekend at Breakside Brewing, NE Dekum Location


Try a new beer by Breakside Brewing inspired by Hoyt Arboretum's diversity of trees, and support HAF! This weekend, December 7 - 9, Breakside Brewing is premiering a new beer featuring medlar, an ancient fruit tree used since Roman times that grows here in Hoyt Arboretum. The beer is named Trailbrayker after a trail tool designed by former Arboretum Curator Jim Bray. Stop by the NE Dekum location this weekend to try the beer, and support education and conservation programs at the Arboretum - $1 for every pint sold goes to Hoyt Arboretum Friends. 

December Tours and Events


Visit the Events Page to see all scheduled tours, classes, and family activities. 
Holiday Sale
Saturday, December 15 from 11 AM - 3 PM
Visit the Visitor Center Gift Shop on December 15 and receive a 15 - 20% discount on all regularly priced items in the store! When you spend $35 or more, you'll receive a complimentary membership with Hoyt Arboretum Friends. Learn more.
Christmas Tree Tour 
Saturday, December 15 at 12 PM
Tour the popular Christmas trees growing in Hoyt Arboretum's conifer collection, including Oregon natives and other Christmas trees available in the Portland area. This tour includes Christmas tree history and tips on picking out the perfect Christmas tree. $3 recommended donation (HAF members free!) Learn More. 
Tree Time! Preschool Walk - Slimy Slugs    
Monday, December 17 from 10 - 11:30 AM
Bring your little one out for a fun and interactive morning walk in the Arboretum to learn about slugs. Tree Time! walks are led by a volunteer Hoyt Naturalist, who will read a story and end with a craft for the children to take home. $3 per child. Learn More. 

Brice Hammack, 1919 - 2018

Farewell and safe travels to an old Arboretum friend
Earlier this year, we said a fond farewell to longtime volunteer and friend Brice Hammack. Brice was a longstanding member of Hoyt Arboretum's Tuesday Crew and a lifelong lover of trees and trails. Last December, at the age of 98, Brice retired from the Tuesday Crew after 30 years of service. At the Arboretum, he was our resident tool sharpener, a Tuesday Crew recruiter to his wider community, and could often be seen wearing his shirt that read, "I am Older Than the Trees at Hoyt Arboretum" (which, born nine years before the Arboretum was established in 1928, is true).  
Beyond the Arboretum, Brice had a rich and varied life. He served in World War II as a pilot, spent his career as a forester in northern California and the Pacific Northwest, and volunteered extensively in his later life with the Pacific Crest Trail Association. He is one of the few individuals who has completed the Triple Crown of Hiking - the Pacific Crest, Appalachian, and Continental Divide trails - all after the age of 70.   
Brice was always at home among the trees, and we thought it only fitting to carve out a space among them to honor his lifelong dedication to forests and public lands. This past Monday, on what would have been Brice's 99th birthday, we gathered to commemorate Brice at a small gathering in the dwarf conifer collection across from the Visitor Center, where a plaque has been placed to pay tribute to his many years of friendship and service with the Arboretum. This interim plaque will be replaced with a permanent one in early 2019. 
Thank you, Brice, for your years of service and friendship.    
"Be like a tree in winter and let the leaves drop."

- Rumi
Make a Donation to the Trees

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4000 SW Fairview Blvd | Portland, OR 97221 |503-865-8733
www.hoytarboretum.org | info@hoytarboretum.org
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