Native Woodland Garden Guided Walk

(We strongly recommend you download a copy of this guide and also a trail map before your visit to the Arboretum, as the supply at our onsite information booth is replenished only occasionally!)



Building upon the existing mature hardwood forest in the central section of the Chesapeake Arboretum’s natural area, and with easy access from the main parking lot, this short walk features an array of trees and shrubs with showy flowers or fruit.  Native to the Virginia/North Carolina Coastal Plain, all of these plants merit consideration for wider use in Hampton Roads landscapes.  Look for white plant I.D. tags with purple lettering and illustrations of the plant flower or fruit.  

Native plants offer multiple advantages: adaptation to local environmental conditions; low maintenance; reduced requirements for water, fertilizers, and pesticides; high value to native wildlife; balancing habitat loss; preserving natural ecosystems; avoiding invasive or potentially invasive plants; and offering a sense of place and connection to the natural history of an area. Remember to consider soil, moisture, light, and size requirements when choosing plants for your landscape. Be sure to check appropriate resources such as the Virginia Natural Heritage Program at .

Kindly respect all visitors, property, plants, and wildlife during your visit to our volunteer-maintained woodland garden.  An opportunity to learn how to identify trees is available on the “Native Tree” trail.  Pick up a trail guide at the parking lot kiosk or download a copy at for this ½ mile walk through the heart of the Arboretum.

Notes and tree I.D. labels researched, compiled & installed by Chesapeake Master Gardeners Ed & Linda Bradley, 2011. 
I.D. tag illustrations courtesy Kristi Deeley, deeleywoman designs.


0.0 ft. / 0.0 meters         Kiosk.  Begin Native Woodland Garden tour.   Walk to northeast (left) side of parking lot and then to Entrance #7 pedestrian crossing on Oak Grove Road

150 / 46            Use CAUTION and cross Oak Grove Road.  Bear right   
                          at fence. Follow purple blazes and enter forest 

255 / 78            Pink Dogwood

270 / 82            SassafrasTulip Poplar.

300 / 91            Pawpaw

325 / 99            Red Maple

380 / 116           Winterberry. 

410 / 125           Cross Bridge “F”.

450 / 137           Enter SYCAMORE OVERLOOK area.  Plant identification tags listed here are located within 50 feet of this location:    Red Buckeye, Fringetree, Witchhazel, Strawberry Bush, Redbud, Blackhaw Viburnum, Serviceberry, American Plum, Virginia Stewartia, Swamp Azalea. (NOTE:   A white plant tag with green lettering for the Sycamore is straight ahead and is part of the “Native Tree” trail.)    

550 / 168          Cross Bridge “F” to continue guided walk.

590 / 180          Turn left and continue to follow purple blazes.

670 / 204           Turn right at trail intersection and continue to follow purple blazes.  (NOTE: Green blazes to left lead to nearby Camellia Cove with observation deck. This collection of camellias is the second-largest in Virginia!)

 715 / 218           Southern Magnolia

740 / 226           Flowering Dogwood. Southern Crabapple. 

790 / 241           Sweetbay Magnolia.

840 / 256          Use CAUTION crossing Oak Grove Road.

950 / 290          Return trail maps and brochures to Kiosk.

End of guided walk. We hope your visit has been both informative and enjoyable, and we invite you to become a dues-paid Friend of the Chesapeake Arboretum, a non-profit, volunteer-operated “Nature’s Classroom.”                   

Native Woodland Garden dedicated April 2, 2011 in memory of Jean-Marie Eagler (1951-2011). 
Award-winning Hampton Roads environmental activist and President of the Board of Directors of the Chesapeake Arboretum, Jean-Marie believed in sharing the story of native plants at the Arboretum. We hope you will be inspired to consider planting some of these beautiful specimens in your landscape

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