Cypress Lawn is one of only two cemeteries in the Bay Area to earn this accreditation from the Morton Arboretum’s international ArbNet program.

Since the beginning of time, trees have represented peace and serenity, capturing the human imagination and offering a tranquil place to rest.

Here at Cypress Lawn, our Arboretum provides this refuge like no other place in the Bay Area.

In the words of our President Bob Gordon, “Trees are powerful symbols of life, death, and renewal. Death is part of the circle of life, but we want this to be a place where young and old can savor life.”



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Our founder, Hamden Holmes Noble, envisioned an area of healing and beauty nestled alongside the Bay Area peninsula. Back in the late 1800s, he planted seedlings from all over the world – the humble beginnings of what has now become an internationally recognized arboretum.

Cypress Lawn’s Arboretum features trees indigenous to the Northeast, species native to California and the Bay Area, Australia, and Europe. Each tree is labeled and documented with the collection available for study by scientists from all over the world.

With some trees boasting more than a century of growth, Cypress Lawn’s trees can be enjoyed by everyone through our docent-led public trolley tours, a free community service and educational experience made possible by the Cypress Lawn Heritage Foundation. The Heritage Foundation promotes educational and cultural activities to encourage the preservation and restoration of the arboretum and botanical garden, in addition to Cypress Lawn’s incomparable art and architecture.

Download our FREE Tree Tour brochure — printed copies are also available at our reception desk.

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Earning level I arboretum accreditation requires the following:

  • Hosting a publicly accessible site
  • A minimum of 25 species of trees or woody plants
  • A governing body
  • An arboretum plan, along with staff or volunteers to ensure fulfillment of the plan


With nearly 200 specimens of trees living at our Arboretum — some even dating back to the founding of Cypress Lawn and others just planted on our grounds this year — we are sharing the stories of these majestic trees through our Tree of the Month blog series. Click here to read all of the blogs and see photos of our beloved trees.


Josh Gevertz joined the team at Cypress Lawn after earning his master’s degree in landscape design from UC Berkeley, where he specialized in geospatial planning and arboriculture. He previously earned his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at UC Davis. Gevertz was also a recipient of the prestigious Geraldine Knight Scott Fellowship. Through this traveling scholarship awarded by UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, he was able to travel the world, including New Zealand and Australia, to further research and study the Monterey Cypress. Gevertz is passionate about preserving the history of the trees at Cypress Lawn. He says several of the most historic trees in the collection were planted by founder Hamden Holmes Noble himself. “We have so much history in our landscape. There’s so much to take in – there’s so much life here. We’re just entering a new era as an arboretum, where Cypress Lawn can grow from being a place for the deceased to also thriving as a destination for living,” Gevertz says. Learn more about Josh here.

“This is an important milestone for Cypress Lawn and speaks to the pride we take in preserving and promoting our 125-year history – with our timeless arboretum at the heart of it all. Our hope is that this accreditation will bring attention to our spectacular arboretum so as many people as possible can enjoy all it has to offer.”

– Robert Gordon Jr.,
Cypress Lawn President and CEO