Arboretum

Since our origin as a memorial park in 1892, Cypress Lawn has been a place to celebrate life, a historic and horticultural landmark that is a vital part of the living legacy of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our founder, Hamden Holmes Noble, believed strongly in the power of trees to define the landscape, and his vision to grow a place worth knowing and cherishing has impacted a lasting arboricultural heritage this is alive to this day. Here now, at the internationally recognized Cypress Lawn Arboretum, we invite you to come and share a moment with the living wonders of our collection – with over 100 species and nearly 3,000 individual trees, there is always more to see, more to learn, and much more to celebrate!

  • Blue Atlas Cedar

  • Cork Oak

  • American Tulip Tree

  • Mayten

  • Southern Magnolia

  • London Plane

  • Ginkgo

  • Copper Beech

LEVEL 1 ARBORETUM ACCREDITATION

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

View a Virtual Tour of Our Trees

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.

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

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.

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MEET OUR ARBORETUM DIRECTOR

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.

“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.”

– Robert Gordon Jr.,
Cypress Lawn President and CEO