In 1913, Francis A. Bartlett, a well known dendrologist and founder of the internationally known F.A. Bartlett Tree Expert Company, acquired 30 acres of North Stamford woodlands to use as his residence, training school and research laboratory for his successful tree-care company. Over the years he assembled a large number of woody plant specimens on the property from all over the world in particular from North America, Europe and Asia.
By 1965, Mr. Bartlett's research laboratory had moved to North Carolina and his Stamford home, which then covered some 64 acres, was purchased by the State of Connecticut in November of 1965 under the Federal Open Spaces Program. At this time the property was designated the Connecticut State Arboretum. Acquisition of this land by the State and the subsequent development of the Bartlett Arboretum was spearheaded by a local community group of volunteers. This group of citizens who initially banded together to preserve what Dr. Bartlett had created formed the nucleus of what is now the Bartlett Arboretum Association.
When the Bartlett Arboretum was opened to the public for the first time in 1966, the grounds and facilities were under the auspices of the Department of Environmental Protection while the operations and programming were managed by the University of Connecticut's Department of Plant Science. In 2002, the title to the land was transferred to the City of Stamford with the Bartlett Arboretum Association responsible for all managerial and operational oversight of the property. An additional 27 acres of adjacent city property was added to the Bartlett's existing property.
Today, nestled among the historic landscape of Southwestern New England the Bartlett Arboretum & Gardens is a natural preserve like no other in this region. The property features 91 acres of irreplaceable open space highlighting the best of what Connecticut's native landscape has to offer: magnificent award-winning Champion trees, charming gardens, wildflower meadows, red maple wetlands and boardwalks, woodland walking trails, varied wildlife and native habitats. A wonderful getaway from the hustle and bustle of daily life, we serve as a leading recreational and educational resource for area residents and visitors of all ages. For weekend gardeners to budding young botanists, the Bartlett offers a place to relax, learn and play.