Arboretum Forest

The Arboretum at Flagstaff is the host of two SEGA gardens: meadow and forest. The forest site hosts typical ponderosa pine habitat that includes trees in a mixed-age clumpy-groupy structure with a mix of native bunchgrasses, forbs, and common weed species in the understory. The soil tends to be fairly rocky and the surface horizon is a dark gray-brown loam turning into a dark brown clay-loam with depth. Standard garden amenities are all available in addition to on-site greenhouse and dry lab space.

Amenities: Overnight housing for up to 26 people in two bunkrooms and a two-bedroom apartment, dry-laboratory space, two greenhouses, meeting space for up to 125 people, and easy access to entertainment and recreational opportunities in nearby Flagstaff, Arizona, which is approximately 7 miles away.

Background: Established in 1981, The Arboretum at Flagstaff was originally established as a research institute and, as a result, has a long and productive history of hosting and producing scientific research. The Arboretum at Flagstaff is an independent non-profit organization whose mission is to increase the understanding, appreciation, and wise stewardship of plants and plant communities native to the Colorado Plateau through research and education. The Arboretum at Flagstaff is visited by more than 20,000 guests annually, who learn about Colorado Plateau plants through lectures, self- and docent-guided tours, and special events. Additionally, the Arboretum staff includes a full-time horticulturist and a full-time research botanist, who has been working on the Colorado Plateau for over 20 years.

Northern Arizona University’s (NAU) Merriam-Powell Research Station (MPRS) is located on a leased 5-acre parcel within the 200-acre property of The Arboretum at Flagstaff. The MPRS offers affordable overnight housing and research facilities to scientists and students conducting field classes or research in the region. The MPRS was designed to serve as a base of operations for non-NAU researchers using the many research sites available in the area. The MPRS is jointly managed by NAU and The Arboretum at Flagstaff. 

Site Characteristics Table
Garden name
: Arboretum - Forest
County: Coconino County, Arizona
Latitude and Longitude: 35.16, -111.73
Nearest city: Flagstaff, Arizona (~7 mi. or 15 minutes by car)
Elevation: 7,218 ft (2,200 m)
Annual Mean Air Temperature: Minimum 30°F (-1°C) - Maximum 61°F (16°C)
Annual Mean Precipitation: 22 in (556 mm)
On-site manager: Yes
Overnight housing: Yes, Merriam-Powell Research Station or mprs@nau.edu
Parent material: Basalt Water Source: City Water availability: April - November
Dominant veg. type: Mature ponderosa pine forest, native bunchgrass understory
Weed species: Cheatgrass, toadflax, smooth brome, field bindweed
Mammalian herbivores: Elk, deer, pronghorn, rabbits, pocket gophers, voles
Other: The Arboretum at Flagstaff is a public garden open from May-October that provides interpretive information on native Colorado Plateau plants, receiving more than 20,000 visitors per year.

Soil Photo: 
Site Map: 
Soil Description: 
Soil: Clay loam

Site Documents: