Arboretum Meadow

The Arboretum at Flagstaff is the host of two SEGA gardens: meadow and forest. The meadow site includes approximately 12 fenced acres of high-elevation alpine meadow at 7,150 ft. (2,179 m.) for common garden studies. Beginning in spring of 2014, the site will be fully irrigated. Habitats found on The Arboretum at Flagstaff’s property include ponderosa pine forest, alpine meadow, ephemeral streams, a depressional wetland, and an artificial pond. [b]Amenities: [/b]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 - Meadow

County: Coconino County, Arizona

Latitude and Longitude: 35.16, -111.73

Nearest city: Flagstaff, Arizona (~7 mi.)

Elevation: 7,150 ft. (2,179 m.)

Annual Mean Air Temperature: Minimum 30°F (-1°C) - Maximum 61°F (16°C) - Mean 45.75°F (7.64°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

Soil Type: Sandy clay loam

Water source: City Water

Availability: April - November

Dominant veg. type: Alpine meadow, native bunchgrasses

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: 
Vegetation Description: 

Vegetation at the Arboretum Meadow site consists of native bunch grasses and herbs with widely dispersed Ponderosa Pines and Coyote Bush.