Arbor Day Weekend Celebrated With Socially Distant Tree Tour


The trees at Evergreen Burial Park are renowned for their beauty and variety. Many are regarded as the best examples of the species in North America and are a source of great pride for the burial park. As part of the 2021 Arbor Day celebration, a socially distant guided Tree Tour will take place on Sunday, May 2, 2021, led by Ben Wilson, the man charged with the care of the trees. Mr. Wilson completed the City of Roanoke Tree Steward class in 2018 and is devoted to the health of the arboretum as well as the care of the grounds.

The identification of trees at Evergreen is one of the requirements for their Level I Accreditation awarded in 2019 from the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. Sponsored by The Morton Arboretum, this accreditation recognizes Evergreen Burial Park for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. The Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. Evergreen is also now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.

The socially distant tree tour begins at 2:00 p.m. at the cemetery office located at 1307 Summit Ave. SW in Roanoke. Mr. Wilson will talk about the 19 native trees and 9 non-native tree species found at Evergreen and featured in Evergreen’s illustrated tour booklet. He said, “Evergreen’s role as a haven for remarkable trees adds value to our city in many ways; here the trees are protected and recognized for both their beauty and function.”

Don Wilson, President of Evergreen Memorial Trust, said, “This is a great opportunity to safely get out of the house and enjoy our annual tree tour. Evergreen Burial Park was designed to be a ‘Modern Burial Park’ back in 1916. The landscaping, tree planting, and pathways have stood the test of time and are leading features that make this a special place. Our trees are a living memorial to all the people who rest here. They make Evergreen a real park,” said Wilson.

Visitors are welcome to take a self-guided tree tour any time after May 2nd. A free illustrated guidebook is available at the cemetery office.

For more information, call (540) 342-2593