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The Pines Earns Level 1 Arboretum Accreditation

by | Jan 26, 2023

Walkers on the campus at The Pines at Davidson will now see placards near the bases of some of the trees. Those will provide the common name of the trees as well as the binomial nomenclature.


DAVIDSON, NC (1/25/23) – The Pines at Davidson has been awarded a Level 1 Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum, for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. The Pines at Davidson 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. Arboreta listed on the Morton Registry include the Davidson College Arboretum and the Coker Arboretum at Chapel Hill as well as the famous Kew Gardens in London and the Honolulu Botanical Gardens.

This is the placard for the tree shown above.

The Pines at Davidson is a non-profit Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) that was founded in 1988 and is located in Davidson, North Carolina. It sits on approximately 150 acres of beautiful gardens and surrounding woodlands that provide a diverse plant palette consisting of over 200 species, many of which are considered unique. The development of this plant palette was a dedicated commitment from its humble beginnings to provide an educational and appealing landscape to the residents and nearby community. The Pines is the only Continuing Care Retirement Community (CCRC) in North Carolina accredited as an arboretum.

The Pines at Davidson’s commitment to the arboretum goal began with the first guiding principle of the Landscape Master Plan: Maintain and Enhance Overall “Arboretum-Like Character” of Campus. “This plan has guided our landscape decisions and plant selection over the years,” said Pines Horticulturalist Stuart McCachern. “Throughout our campus, residents can enjoy a variety of trees and shrubs including natives and non-natives as well as pollinator-friendly plants.” Since 1994, The Pines’ grounds have been supervised by Stuart McCachern, who received a B.A. in Horticulture from North Carolina State University.

The Pines Nature Organization (PNO), a group of residents and community members promoting environmental education and appreciation, advanced the idea of The Pines’ arboretum accreditation and assisted in the process. In recent years, the PNO donated a California Redwood and Chestnut Oak to The Pines’ campus during Arbor Day ceremonies. Additional residents, family members, staff, and friends have donated nearly two dozen trees, which have been planted throughout the campus. These trees include a Dawn Redwood, given in memory of Dr. Marc Cathey, who had served as Director of the U.S. National Arboretum, also a member of ArbNet.

About ArbNet
ArbNet is an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta. ArbNet facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience, and other resources to help arboreta meet their institutional goals and works to raise professional standards through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. The accreditation program, sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois in cooperation with American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta based on a set of professional standards. The program offers four levels of accreditation, recognizing arboreta of various degrees of development, capacity and professionalism. Standards include planning, governance, public access, programming and tree science, planting and conservation. More information is available at

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See some of our photos on the campus at The Pines at Davidson.

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