A Tree Grows in Exeter: Celebrating N.H.’s Newest Arboretum

May 15, 2017

A Kentucky Coffeetree, one of the 49 (and counting) varieties of species on view at the RiverWoods Arboretum in Exeter.
Credit Todd Bookman/NHPR

New Hampshire has no shortage of trees, no lack of leaves or roots. Still, it’s nice when all that bark gets some formal recognition.

Exeter is now officially home to the newest and largest arboretum in New Hampshire, a 49 species (and counting) oasis nestled among the tasteful homes of the RiverWoods Retirement Community.

Residents gathered for a ribbon cutting last week, complete with champagne, poetry and guided tours. Plenty of questions were asked, too, about the ground's newest addition: a spindly Kentucky Coffeetree that residents were assured would soon produce lush leaves.

The arboretum, which is spread across more than 200 acres, is open to the public. The state's only other recognized arboretum is on the campus of Southern New Hampshire University in Manchester.

Residents and friends of RiverWoods raise a glass to the state's newest and largest arboretum.
Credit Todd Bookman/NHPR