Skip to main content

Vanderbilt Arboretum Tree Tours

These tours are designed to allow you to make use of your portable device (smartphone or iPad) to learn about the trees of the arboretum as you walk around campus. Click on below for details about that particular tour.


Main Campus tour

A long tour focused on native and naturalized trees

Peabody tour

A shorter tour through the Peabody College campus focused on native and naturalized trees

Trail of Giants tour

A tour to visit the 25 largest known individual trees and the largest examples of 28 species

Historic tour

A tour around the main campus focused on historic trees and the people and events surrounding them. Each tree has an associated story webpage that presents text and images to describe the significance of that tree to Vanderbilt’s history.



These tours were developed by Steve Baskauf from 2005 through 2020.

Dr. Robert Kral taught me most of the trees on this tour in his Dendrology class at Vanderbilt.  He kindled my interest in learning trees.

I depended heavily on Wofford and Chester (2002) Guide to the Trees, Shrubs, and Woody Vines of Tennessee (University of Tennessee Press, Knoxville, TN) for range descriptions and some diagnostic characters.  If you can, take the tours with this book in your hand.  I also referred to Chester et al. (1987) The Nut Trees of Land Between The Lakes (The Center for Field Biology of LBL, Austin Peay State University, Clarksville, TN) for oak and hickory characters.  Unfortunately it is out of print at the present.

Thanks to Judson Newbern for his support and encouragement in this project and to other members of the Vanderbilt Campus Planning staff who gave me access to the VU tree database and helped me get the data necessary to create the tour.

Orignial Main Campus and Peabody tours created by Steve Baskauf in November 2005.  A PDF version of the old tour is available here.  Online versions completed September 2014. The Trail of Giants was created from 2014-15. The Historical tree tour was created as part of a Buchanan Fellows program in 2020.