Mississippi Arboretum Certification Program

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Mississippi Arboretum Certification Program

The Mississippi Urban Forestry Council (MUFC) certifies Arboreta throughout the state of Mississippi. The purpose of the certification program is to define what the words Arboreta means in Mississippi and set standards for what can be called an Arboreta. Also, this program is designed to encourage and recognize those properties managed for sound community forestry sustainability with Best Management Practices.

GENERAL REQUIREMENTS For Arboretum Certification

For the three (3) year certification

- The site must be open and accessible to the public.

- Management practices must be in place to protect trees from lawn mower and weed eater damage. Protective examples include: employee training, mulch or herbicide treatment.

- Plant establishment should exemplify modern planting and protection methods.

- All trees must be identified and a list must be provided by visitor or trees can be labeled. Tree labels should be of a type that will not cause significant damage to the tree. Labels should be mounted in the ground or other non-damaging method.

Note: nailing labels to trees is not acceptable.

- All labels must have the common and botanical name.

- All tree labels must be at a readable height and maintained in good condition.

-If site labeling is an issue, the tree may also be identified by a site map with visitors provided a written guide to trees.

Level 1 30 different species of trees must be labeled.

Level 2 60 different species of trees must be labeled and/or a pamphlet must be available for self-guided tours.

Level 3 90 different species of trees must be labeled. A pamphlet must be available for self-guided tours, as well as volunteers, part time and/or full time personnel for special tours. Tree management hours must be tracked and provided to MUFC.

Level 4 120 different species of trees must be labeled. A pamphlet must be available for self-guided tours, as well as volunteers, part time and/or full time personnel for special tours. Tree management hours must be tracked.

The arboretum must have a newsletter (may be electronic) with at least two issues per year.

Private Lands Certification

These are sites that are not open to the public but demonstrate sound community forestry management and meet the same above criteria as above. Private land certification must meet the same criteria as public lands. Qualifying land can include back yards, camps, resorts, and other but must be in a community.


The purpose of the categories is to help separate the programming of the arboreta for the public’s benefit.

Please choose a category from the following definitions:

Demonstration/ Research

Arboreta in this category were designed to increase the visitor’s knowledge of trees. These arboreta illustrate or explain tree related issues such as what species grow in this area, how to plant the right tree in the right spot, and how to identify trees.

Nature Trail/ Garden Arboreta in this category are designed to bring the public outdoors to enjoy the aesthetics that nature provides. These arboreta usually are designed to educate the public about different tree species. Most arboreta in this category do not offer additional education besides tree identification.


Please submit the following

1. A completed Arboretum Certification application form.

2. A list of all the tree species that are labeled with both common and botanical names. (The trees must be labeled prior to the submission of the arboretum application.)

3. A 3 page or less description of the Arboretum site. Include information about how and why the

Arboretum was started, explain who maintains the site and how, and describe what an Arboretum visitor can expect.

4. Pictures of the Arboretum site. (Please send pictures that illustrate the uniqueness of the Arboretum and confirm the tree labels are installed.)

5. A check or a money order issued to the Mississippi Urban Forestry Council for the $150 non-refundable accepted application fee.

6. Include the pamphlet for the self-guided tour with a Level 2, 3, or 4 application.

7. Include a copy of the newsletter for a Level 4 application.

8. Please submit the original and five complete copies of the application. (The pictures can be photocopied in the five copies.)

9. Site inspections will be made by a representative of MUFC prior to certification

- A list of certified Arboreta will be published on/in:

- MUFC’s Web Page (www.msurbanforest.com)

- The Green Communities E-News published by MUFC

- An Urban Forest Educational tool kit.

- A statewide and local news release will be issued announcing certification

- A certificate that reads, “The Mississippi Urban Forestry Council has confirmed this site as a certified Arboretum.” The site owners must produce a similar outdoor sign and display at all times during the certification period of 3 years. Should the sign be stolen or destroyed, it will be replaced at the Arboretum’s expense.

- Application forms are available beginning January.

- Applications will be accepted on a first come basis beginning March 1st and ending November 15th.

Note: only a limited number of applications will be certified each year.

- Applications will be reviewed as received.

- The site will be visited prior to certification.

- Notification of certification will be given no later than November 1.

-Mail application with check to MUFC (check will be refunded if certification is not approved.)

- During the third year of certification, the Arboretum would be eligible to reapply for certification.

Disclaimer: This certification is a volunteer program. The applicant is responsible for information provided for the certification and the fulfillment of requirements set forth for certification. These guidelines do not involve federal funding and cannot be used as a basis for fulfilling any other contact or agreement. The MUFC is not liable for any harm, damage or liability resulting from the certification.

  • This certification can only be used to promote the benefits of urban forestry and provide education to the public and is not intended to be used as a commercial timber certification or for profit in any way.


Contact Person:




Phone: ( ) Fax: ( )



Circle the Level applying for:

1 2 3 4
Category applying for:

_________Demonstration/ Research

____________Nature Trail/ Garden

Number of Different Tree Species Labeled:_____________
For Arboretum Levels 3 & 4:

Please list the number of employees available for special tours.

Part time

Full time

MAIL TO: Mississippi Urban Forest Council

Arboretum Certification Program

164 Trace Cove Drive

Madison, Mississippi 39110

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