Arthur Ross Pinetum

A four-acre arboretum northwest of the Great Lawn, the Arthur Ross Pinetum was established in the 1970s and features a collection of 17 different species of pine trees.

The collection is particularly impressive in the winter, bringing a welcome swath of green and a suggestion of an evergreen forest to this section of the Park. Several picnic tables and the all-ages Pinetum Playground, which features several swing sets, provide additional ways for visitors to enjoy the area.

During the 19th century, pine trees were prominent in this location. As part of their original plan for Central Park, designers Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux created the “Winter Drive,” a section of the West Drive stretching from 72nd Street to 102nd Street. Its edges were planted with pine trees and other conifers for visitors to enjoy from their horse-drawn carriages or sleighs in the winter. By the end of the 19th century, most of these trees were replaced with deciduous trees.

In the 1970s, native New Yorker and philanthropist Arthur Ross set out to return pine trees to this area of the Park. During his career in the pulp and paper business, Ross developed an interest in evergreens. He also believed the scenic beauty of this section of the Park was marred by the maintenance buildings along the 86th Street Transverse Road and hoped to screen them from view. In 1971, working with the Parks Department, he funded a modest planting of native white pines and over time added additional species, including some from Macedonia, Japan, and the Himalayas.

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