Donation & Dedication Opportunities

Generous gifts from individuals, families, and businesses over the past 50 years have made The Arboretum what it is today. Help support the next 50! To give online, please visit the our secure donation site. Donations to The Arboretum have a direct impact on our living plant collections, gardens, research, and educational programs. Donations support our highest priority needs, and 10% of standard donations support the Arboretum Endowment, which is invested to provide long-term sustainable growth and operations, with the annual income supporting our highest priority needs across the grounds and operations.

Donations can also be made specifically to dedicate trees, garden beds, studentships, or to support specific programs. We recognize this support by placing a small plaque to honour a person, group, or event. These donations support our long-term collections management plan across The Arboretum. To learn more about donations that can be recognized by a dedication plaque, please click the sections below and complete the inquiry form below to reach out to a member of our team before making a dedication donation.


Each year, Arboretum staff identify healthy trees from our collections that are available for dedication, and aligned with our Collections Development Plan. This process is designed to ensure trees are successful throughout their dedication term. Donation levels eligible for a dedication plaque are as follows:

  • A Significant Sapling is a smaller, recently planted tree or a new tree that we intend to plant in our collections.
    • $3,000
  • An Established Tree is a thriving tree that is already an integral part of our Arboretum collections.
    • $5,000
  • A Heritage Tree is a well-established, significant tree that represents some of the longest-standing and most historical aspects of our collections.
    • $7,500

Century Conifers

Individuals can also sponsor Century Pines and Spruces that were planted in 1907 by Canada's father of forestry, Edmund Zavitz. A plaque in your name or someone you love's honour will be placed at the base of the tree to add your own legacy to this awe-inspiring collection. To learn more about the Century Pines, please visit the Century Pines page.

Wall-Custance Memorial Forest

The Arboretum partners with the Wall-Custance Funeral Home and Chapel to provide a commemorative alternative option for tree dedications in memory of a loved one. This program includes one symbolic tree each year, plus individual plantings throughout our forest restoration trails and grounds. To learn more visit the Wall-Custance Memorial Forest pageNote: Gifts to this program are open to the public, made directly through Wall-Custance, and are provided tax receipts by the University.

a colour photo of a dedication bench

NOTE: All bench locations have been committed and dedications are closed for 2022. Please contact us in early 2023 for new dedication opportunities.
Garden benches in the plant collections and Gathering Benches near visible visiting locations are selected to complement the gardens, collections design, and Arboretum collection development plans. Donations for bench dedications are eligible for a dedication plaque which will be fixed to the back rest.


The Arboretum has a limited number of arbor locations available for dedication. Donations of $7,500 will be eligible for a dedication plaque, which will be fixed to the selected Arbor.

colour photo of the Japanese Garden

Significant financial support enables ongoing development of Arboretum collections, built features, educational programming, and interpretive and informational materials and signage in the name of the donor.

Please contact The Arboretum for more information about dedicating a garden bed in our collections.

A colour photo of Trilliums at dusk in Victoria Woods

Through a gift in your will you can make a real difference to the Arboretum and create a lasting legacy for future generations to enjoy the beauty of nature. Please contact Jayne Whitfield at 519 824 4120 x56196 or for more information. Jayne would be delighted to discuss ways to create a meaningful legacy for you at the Arboretum.

Gifts of Shares:  A gift of appreciated securities is a great way to support The Arboretum. Donors receive full tax credit for the fair-market value. Contact us using the form below for more information.

Examples of named collections with endowments include the Frances Ball Rose Garden, OAC '56 Park in the Garden and the David G. Porter Memorial Japanese Garden.

A colour photo of students using binoculars under a pine tree

Students learn and grow from experiential learning in The Arboretum. A generous investment ranging from $12,000 to $20,000 will support a dedicated studentship in our grounds and greenhouses, as well as plant purchases dedicated to continuing collections, gardens, and restoration efforts. Donations will be acknowledged in the student role posting, in our communications network, and (as applicable) with a dedication plaque in a specific area of focus on the grounds.

map of dedications trees

You can locate dedication trees in The Arboretum using our Arboretum Explorer

Follow these steps to find a dedicated tree on our Arboretum Explorer:

  1. Open the Arboretum Explorer
  2. Click on the "Features" tab in the top navigation bar
  3. Select "Dedication Tree" under the "Type" dropdown bar
  4. In the "Name" box, type the name of the individual that the tree was dedicated to
  5. Press the "Search" button
  6. Click on a green map marker to view more information


Donations to The Arboretum are issued tax receipts from the University of Guelph. Donations for dedications are allocated to the Arboretum Endowment (50%) and to Arboretum operating accounts (50%), which support the costs associated with dedication, and are further used for highest impact across the Arboretum grounds and collections, as well as research, teaching and outreach programs. The Arboretum Endowment is invested with the goal to ensure sustainable long-term growth, while the annual income is used to support highest priority needs across the grounds and collections. 

The Arboretum will maintain arbors and benches for the dedication term (10 years) and trees for either two years or the life of the tree, whichever is longer. Should the tree fail during the first two years, The Arboretum will replace the tree or move the plaque to a new collection tree in consultation with the donor. At the end of the dedication term or the life of the tree, The Arboretum will make a good faith attempt to contact the donor to discuss renewal opportunities available in The Arboretum at that time. If no renewal is desired, the donor may pick up their plaque or have the plaque returned for a small shipping fee. The location will be available for a new dedication at the discretion of The Arboretum.

Donations Inquiry