Q&A: Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Sharon Elliott, Marketing Manager, Boyce Thompson Arboretum
Photos: Blushing Cactus Photography

How long does it generally take to see all of Boyce Thompson Arboretum? If time is limited, what should visitors see first?
Plan on spending a few hours to see the whole arboretum. Our gardens cover 135 acres, with 4.5 miles of trails. You could easily spend a half-day exploring! If time is limited the new Wallace Garden is a must-see, along with the Australian Desert Exhibit.

What is the Wallace Desert Garden?
The Wallace Desert Garden is the newest garden at the arboretum. The garden features an international palette of arid land plants — a stunning array of thousands of mature trees, shrubs, cacti and succulents. A total of 5,870 plants were transplanted from the Wallace Gardens’ original location in north Scottsdale, more than 75 miles away. Of the 1,223 taxa (species, cultivars, hybrids, varieties) in the garden, 861 are new to Boyce Thompson Arboretum, and 62 species are rare or endangered.

What kind of wildlife is commonly seen there?
As an Important Bird Area, Boyce Thompson Arboretum and the adjacent Arnett and Queen creeks are known for spectacular birding opportunities. Some 275 different species have been recorded in the Important Bird Area. Of those, 62 are species of special conservation status in Arizona.

What educational opportunities do you have for children and adults?
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, many of our educational opportunities are on hold. We do offer virtual educational programming in partnership with the Superstition Master Gardeners and the Arizona Game and Fish Department. Details, dates and times of our limited in-person and virtual events and our walks and tours can be found online at

Any restrictions related to COVID-19?
Masks are required everywhere at all times. For more details about health and safety visit www.btarboretum.org/healthandsafetyupdate

Do reservations for tours and programs fill up quickly?
Yes. We suggest you plan well in advance if you would like to take a tour or register for a program. Spots can open up at the last minute due to cancellations, so if a tour or program is full, please check back to see if space has opened up prior to your visit.
More information:
www.btarboretum.org or 520-689-2723

37615 E. Arboretum Way
Superior, Arizona 85173