300 Longview Road, Chester Township, Morris County, NJ
Both Willowwood and Bamboo Brook were once the homes of passionate gardeners, and the contrast between two very different approaches to gardening enhances each of them. Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center and Willowwood Arboretum are adjacent properties owned by the Morris County Park Commission located in extreme southern Chester Township.
00.0 US Route 80
59.? Exit 27A for Route 206s
8.1 pass intersection with Route 513 (sign for Hacklebarney State Park)
3.8 right right turn onto Daly Road
00.7 right onto Longview Road
00.55 left park entrance (you will pass by the entrance for Willowwood Arboretum)
Another way to approach the arboretum is by passing Black River County Park. About one and a half miles east of downtown Chester, on Route 206 turn onto Pottersville Road, then about two and a half miles further turn left onto Longview Road.
Willowwood, nestled in the Hacklebarney Hills, was first cleared for farming in the 1700's, and much of its charm comes from fields that are mowed several times a year, and that contain over a hundred kinds of wildflowers.
In 1908 Henry and Robert Tubbs purchased the property. Here they indulged their hobby of gardening.
Willowwood was a private arboretum that was run as a plant and tree research facility by Rutgers University before becoming a part of the Morris County park system in 1980.
Facilities and Activities:
Cross-country skiing, gardens (best seen in spring), hiking trails, nature trails. Open from dawn to dusk. The conservatory is open weekdays from 9am to 4pm.
(See the hike description for Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center.)
There are trail maps at the parking lot, with a guide to
numbered trees along the trails.
For the nicest walk, follow the entrance road back the way you came in, to a "Pedestrians Only" sign that marks the start of a trail through the meadows to Bamboo Brook. Willowwood's adopter describes it as "one of the prettiest places in New Jersey." You may spot a wild turkey, or a ring-necked pheasant, or a fox. If you hear hounds baying in the distance, it's probably a fox hunt.
There is also a new section of Patriots' Path at Willowwood that currently runs about two miles.
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney
Willowwood contains over 3,500 species of native and exotic plants, some dating from the early 1900s, as well as some of the champion trees in New Jersey. They have 110 willows, 35 oaks, and 50 plus maples.
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Betula papyrifera (white birch)
Carya ovata (shagbark hickory)
Carya pallida (pale hickory)
Ilex opaca (American holly)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Magnolia sp. (saucer magnolia) 4/05/00
Metasequoia glyptostroboides (dawn redwood)
Picea orientalis (oriental spruce)
Pinus strobus (eastern white pine)
Prunus sp. (oriental cherry) 4/05/00
Pseudocydonia sinensis (Chinese quince)
Pyrus malus (apple)
Salix sp. (willow) 4/05/00
Salix sp. (willow) 4/05/00
Taxodium distichus (bald cypress)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cornus alba "Sibiricus" (Siberian cornel dogwood)
Cornus kousa (Kousa dogwood)
Forsythia sp. (forsythia) 4/05/00
Hamamelis vernalis (vernal witch-hazel)
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush) 4/05/00
Lonicera fragrantissima (winter honeysuckle) 4/05/00
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra) 4/05/00
Rhododendron sp. (azaleas)
Vinca minor (periwinkle) 4/05/00
(Japanese tree lilac)
(winter hazel) 4/05/00
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Antennaria sp. (pussytoes) 4/05/00
Geum sp. (Avens)
Mertensia (blue bells) 4/05/00
Narcissus sp. (daffodils) 4/05/00
Pycnanthemum sp. (mountain mint)
Scilla sp. (blue squills) 4/05/00
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)
Viola sororia (common blue violet) 4/05/00
Ferns and Fern Allies:
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)