An arboretum is defined as a place where trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants are cultivated for scientific and educational purposes. Each arboretum tree and/or shrub is carefully planted in an area large enough to permit the specimen to achieve its maximum height and width in the specific climate. Detailed information is collected for each specimen including: name (genus, species, variety, cultivar, etc.), place of origin, location planted, and year planted.
Some of the purposes of an arboretum are the ex-situ conservation of species, the recognition of early warning signs of potential diseases, the display of local growth habits of various tree species and varieties (helpful when selecting trees for urban plantings), and the establishment of valuable information regarding trees' abilities to adapt to climate change.