National Park Service - Home

Preservation Maintenance

Historic Plant Preservation

Cultural landscapes often contain a rich palette of plants, some associated with historic people and events, such as the Jackson Magnolia at the White House and the Ulysses S. Grant Sycamore at Petersburg National Battlefield in Virginia. These plants help define the character of cultural landscapes and contribute to the significance of a historic property. Furthermore, they can be rare or unusual varieties that may be the only surviving examples of their type.

To assist property managers with the preservation of important historic plants, the Olmsted Center has worked in collaboration with the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University and Historic New England (formerly the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities) to develop a methodology for inventorying and preserving plants with historic and botanic significance. Plants of the highest significance are propagated and cultivated in a nursery as authentic in-kind replacements for deteriorated plants in cultural landscapes.


Learn More



(Photo) Identifying crabapple trees at Sagamore Hill National Historic Site in Oyster Bay, New York