The History of the Bayard Cutting Arboretum
Bayard Cutting Arboretum was donated to the Long Island State Park Region by Mrs. William Bayard Cutting and her daughter, Mrs. Olivia James, in memory of William Bayard Cutting, “to provide an oasis of beauty and quiet for the pleasure, rest, and refreshment of those who delight in outdoor beauty; and to bring about a greater appreciation and understanding of the value and importance of informal planting.”
Utilizing plans conceived by the noted landscape architectural firm of Frederick Law Olmsted, arboretum development began in 1887. The site was originally wooded and many of the large oaks now seen were retained during the clearing of the land. With the cooperation of Charles Sprague Sergeant, then director of Boston’s Arnold Arboretum, Mr. Cutting several years later began to plant his conifer collection in the area just north of the Carriage House. Unfortunately, the result of a severe hurricane in 1985, many of these original plants have been lost. However, because of subsequent plantings made during and after the 1940′s, the current collection of fir, spruce, pine, cypress, hemlock, yew, and other lesser-known conifers is still probably the most extensive to be found on Long Island. Contained within the collection are several trees which, regionally, are the largest of their species. Also found are extensive plantings of dwarf evergreens, rhododendron, azaleas, hollies, and oaks. Wildflowers and daffodils are featured in many native woodland locations. Combined with the site’s ponds and streamlets, these areas also provide opportunities to observe a broad range of land and aquatic birds and occasional glimpses of fox, raccoon, and other small wildlife.
Located in the former Cutting residence are magnificent fireplaces, woodworking, stained glass windows, and a small natural history display. The manor house also contains a café with an open porch overlooking the Connetquot River and the administration office.
Plan You Next Visit!
To learn more about the history of the Bayard Cutting Arboretum, please visit our events calendar where you can learn about our guided Grounds Tours and Manor House Tours. For directions please visit our Hours & Fees page.
Walks, public buildings, and restrooms are accessible to handicapped persons.
No pets and recreational activities (bathing, picnicking, sports, games, and bicycle riding) are permitted on the grounds. However, Heckscher State Park, which adjoins the Arboretum, provides accommodations for picnicking and other active recreational programs.
An Event Photography permit is required to take photos at Bayard Cutting Arboretum State Park. The permit fee is $250. Please visit our Event Photography page for more information or contact the park at 1-631-581-1002 for further information.