History of William A. Varga Arboretum

People standing together

The arboretum is a growing, living legacy started by William A. Varga, the Utah State University Botanical Center’s first director and long-time Utah State University horticulture educator. It was dedicated in 2008.

arboretum trees

The arboretum began in 1999 with 57 trees and shrubs that were moved, under Varga’s direction, from the former USU Botanical Garden in Farmington.

irrigation system

In 2007 and 2008, JayDee Gunnell, Utah State University Extension Horticulturist, designed and built an irrigation system and added more than 100 newer varieties to the original collection.

arboretum grass path

In 2009, a tall fescue pathway through the arboretum was added to aid visitors. 

Varga Arboretum

The Varga Arboretum showcases trees and shrubs that are well suited to Utah’s arid, mountain valleys.

arboretum grass path

Each year, more trees and shrubs are planted by dedicated USUBC staff and volunteers.

As of 2019, there are 350 different species highlighted.

trees and shrubs

The trees and shrubs found in the arboretum are grouped in three hydrozones, or according to the amount of water they require; No supplemental water, low supplemental water (0 to 1-1/2 inches per week), and moderate supplemental water (1 to 2 inches per week).