MONTANA Botanical Park

"Perserve, Protect, Enhance and Assist"


ZooMontana Treehouse Resident

Welcome to "the Treehouse" !  Here you will find some fun activities that you can share while you traverse the Arboretum and ZooMontana grounds. Check out the trees, take some photos and enjoy a scavenger hunt. Take a hike to the only treehouse at the Zoo and say hi to Daisy and all the other Red Pandas !


Here's a little extracurricular activity to optimize your powers of observation. Answers to the questions and clues below can be found at the Arboretum by using your detective prowess. Use the form at the bottom and e-mail us your answers. If you pass 100% we will e-mail you a "Arboretum Inspector" certificate of approval !


Here's an interesting leaf from an interesting tree. This tree is somewhat rare in this part of Montana but can you find one at the Yellowstone Arboretum?  If you can find it just e-mail us a note (below) about your findings. 



The Arboretum has many specimens of this tree. Some just saplings and one larger example by the Bear Exhibit. If you're still confounded then check out this MONTANAKIDS page !


Here's another tree located at the Arboretum. In fact there are two of them close to each other. Its kinda rare but can also be found in some of the more established neighborhoods in Billings !


This time we're giving you the Latin class name of this tree. ROSACEAE CRATAEGUS CRUS-GALLI

You have to find out the following:

1) The common name

2) The location at the Arboretum

3) The identification number

E-mail us your finding.

Thank you for contacting us. We will get back to you as soon as possible. Your e-mail will not be used by any other organizations. We respect your privacy !
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In natural science the principles of truth ought to be confirmed by observation.  - Carolus Linnaeus


CLICK HERE watch a video about Carl Linnaeus

How does this naming thing work ?

Okay, let's take a look at a Burr Oak. This tree can be found by the front entrance to the Zoo and at the Amphitheater. Linnaeus classified trees by their Latin definition. Hence, Latin for oak is Quercus. Since the tree has large acorns (fruit of the tree), the Latin name for "Large Fruited"is Macrocarpa. Bingo, we now have it's class name Quercus Macrocarpa !

          Carl Linnaeus (Carl von Linné)

Carl Linnaeus 23 May1707 – 10 January 1778), also known after his ennoblement as Carl von Linné : was a Swedish botanistphysician, and zoologist, who formalised the modern system of naming organisms called binomial nomenclature. He is known by the epithet "father of modern taxonomy".Many of his writings were in Latin, and his name is rendered in Latin as Carolus Linnæus (after 1761 Carolus a Linné).

Linnaeus was born in the countryside of Småland, in southern Sweden. He received most of his higher education at Uppsala University, and began giving lectures in botany there in 1730. He lived abroad between 1735 and 1738, where he studied and also published a first edition of his Systema Naturae in the Netherlands. He then returned to Sweden, where he became professor of medicine and botany at Uppsala. In the 1740s, he was sent on journeys through Sweden to find and classify plants and animals. In the 1750s and 1760s, he continued to collect and classify animals, plants, and minerals, and published several volumes. At the time of his death, he was one of the most acclaimed scientists in Europe. You can still visit Carl's original garden at the University of Uppsala and his estate Hammarby outside of Uppsala.


Yellowstone Arboretum is seeking your help in several visual research projects for the 2018-2019 tree seasons. Take a look at these projects and determine which ones (or all) that you would like to participate in. Details and instructions are listed below. Your assistance would be a vital link to the Arboretum and Botanical Society's educational process and could be used in further research programs by schools, colleges and other organizations. Be sure to e-mail us if you have any questions about the programs !


The Arboretum is conducting a bark study program. We are requesting close-up photos of tree bark from throughout the Arboretum to be used in future research. Photos will be published on a special web page for further study.

1) Choose the trees you wish to photo. Make sure you don't duplicate pictures. Include the  Arboretum signage in each picture so we can determine the type of tree and location.

2) Take clear close-up photos in .jpg format. Camera use is recommended. Smart phones are okay if high quality photos can be e-mailed directly to us.

3) Upon completion simply e-mail us the photos using the Bark Study e-mail link found at the bottom of the this page. Include your first name and first letter of your last name and any other observations you might have.


We're looking for naked trees. This program will help us in a photo inventory of trees during the off season after they have lost their leaves. Accepted photos will be used in our identification process and for future study programs.

1) Choose the trees you wish to photo capture. Look upwards at what we call the canopy. The area of the tree in which the leaves had rested during the growing season and choose your photo angle.

2) Step back from the tree and make sure you get the entire canopy in your view finder. Photos will be e-mailed to us. Wide angle photos are encouraged.

3) When completed simple e-mail us your pictures. In the text message be sure to identify the picture with the name of the tree and Arboretum location (found on the tree sign). Include your first name and any other observations.


Trees move with the seasons. Buds appear, foliage changes, branches can be lost in storms and trees grow. This study chronicles these changes season-by-season. This is an important and very visual study by the Arboretum.

1) This is a random program so choose only 3-4 trees from various parts of the grounds as part of the study. This will mean at least 4 trips to the Arboretum and the zoo  per year so plan your schedules accordingly.

2) Take a full size photo of the tree from a reasonable distance  and from the same position each season. Make notes of your observations and the photo date.

3)  We want this photo study to be shared by all our web visitors so you can post your pictures on our Kids Pics web page. Be sure to include notes including the name of the tree and location and any other observations.




We're searching for some great new photo perspectives of the trees at the Arboretum. Even if you don't want to participate in any of the programs and studies above you can still submit photos. That's right, any season, any time, any color. Here's your chance to show off your digital aptitude by taking photos and posting  on the Arboretum website on the Kids Pic page. Share your photos of Cottonwoods, Boxelders, Crabapples and more. And it's okay to get some of ZooMontana's great wildlife as well. Get started by clicking here