Since our origin as a memorial park in 1892, Cypress Lawn has been a place to celebrate life, a historic and horticultural landmark that is a vital part of the living legacy of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Our founder, Hamden Holmes Noble, believed strongly in the power of trees to define the landscape, and his vision to grow a place worth knowing and cherishing has impacted a lasting arboricultural heritage that is alive to this day. Here now, at the internationally recognized Cypress Lawn Arboretum, we invite you to come and share a moment with the living wonders of our collection – with over 100 species and nearly 3,000 individual trees, there is always more to see, more to learn, and much more to celebrate!

  • Blue Atlas Cedar

  • Cork Oak

  • American Tulip Tree

  • Mayten

  • Southern Magnolia

  • London Plane

  • Ginkgo

  • Copper Beech


“Cypress Lawn is one of only two cemeteries in the Bay Area to earn this accreditation from the Morton Arboretum’s international ArbNet program. This is an important milestone for Cypress Lawn and speaks to the pride we take in preserving and promoting our 125-year history – with our timeless arboretum at the heart of it all. Our hope is that this accreditation will bring attention to our spectacular arboretum so as many people as possible can enjoy all it has to offer.”

– Robert Gordon Jr.,
Cypress Lawn President and CEO

View a Virtual Tour of Our Trees

Earning Level II Arboretum Accreditation requires the following:

  • Satisfy all criteria for Level I  accreditation.
  • Larger arboretum collection with a minimum number of 100 species, varieties or cultivars of trees or woody plants.
  • Arboretum collections policy that describes the development and professional management of the plants in the arboretum collection, in accordance with standards developed in the public garden and museum fields with consideration given to the Saint Louis Declaration regarding invasive species. Such a policy and related practices includes a rationale for holding the particular collections of the arboretum, and collections inventory and record-keeping practices.
  • One or more arboretum employees who have job responsibilities that specifically include management or operation of the arboretum.
  • Enhanced educational and public programming beyond the base level required in Level I accreditation. Programs must be related to trees (e.g. tree identification, ecology, conservation, collections, or some other tree-focused aspect of the arboretum mission or master plan.

Cypress Lawn Arboretum features trees indigenous to every continent on planet Earth, except for Antarctica. Our living collection includes a wide variety of native Californian flora, in particular our namesake species, the Monterey cypress. Beyond this, Arboretum trees include labeled and documented specimens from the Australasia region, the far east of China and Japan, Africa and offshore islands, and South America, as well as native ranges across the East coast of the North American continent. This international diversity is a unique aspect of the living legacy of Cypress Lawn Memorial Park.

With many trees boasting more than a century of growth, Cypress Lawn’s collection may be enjoyed by everyone who visits our Memorial Park. We will soon be offering in-person Tree Tours led by our Arboretum Director to allow guests to explore our Arboretum and learn more about the origin and history of the many trees that call Cypress Lawn home.

Download our FREE Tree Tour brochure — printed copies are also available at our reception desk.

Our founder, Hamden Holmes Noble, envisioned an area of healing and beauty nestled alongside San Bruno Mountain in the Bay Area peninsula. Back in the late 1800s, he planted seedlings from all over the world – the humble beginnings of what has now become an internationally recognized arboretum.

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Josh Gevertz joined the team at Cypress Lawn after earning his master’s degree in landscape design from UC Berkeley, where he specialized in geospatial planning and arboriculture. He previously earned his bachelor’s degree in biological sciences at UC Davis. Gevertz was also a recipient of the prestigious Geraldine Knight Scott Fellowship. Through this traveling scholarship awarded by UC Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design, he was able to travel the world, including New Zealand and Australia, to further research and study the Monterey Cypress. Gevertz is passionate about preserving the history of the trees at Cypress Lawn. He says several of the most historic trees in the collection were planted by founder Hamden Holmes Noble himself. “We have so much history in our landscape. There’s so much to take in – there’s so much life here. We’re just entering a new era as an arboretum, where Cypress Lawn can grow from being a place for the deceased to also thriving as a destination for living,” Gevertz says. Learn more about Josh here.

“Trees are powerful symbols of life, death, and renewal. Death is part of the circle of life, but we want this to be a place where young and old can savor life.”

– Robert Gordon Jr.,
Cypress Lawn President and CEO