Covering 600-plus acres, the Arboretum's naturalized areas contain a range of diverse flora and fauna. Before the colonization of the regional landscape, the political boundaries of Carver County were centered in the Eastern Broadleaf Forest Province, specifically the Big Woods Subsection. The Big Woods are known for their oak woodland and maple-basswood forest.
Today, you can still find evidence of this vegetative makeup in some of the Arboretum’s wooded areas. While the land, post colonization, was heavily degraded due to agricultural practices, the Arboretum’s natural resources team is constantly working to restore the land to mimic ecological subsections found throughout the state of Minnesota. Restorative work includes the practice of controlled burns, removal of invasive plant species, the reintroduction of native plant species, and supports conservation efforts of rare plants.