The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art has been awarded a Level 2 Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity and professionalism. The Ringling is also now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants. To be accredited as a Level 2 Arboretum, an arboretum is required to have a minimum of 100 species, varieties or cultivars of trees or woody plants. Additionally, an arboretum collections policy that describes the development and professional management of the plants in the arboretum collection must be in place, in accordance with standards developed in the public garden and museum fields.
The mission of the arboretum at The Ringling is to provide a tree-related environment relating that inspires, educates and entertains its visitors. The history of the gardens dates back to 1913 with the construction of Mable Ringling's rose garden and, soon after, her Secret Garden. The arboretum covers 66 acres and boasts a collection of more than 2,300 trees, including 14 banyans (the largest collection in Florida), two shaving brush; one tiger claw, one monkey puzzle; two ear (the largest in Florida); two rainbow eucalyptus and six varieties of bamboo, as well as Florida's Millennium Landmark tree, a banyan located near the Ca'd'Zan driveway planted to mark the year 2000.