OBJECT OF ARBORETUM: The object of Arboretum is to be the player with the most points at the end of the game.

NUMBER OF PLAYERS: 2 to 4 players 

MATERIALS: 80 Arboretum playing cards

TYPE OF GAME: Strategic Card Game



Create your own peaceful arboretum to allow visitors to come and visit. Throughout the game the paths you choose to create will also be your path to success. Paths are scored at the end of the game, and the player with the most points wins!


Initial setup depends on the number of players. If there are two players, six species are used. If there are three players, eight species are used. If there are four players, all ten species are used. 

The player who has watered a plant most recently becomes the first player of the game. The player on the right side of the first player becomes the dealer. They will then shuffle the deck and distribute seven cards to all players, facing down, creating each player’s starting hand. The rest of the cards are then placed facing down in the middle of the group, creating the draw pile.


The first player will begin, and play will continue clockwise around the group. Three steps must be followed during a turn. During a turn, players must draw two cards, play one card to your arboretum, and discard one card.

You may choose to draw your two cards from the draw pile or from the top of any player’s discard pile. Both cards may be drawn from one place or two different places. 

During the first turn, play one card from your hand in front of you, beginning your arboretum. On each turn following, you must play a card that is adjacent, either horizontally or vertically, to a card in your ever-growing arboretum. 

Discard one card from your hand when the other two steps have been completed. This card is placed in your personal discard pile, facing up. This card may be any card in your hand. At the end of your turn, there should be seven cards in your hand.

The game comes to an end when the draw pile has been emptied. The last player completes their turn and scoring begins.

Players begin scoring by comparing the cards in their hand to that of the other players. For each species, the player with the highest value of cards of that species scores the path of theirs that begins and ends with that species.


When there are no more cards available in the draw pile, the game comes to an end and scores are tallied. A path is considered any sequence of adjacent cards of growing value, where the first and the last card are the same species. 

Every card used to create the path must be greater in value than the card prior to it. The only cards that must match the species being scored is the beginning and end ones. 

To score points, certain criteria must be followed. Players score one point for each card that makes up the path. They score a point for each card in the path if it is at least four cards long and all of the cards are of the same species. They score a point if the path begins with one and score two additional points if the path ends with an eight. All points are then tallied.

The player with the highest number of points after the paths have been scored wins the game!

Nakoa Davis