The arboretum of the reserve is located near the village of Sadovy. Its history began in 1921, when the Forestry Faculty of Kazan University on an area of 0.45 hectares laid a dendrological nursery. The work on the creation of the nursery was led by Professor N.K. Vekhi.
In 1927, on the basis of planting material accumulated in the nursery under the guidance of M.L. Stelmakhovic designed a collection area of 3.5 hectares. The basis for creating the expositions was the geographical principle, that is, the plants having placed three sections: America, Europe, Asia.
In 1936 the territory of the arboretum was once again enlarged to 21.5 hectares. New territories were used for nurseries. In these years, to plant greenery of settlements, up to 120 thousand seedlings were grown annually.
With the organization in 1960 of the Volga-Kama Reserve, the arboretum entered its structure. Since that time, excursions began here. The modern collection of arboretum has more than 500 species and varieties of woody plants and is the largest in the Volga region. Since 1978, the arboretum belongs to the Council of Botanical Gardens of Russia, and since 2003 - to the International Council of Botanic Gardens for Plant Conservation.