Belmonte Arboretum used to be part of the Botanical Gardens of Wageningen University: Belmonte and De Dreijen. Plants from the gardens were mainly used for scientific education and research purposes. The gardens' collections also served the botanical world outside university, e.g. growers. Parts of the collections are part of the National Plant Collection (NP).
Wageningen UR has decreased its use of the gardens for education and research. As of 2009, it has ceased scientific management of the gardens. The Foundation for Wageningen Arboreta will investigate whether the Botanical Gardens can be managed without or with minimal financial support from Wageningen UR.
The Belmonte collection is well known for its ornamental Cherries, Rhododendrons, Magnolias and (ornamental) Apple trees. Noteworthy species are: Witch-hazel, Viburnum, Magnolia, dwarf Quince, Catalpa, Dove tree, Silverbell, Cotoneaster and Mistletoe.