An arboretum is a collection of trees. Related collections include a fruticetum (from the Latin frutex, meaning shrub), and a viticetum, a collection of vines. More commonly today, an arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants intended at least partly for scientific study. An arboretum specialising in growing conifers is known as a pinetum.
Egyptian Pharaohs planted exotic trees and cared for them; they brought ebony wood from the Sudan, pine and cedar from Syria. Hatshepsut's expedition to the Land of Punt returned bearing thirty-one live frankincense trees, the roots of which were carefully kept in baskets for the duration of the voyage; this was the first recorded attempt to transplant foreign trees. It is reported that Hatshepsut had these trees planted in the courts of her Deir el Bahri mortuary temple complex.
The term 'arboretum' was first used in an English publication by John Claudius Loudon in 1833 in The Gardener's Magazine but the concept was already long-established by then.
The first arboretum was the Arboretum Trsteno, near Dubrovnik in Croatia. The date of its founding is unknown, but it was already in existence by 1492, when a 15 m (50 ft) span aqueduct to irrigate the arboretum was constructed; this aqueduct is still in use. It was created by the prominent local Gučetić/Gozze family. It suffered two major disasters in the 1990s but its two unique and ancient Oriental Planes remained standing.
Commenting on Loddiges' famous Hackney Botanic Garden arboretum, begun in 1816, and opened free to the public for educational benefit every Sunday, Loudon wrote: "The arboretum looks better this season than it has ever done since it was planted... The more lofty trees suffered from the late high winds, but not materially. We walked round the two outer spirals of this coil of trees and shrubs; viz. from Acer to Quercus. There is no garden scene about London so interesting". A plan of Loddiges' arboretum was included in The Encyclopaedia of Gardening, 1834 edition. Leaves from Loddiges' arboretum and in some instances entire trees, were studiously drawn to illustrate Loudon's encyclopaedic book Arboretum et Fruticetum Britannicum published in 1838, which also incorporated drawings from other early botanic gardens and parklands throughout the United Kingdom.
The Westonbirt Arboretum, near Tetbury, Gloucestershire, England, was founded around 1828 as the private tree collection of Captain Robert Holford at the Holford estate. Holford planted in open fields and laid out rides before he rebuilt the house. Planting at Westonbirt was continued by his son, George Holford. Eventually the estate passed to the government in lieu of death duties and was opened to the public. Also the word "arbortorium" was changed to arboretum back in the early 50's.
- Abney Park ArboretumShortly before the Derby Arboretum opened in 1840, a more complete arboretum was opened for free public access at Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington near London, modelled partly on Mount Auburn Cemetery near Boston and designed by Loddiges nursery. It was laid out with 2,500 trees and shrubs, all labelled and arranged in an unusual alphabetical format from A for Acer (maple trees) to Z for Zanthoxylum (American toothache trees). Until Kew was enlarged and opened to the public, this remained the largest arboretum in Europe. It never achieved the recognition of the better financed early nineteenth century botanical gardens and arboreta that could afford members' events, indoor facilities and curatoral staff for those who paid accordingly. However unlike these, and even unlike the 'public' arboretum at Derby, the Abney Park arboretum always offered public access free of charge, though sometimes, by pre-arrangement; a Viewing Order was needed so as not to interfere with funeral events.
- Arnold ArboretumHarvard University's Arnold Arboretum in Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts is one of the oldest, largest, and most famous arboreta in the United States. It was established in 1872 on 107 ha (264 acres) of land in the Jamaica Plain section of Boston and was guided for many years by Charles Sprague Sargent who was appointed the Arboretum's first director in 1873 and spent the following 54 years shaping the policies. By an arrangement with the city of Boston, the Arnold Arboretum became part of the famous "Emerald Necklace", the 10 km (7 mile) long network of parks and parkways that Frederick Law Olmsted laid out for the Boston Parks Department between 1878 and 1892.
- Arborétum MlyňanyArborétum Mlyňany is located in the area of two neighboring villages Vieska nad Žitavou and Tesárske Mlyňany near Zlaté Moravce, Slovakia. It was established in 1892 by Hungarian Count István Ambrózy-Migazzi. Today, it is governed by the Slovak Academy of Sciences. Within its 67 ha (165 acre) area, the arboretum features more than 2300 woody plant species, being one of the largest collections in Central Europe.
- Batsford ArboretumSituated one and a quarter miles west of Moreton-in-Marsh, Gloucestershire, Batsford Arboretum is tucked away on a south facing escarpment of the famous Cotswold Hills.
- Bedgebury PinetumBedgebury Pinetum near Goudhurst, Kent is one of the world's most complete collections of conifers.
- Derby ArboretumThe first public arboretum in England was Derby Arboretum, laid out by J.C. Loudon, and donated to the citizens of Derby by Joseph Strutt, on Wednesday 16 September 1840. In 1859 it was visited by Frederick Law Olmsted on his European tour of parks, and it had an influence on the planting in Central Park, New York. Loudon wrote a catalogue of the trees in Derby Arboretum in 1840. Industrial pollution killed most of the original plantings by the 1880s, but it is being renovated and replanted closer to Loudon's original layout.
- Dropmore ParkDropmore Park, Buckinghamshire (Bucks) England, was created in the 1790s for the Prime Minister at the time Lord Grenville. On his first day in occupation, he planted two cedar trees. At least another 2,500 trees were planted. By the time Grenville died in 1834, his pinetum contained the biggest collection of conifer species in Britain. Part of the post-millennium restoration is to use what survives as the basis for a collection of some 200 species .
- Eastwoodhill ArboretumProbably the largest collection of Northern Hemisphere trees in the Southern Hemisphere can be found at Eastwoodhill Arboretum, Ngatapa, Gisborne, New Zealand. The arboretum is the realization of the dream of William Douglas Cook (1884-1967), who started planting trees on his farm shortly after the First World War. The arboretum is now the National Arboretum of New Zealand, and holds some 4,000 different trees, shrubs and climbers.
- Edith J. Carrier ArboretumThe Edith J. Carrier Arboretum is located at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia, U.S.. Groundbreaking took place in April 1985 under direction of Dr. Norlyn Bodkinhttp://www.jmu.edu/montpelier/issues/summer97 who is credited the first scientific botanical discovery along the Eastern Seaboard of Virginia since the 1940s, Trillium: Shenandoah Wake Robin, presently found at the arboretumhttp://lib.umd.edu/archivesum. The only arboretum located on the campus of a Virginia state university. Exhibits include an acidic sphagnum bog supporting northern species and insectivorous plants, the only shale barren with endemic species in an arboretum, rare endangered large-flowered azaleas, 125acres of mature Oak-Hickory Forrest including two identified century specimens, and a species on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Threatened Species list found protected and propagated at the arboretum: Betula uber, Round-Leaf Birch.http://www.jmu.edu/arboretum
- Holden ArboretumThe Holden Arboretum, in Kirtland, Ohio, USA, is one of the largest arboretums and botanical gardens in the United States, with over 3,400 acres (1,376 ha), 600 acres (243 ha) of which are devoted to collections and gardens. The Arboretum is named for Albert Fairchild Holden, a mining engineer and executive, who had considered making Harvard University's Arnold Arboretum his beneficiary. However, his sister, Roberta Holden Bole, convinced him that Cleveland deserved its own arboretum. Thus Mr. Holden established an arboretum in memory of his deceased daughter, Elizabeth Davis.
- Hoyt ArboretumLocated in Portland, Oregon, United States, the Hoyt Arboretum has over 75 ha (185 acres) and close to 8,300 different species of plants.
- Jubilee Arboretum This is located at RHS Garden, Wisley, Surrey, England.
- Lincoln Arboretum, England Affectionately referred to as "The Arb", Lincoln Arboretum is to the east of the City and retains it line of sight up the hill to the nearby Lincoln Cathedral. This was one of the original design features. It was laid out between 1870 and 1872 by Edward Milner and has been renovated since 2002.
- Morton ArboretumLocated in Lisle, Illinois the Morton Arboretum was founded in 1922 by Joy Morton, founder of the Morton Salt Company and son of Arbor Day originator Julius Sterling Morton. At 687 ha (1,700 acres) the Arboretum is one of the largest in the world, and features several mature deciduous and coniferous forests, as well as collections of plant life from around the globe, in addition to ten lakes, several wetlands, and a 40 ha (100 acre) restored prairie.
- Nottingham Arboretum Affectionately referred to as "The Arb", the Nottingham Arboretum is a large park that also gives its name to the residential area - in which it lies - of the City of Nottingham, England.
- Peru State College ArboretumPeru State College’s “Campus of a Thousand Oaks,” an arboretum campus, is nestled in historic southeast Nebraska. The state’s first and fastest-growing college, Peru State was established by the Nebraska legislature in 1867 and now offers a unique mix of innovative online and traditional classroom undergraduate and graduate programs.
- The Arboretum at FlagstaffThe Arboretum at Flagstaff, at 7,150 feet (2180 m) above sea level, focuses on the native plants that thrive in the high, arid environment of the Colorado Plateau. The 200acres facility also is unique in that it offers daily raptor programs during its April - October visitor season.
- The Tasmanian ArboretumThe Tasmanian Arboretum was established in 1984 on the Don River in Devonport, Tasmania, Australia. The main site is 58ha. There are over 2500 plants in the geographic and thematic collections along with riparian revegetation. Maintenance of the collections is done by volunteers.
- United States National ArboretumIn 1927 the United States National Arboretum was established in Washington D.C. on 180 ha (444 acres) of land; currently it receives over half a million annual visitors. Single-genus groupings include apples, azaleas, boxwoods, dogwoods, hollies, magnolias and maples. Other major garden features include collections of herbaceous and aquatic plants, the National Bonsai and Penjing Museum, the Asian Collections, the Conifer Collections, native plant collections, the National Herb Garden and the 'National Grove' of all the designated State Trees.
- University of Wisconsin ArboretumThe University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum in Madison, Wisconsin is a study collection devoted to ecology rather than systematics. Founded in the 1930s, it was a Civilian Conservation Corps project which restored a body of land to its presettlement state. Portions of the Walt Disney nature documentary, "The Vanishing Prairie", were filmed there, notably the prairie fire, filmed during a controlled burn at the Arboretum.
- Washington Park ArboretumThe Washington Park Arboretum at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington was established in 1934 as a public space that would agreed upon by the University of Washington and the City of Seattle. Seattle at the time had in its possession a 500+ ha (1200+ acre) park known as Washington park located in the central portion of the city, and the University was given authority to design, construct, plant, and manage an Arboretum and Botanical Garden in this park. It has been a popular destination of Seattlites ever since. In 2005, the Washington Park Arboretum, as well as the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture, Elisabeth C. Miller Library, Otis Hyde Herbarium and Union Bay Natural Area, began operating under the umbrella of the University of Washington Botanic Gardens.
- West Dean, St Roches' ArboretumThe St Roche's Arboretum at West Dean College is a 2 ½ mile circuit walk that encompasses a collection of specimen trees and shrubs. Edward James made a significant contribution to its planting, specialising in exotic, pendulous, contorted and twisted trees. It is also his final resting place - he is buried beneath a massive slab of Cumbrian slate inscribed by local artist John Skelton with the simple words 'Edward James, Poet 1907 - 1984'.
Notes and References
- Web site: Abolitionist's house escapes ruin - BBC news 1 April 2007. 2009-02-06.