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Yoga Korunta

Life & Politics

Location: United States

One learns, as nothing endures but change.

17 October 2006

Tuesday's Word: arboretum


An arboretum is a botanical garden primarily devoted to trees and other woody plants, forming a living collection of trees intended at least partly for scientific study. An arboretum specialising in growing conifers is known as a pinetum.

1 Invention
2 Later examples
3 Artistic
4 External links


Autumn colours at Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire, England
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. Its start date is unknown, but it was already in existence by 1492, when a 15 m 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.

Later examples

Derby Arboretum

The 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; unfortunately, industrial pollution killed most of the original plantings by the 1880s, but it is being renovated and replanted closer to Loudon's original layout.

Abney Park Arboretum

Shortly before the Derby Arboretum opened, 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 interefere with funeral events.

Arnold Arboretum

Harvard 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 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.

Washington Park Arboretum

The 1911 Lynn Street Aqueduct in the Washington Park Arboretum in Seattle
In 1927 the United States National Arboretum was established in Washington D.C. on 180 hectares 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 Washington Arboretum

The 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 200+ 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.

University of Wisconsin Arboretum

The Arboretum at the University of Wisconsin 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.

Peru State College Arboretum

PSC’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.

Bedgebury Pinetum

Bedgebury Pinetum near Goudhurst, Kent is one of the world's most complete collections of conifers.

Arborétum Mlyňany

Arborétum 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 Count Štefan Ambrózy-Migazzi. Today, it is governed by the Slovak Academy of Sciences. Within its 67 ha area, the arboretum features more than 2300 woody plant species, being one of the largest collections in Central Europe.

Nottingham Arboretum

Affectionatly referred to as "The Arbo", 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.

Hoyt Arboretum

Located in Portland, Oregon, United States, the Hoyt Arboretum has over 185 acres and close to 8,300 different species of plants.

Morton Arboretum

Located 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 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 100-acre restored prairie.


The term arboretum also refers to the genre of art by the same name. This encompasses paintings of trees, photographs and collages using leaves and twigs.

External links
The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, Boston, MA
Bailey Arboretum ("The Teaching Arboretum"), Lattingtown, NY
The Batsford Arboretum, Goucestershire
Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest
Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Superior, AZ
Carleton College's Cowling Arboretum, Northfield, MN
Dawes Arboretum, Newark, OH
Derby Arboretum website, with full history
The Arboretum at Flagstaff
Universidad Francisco Marroquin Arboretum, Guatemala, Guatemala
Hoyt Arboretum, Portland, Oregon, United States
Arborétum Mlyňany, Slovakia
Nichols Arboretum, Ann Arbor, MI
The North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville, NC
Shaw Nature Reserve
UIUC Arboretum, Urbana, IL
U.S. National Arboretum, Washington D.C.
Westonbirt Arboretum Forestry Commission
Friends of Westonbirt Arboretum
Morgan Arboretum, Ste Anne de Bellevue, Quebec
Retrieved from "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arboretum"
Category: Arboreta

Cletus Larue brought us this week's Word to help welcome Autumn. Thanks, Cletus!


Blogger barbie2be said...

i like trees. :)

Blogger Yoga Korunta said...

Trees are great! Do you have Redwoods?

Blogger barbie2be said...

not personally, no. but we do have three birch trees and a huge massive oak in the front yard.

Blogger Yoga Korunta said...

Birches are great trees!

Blogger catherine belle said...

I had a bad experience in an arboretum in Toledo. As a part of a Biology course we had to walk through the place. I got yelled at for trampling over an eggcase of some organism (the arrogant TA was positive it was that of a praying mantis). Oops I guess next time I would look down!

Anyway, how about "superstition" as a word some week?

Blogger DivaJood said...

The Morton Arboretum is one of my favorite places on earth. I used to take my kids there when they were babies, little tykes. We'd walk for hours. They'd let the geese chase them. Nice post!

Blogger Yoga Korunta said...

Catherine, perhaps your &%!*-for-brains TA couldn't distinguish mantid eggs from pale gravel?

"Superstition" is a great word and one close to my heart. It will be featured in a manner appropriate to this blog.

Blogger Yoga Korunta said...

Thank you, Diva Jood! There is a nice one in Ohio called Holden Arboretum. I'd like to take one of my readers there, but she is rather coy!


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