National Arboretum Canberra

CASE STUDY: Development and management of urban tree plantings

The National Arboretum Canberra is an urban forest project developing in Canberra, Australia.  It will contain over 100 single species forests of environmentally or ethnobotanically significant trees from throughout the world.

An important aspect of the Arboretum is the designers’ focus on threatened and rare trees.  This has provided an excellent theme in terms of the selection of the tree species and provided an opportunity to highlight the fact that many of the world’s trees, often common in cultivation, are in fact threatened in the wild.  For some of them, it will also help to protect them through ex situ conservation.   Each forest will cover from 0.5-3ha.

I have been working with staff from the ACT Government and members of a tree species Advisory Group drawn from local tree experts who drew up the initial species list.

My work with the National Arboretum Canberra has included:

  • Researching and recommending Arboretum species
  • Sourcing seed and plant material
  • Developing an Arboretum management plan and living collections policy
  • Developing maintenance plans for each of the forests
  • Developing maintenance trials for the poorly known species
  • Creating plant records
  • Researching for forest interpretation

The Arboretum opened to the public in February, 2013.