Mature trees grace garden

Pinus radiata. Photo: Peter McIntosh
Pinus radiata. Photo: Peter McIntosh
At times it can be easy to miss the trees and see only the flowers. But look up. The 155-year-old Dunedin Botanic Garden has a large collection of trees, many well over 100!

When trees are planted together for display or study, it's called an arboretum.

The garden's main arboretum grows on the slopes above the rock garden. Winding paths through the grass allow visitors easy access to view the trees and relax under the cool shade of the high canopy. It was first planted with 410 trees in 1909 and further developed in 1911 with an extra 158 trees. One of the oldest stands of trees in the central arboretum is the group of 11Pinus ponderosa. Beautiful trunks exhibit their distinctive bark in broad plates with black crevices.

A lesser-known arboretum is on the boundary just above the Northern Cemetery. It was established in the 1960s, in conjunction with the New Zealand Forest Service, to celebrate its 50th anniversary.

In the lower botanic garden, there is a spectacular variety of mature trees. The very oldest, the Royal Oak, planted in June 1863 to acknowledge the wedding of the Prince of Wales to the Danish Princess Alexandra, overlooks the playground.

Arboretum plantings continue today with newly-sourced material adding to the diversity.

-Garden Life is produced by Dunedin Botanic Garden. For further information contact Marianne Groothuis.

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