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12 Aug 2019

Arboretum awarded

Our three botanic gardens have proudly received a coveted international accreditation that acknowledges excellence in the curation, research, care and conservation of trees.

A little over thirty years ago, two new gardens, the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden Mount Tomah and Australian Botanic Garden Mount Annan, joined the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney under the Royal Botanic Garden & Domain Trust.

Since then, the horticultural teams have been tasked with conserving and displaying our botanical biodiversity, continue to protect our historic stands of trees and have significantly expanded the Living Collection. You can see a snapshot of the teams at work in Mount Tomah and Mount Annann in the videos below.

Noteworthy collections

Combined, the Gardens feature a diverse collection of 23,343 trees that represent 1,887 taxa across 698 hectares (1,725 acres), and many more are protected in the nurseries, Australian PlantBank’s seed vault and in natural areas.

Specific collections, such as the maples, conifers, Eurasian woodland and Wollemi Pine, play a key role in conservation. They hold species listed as threatened or critically endangered by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, plus significant collections of state and nationally listed species.

Visitors recognise the importance of our well-established historical trees, and the diverse range of specimens, but few realise the amount of work and dedication required to maintain and conserve these treasured trees. 

Our Living Collection comes from a mixture of diverse sources, both wild, propagations from other botanic gardens or institutions, and specialist growers. 
Benedict Lyte, Curator of the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney

International recognition

Through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program, arboreta, botanic gardens and other significant collections receive recognition. This is determined by  their levels of development, capacity and professionalism.

The quality of the living collections, record keeping, education and public programs, scientific research, conservation initiatives, as well as public and volunteer programs is all reviewed as part of the assessment process.

Currently, only 328 arboreta and botanic gardens in 23 countries are accredited by ArbNet. Of the four levels of accreditation (I, II, III, IV), Level IV is highest. Our three Gardens are among 28 public botanic gardens around the world, and the first in Australia, to achieve Level IV accreditation.

Botanic Gardens and Centennial Parklands

A collaborative global community

ArbNet accreditation can only be achieved by meeting extensive collections criteria. This demonstrates that there are dedicated arboriculture, horticulture, science and conservation staff members available for collaboration on tree-related issues.

Also required is maintenance of institutional capacity and stability, and a commitment to hold and safeguard trees of conservation value.

This collaborative global community of arboreta and botanic gardens, along with tree-focused professionals, facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience and resources, helping to achieve institutional goals and raise professional standards.

We see ArbNet accreditation as signifying our commitment to be an active and relevant contributor to the international community of tree- focused institutions and professionals. It will provide a fantastic platform to build relationships with other arboreta and botanic gardens, particularly across North America.

We look forward to continued collaboration and information sharing to achieve common goals in tree conservation and improved quality of international arboriculture.

If you would like more information about the Living Collection visit Garden Explorer to find what plants we have and where they can be found across the three gardens.

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