Policy of the Arboretum
Forests precede civilizations, deserts follow them.
We need people to disprove this saying.
Although there are some angiosperms (see table below), the policy of the Arboretum is to try to acclimatize as many conifers species as possible (to hardiness zone 9). Only a few cultivars are planted, and the main objective is to display type species and geographical subspecies and varieties.
Emphasis is brought on rare and/or endangered species.
The Arboretum is ready to study any cooperation program with others institutions
pursueing the same goals.
To ensure the genetical diversity of the trees, the plants are as far as possible grown
from seeds and a sufficient number of trees will be installed. Several trials will be conducted
in the Arboretum to find the best place for each species.
As far as the different types of soil and exposures will
allow it, the planting will be organized into biogeographical sub-units.
|Planted :||Natural occurence :|
||TOTAL - Progression
- Soon after the creation of the Arboretum, it became obvious that the choice of species and the quantity of plants available in the nurseries were too limited or too expensive. Growing the plants from seeds has the following
- there is a much wider choice of species to be obtained as seeds;
- all trees will be geneticaly different (no clones), which is of special importance for dioecious plants;
- it is usually much easier to get provenance information (altitude, latitude, locality) with seeds than with plants purchased in nurseries;
- in most cases (that is : if the quality of the seeds is good, and if the
germination's process is mastered), it will be possible to plan the quantity of the seedlings needed to meet the requirements;
- the quality of the seedlings will be under control by using professional material as in the forestry nurseries (the main problem is to avoid spiralling roots - air pruning using
deep pots or tubes is the solution);
- after the first investments, the expense for each plant will be fairly low;
- a first control of the nature of the seeds (size, color) might be important to avoid a species identification error (quite rare, but still possible);
- there is the pleasure - among many other things - to see the birth of a huge tree from a tiny seed (Redwoods are the most spectacular example);
- a better knowledge of the plants and their biology will be developed.
- The main required quality for growing some species from seeds is patience. If it is possible to see a Metasequoia, a Pinus canariensis, a Pinus massoniana or a Pinus patula close to 1 meter high after 18 months, it will need far more time to see most Abies species or a Pinus aristata reaching 10 cm, or even 5 cm. Some seeds (Juniperus, Cephalotaxus, Torreya, Taxus, Prumnopitys) are also long to germinate : up to 18 months.
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11 May 2000