Queenswood Arboretum (image: Herefordshire Council)
An arboretum is a collection of trees - usually rare and exotic trees - that would not normally be found growing in England. Think of it like a 'zoo for trees'!
The planting of the arboretum at Queenswood began in 1953 to mark the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. It was funded by an ongoing public appeal - 'The Queenswood Coronation Fund' - launched by Sir Richard Cotterell who was then chairman of the Queenswood Management Committee and Lord Lieutenant of Herefordshire.
Numerous donations from the people of Herefordshire allowed Sir Richard to realise part of his vision for the site and purchase many of the rare and beautiful trees that can still be enjoyed today.
The work of the Queenswood Coronation Fund received international recognition in 1981 when the arboretum received the prestigious Dendrology Award from the International Dendrology Society in recognition of the quality of the collection of trees.
The Queenswood Coronation Fund is a perpetual fund and is now a registered charity (No. 518624) which continues to receive many donations from those who have visited and enjoyed the country park and arboretum.
Where is the arboretum?
The arboretum is located at the heart of Queenswood Country Park, occupying 47 acres at the top of Dinmore Hill in the beautiful north west Herefordshire countryside.
At Queenswood there is:
- A collection of Californian redwoods (which grow to over 100 metres tall in their native America)
- An avenue of 40 different species of oak
- An autumn garden with Japanese maples which display their spectacular coloured foliage in late October
There are hundreds of other trees which have attractive blossom, foliage or berries which make the arboretum well worth a visit at any time of the year!
Does the arboretum have any "champion trees"?
Queenswood Arboretum has many specimen trees recorded as Herefordshire and British "Champion Trees". These are the largest or finest trees of their species in the county or in Britain and Ireland.
Look out for the tree labels with red writing to find these special trees as you walk around the arboretum area.
The trees at Queenswood were surveyed in 2009 by Dr Owen Johnston on behalf of the Tree Register who informed us that the Queenswood Arboretum was home to a number of champion trees. Some of the trees are Herefordshire Champions, the finest in the county and others are UK Champions, the finest or biggest in the country.
The Tree Register of the British Isles (TROBI)
The Tree Register is a registered charity which collates and updates a database of notable trees throughout Britain and Ireland. This is a unique register and provides information on the size and growth of trees which is not available from any other source.
It records details of rare, unusual and historically significant trees and includes historical records from reference works going back more than 200 years.
The Tree Register has a network of over 50 volunteer tree measurers who update historical records and discover over 2,000 new trees worthy of inclusion on the Register each year. They record the largest trees of each species in Britain and Ireland and they call these 'champion trees'.
The Tree Register believe that the importance, appreciation and enjoyment of any tree can be greatly enhanced by knowing it is of particular significance as a rare or exceptional specimen locally or nationally.