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Should City Parks Become “Tree Zoos?”

March 5, 2014

Interesting article out of Edinburgh, Scotland — the BBC reports that a deal has been struck between the Edinburgh City Council and the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh to plant endangered trees in the city’s public parks. The twist is that the trees will be from all over the world — Edinburgh’s climate makes it possible for trees from Japan, North America, other parts of Europe, and even North Africa to thrive — making Edinburgh’s parks into a sort of zoo for endangered trees from around the world.

Although only a few parks will be early participants in this program, David Jamieson, the parks and greenspace manager at the City Council, said that they’re hoping to plant trees in all of the city’s parks over time. The goal is to both increase biodiversity within the city while at the same time helping to ensure the conservation of these trees.

The first trees planted will be Serbian spruces in the Princes Street Gardens (seen here) this week. Should be an interesting experiment to follow over the years!

(c) Leandro Neumann Ciuffo

(c) Leandro Neumann Ciuffo

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Tricia permalink
    March 5, 2014 8:25 pm

    I think this biodiversity, saving trees, is the goal of most arboretums. See info on Hoyt Arboretum, Portland, Oregon http://www.hoytarboretum.org/collections-and-conservation/about-our-collection/

    And as a native plant habitat person, it would be fun to see more trees planted in general, including our wildlife friendly natives….

  2. March 5, 2014 8:30 pm

    Yep, for sure that’s the goal of arboretums. This is a bit different because it involves city parks, not just the arboretum there — and that the plan is to expand this to all of their parks, not just the big ones (I imagine little pocket parks with an endangered tree or two!).

    It will be interesting to see what balance end up with between natives and non-natives…

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