Arboretum

At 80 acres, the arboretum at Broughton Grange is one of the largest such recent plantings in the UK. It comprises two main sections: the original and new arboretum areas respectively. The relatively formal original arboretum houses a good selection of broadleaf trees, including many natives. The centrepiece is a long avenue of small-leaved lime (Tilia cordata ‘Greenspire’) that leads to a natural copper beech (Fagus sylvatica Atropurpurea Group) ‘curtain backdrop’ with dawn redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides) ‘actors’. Additionally, there is a pinetum featuring a basic selection of evergreen and deciduous coniferous trees. The main access point for the original arboretum is the Mediterranean terrace, from which both the small-leaved lime and horse chestnut axis avenues can be viewed. Fine specimens of broad-leaved kindling bark (Eucalyptus dalrympleana), Italian cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) and stone pine (Pinus pinea) punctuate the terrace.


The new arboretum area covers around 50 acres and stretches eastward from the main gardens over the brow of the opposite hill. It is situated uphill from the original arboretum. Establishment began in 2007, when wildflower seed was sown into the area. The seed mix contained species such as the prominent white ox-eye daisy (Leucanthemum vulgare) and yellow bird’s-foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus). Additionally, 30 kilos of English bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) seed was included in the mix, which can be expected to start flowering around 2014. The new arboretum may be accessed from the walled garden area, at the western end of the wide central wildflower vista. From this access point there is a great view to the east across the vista of wildflowers, which leads the eye toward a group of wellingtonia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in the distance.


Tree planting in the new arboretum area commenced in 2008 and a total of around 1100 specimens have been planted here to date (spring 2011). To aid establishment, hand irrigation is carried out during the first two years after planting, using a hose and mobile tank. The trees are mapped using GPS (global positioning system) technology, enabling access to information relating to any particular specimen and its location. Varieties valued for their autumn colour have generally been planted on the eastern side of the arboretum, whereas those known for spring interest are more concentrated on the western side, nearer the main gardens. The new arboretum area will eventually become connected with the original 30 acre arboretum that was completed in 2006.


Trees are sourced from specialist nursery suppliers at a young age. They are subsequently grown for at least two years here on site prior to planting in order to gain height and improve strength.

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