Karlovac, the town of parks and the town in a park, has its own arboretum, the youngest of the four Croatian arboreta. The history of arboreta begins, of all places, in Croatia, in 1492, when the world’s first arboretum was founded in Trsteno, near Dubrovnik. The Karlovac arboretum is a school arboretum, on the premises of the Forestry and Woodworking High School, and it was founded in 1980, as a continuation of the Karlovac park tradition.

An arboretum (Latin arbor means a tree) is a green area with trees and shrubs grown for scientific, ornamental and cultivation reasons. Your own definition of arboretum may be a relaxing walk with the opportunity to learn the names of various trees, or the sunshine and shadows interplay on the town’s green island. For two centuries, Karlovac has been developing its parks and landscaping culture, as well as the culture of education on various aspects of trees, shrubs and landscaping architecture. The most notable experts on these topics were and still are from Karlovac. The Karlovac arboretum was designed with the express purpose of educating the new forestry technicians, keeping the tradition of transferring the knowledge on park and landscaping species. It was developed as an extension of the Black Promenade. It is also connected to the town’s historic centre and is a part of the green ring and the promenade around the historic Zvijezda, the star-shaped old town. The arboretum takes up 16 hectares of landscaped area, and has been created, formed and cultivated by generations of the school’s pupils, aided by their teachers, which gives it a special value. It has around 1,600 trees and shrubs, 260 species from 85 genera. A Medicinal Herb Garden also takes up a part of the arboretum, comprising tens of different medicinal herbs. There’s also the European Park, with trees donated by the EU embassies. A walk through the arboretum is never a plain and simple walk. Each tree has its name-plate, so you can see eight species of fir, ten species of pine, and some of the species native to the region, or even the endemic ones, like the Pančić spruce, dawn redwood or ginkgo. The arboretum also features some of the rare species, that you won’t come by easily, like the Bhutan pine and Himalayan birch, the Japanese red pine or red elderberry. And while you’re at it, you’ll have the privilege to meet the direct descendant of the Matija Gubec large-leaved linden tree. Pay some special attention to that tree, as it hides the ancient knowledge and the memories from the beginning of the previous millennium.

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