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A living library of trees with over 14,000 botanical and ornamental collections, representing more than 2,000 species and varieties.
The Arboretum in blossom at Kew Gardens

Kew's Arboretum stretches over the majority of the Gardens and is a wonderful place to see many different species of trees, including rare and ancient varities.

Design and layout

Kew's Arboretum holds a comprehensive collection of hardy trees, many of which are arranged in groups according to genera, meaning that trees that are related to each other are placed together for comparison and ease of research. However, those in the northern area form mixed decorative plantings, and this division reflects the historical development of the Gardens.

For management purposes, the Arboretum is divided into three areas. The North Arboretum includes the original 1759 botanic garden and amenity plantings; the West Arboretum includes the Lake, Bamboo Garden and Rhododendron Dell; and the South Arboretum contains the Berberis Dell and the grounds of Queen Charlotte's Cottage.

Kew's Heritage Trees

These old trees, also called 'Old Lions', include the Ginkgo biloba (maidenhair) tree which is one of Kew's oldest, dating back to 1762 when it was planted by Princess Augusta and Prince Frederick. Also the pagoda tree (Styphnolobium japonicum) and the Robinia pseudoacacia or black locust / false acacia tree.

Read more about Kew's 'Old Lions'

Kew's Arboretum team

Kew's Arboretum team is responsible for managing approximately 240 acres of the Gardens at Kew and all of the trees on site, including all tree planting. Sward management and the management of the Arboretum Nursery also fall under the direction of the Arboretum team. 

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