Řícmanice Arboretum Hosts Open Day To Display Rare Collection of Exotic Conifers

On Saturday, 24 February, the Řícmanice Arboretum will host an open day, providing a rare opportunity to view the centre’s exceptional collection of exotic conifers, with commentary from experts. The open day starts at 9:30 am and lasts until 4pm, and will also include games for children and refreshments. 

The Řícmanice Arboretum is famous for its collection of conifers, unparalleled in the Czech Republic. The collection is only open to the public once a year. “For the time being, we do not count on expanding the number of days when we open the Rícmanice Arboretum to the public; it is thanks to this that the event maintains its uniqueness,” said Petra Packová, the director of the arboretum. Last year the open day attracted a record 1,110 visitors, she added.

The exotic trees growing in the arboretum are exceptional in the country, not only because of their origin, but often also because of their age and size. “One of the largest specimens of the Chilean fir, which otherwise grows on steep slopes in Argentina and Chile, is definitely worth a look, as well as the similar lanceolate holly from China, the Mexican spruce and the Chihuahuan spruce, as well as the Moroccan fir,” said Packová.

Guided tours will be available, led by dendrologists from the Faculty of Forestry and Wood at Mendel University.

Some of the unique trees fell victim to the bark blight a few years ago. In their place, the staff of ŠLP Křtiny have planted a mixture of spruces, larches, firs, and even giant sequoias. “New plantings are slowly replacing the original ones from the 1970s. Different types of pine and larch do best, and Himalayan fir and Japanese fir or Chinese redwood also thrive very well. The giant sequoia can be classified as an excellent grower, while on the other hand, the South American species of the Andean Podocarpus and saxegothaea, on the other hand, grow very slowly,” said dendrologist Luboš Úradníček.

As part of the accompanying program, children can participate in fun competitions on forestry topics and try out a tactile educational game. There will also be hot drinks and snacks, including sausages that visitors can roast themselves over the fire, goulash, and meatloaf. Entrance to the arboretum is based on voluntary donations.

The organisers are warning those driving to the event that there is limited parking at Srnčí studánka-rozcestí location; they recommend parking in one of the nearby villages, and against parking on forest roads under any circumstances. Hikers can take a pleasant walk through the forest from Babice nad Svitavou or Řícmanice to the arboretum.

In case of bad weather, such as strong wind or ice, the event will be cancelled, with updates published on the websites of ŠLP Křtina and MENDELU.

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