Westonbirt Arboretum was given the status of National Arboretum in 2001 by the Department for Trade and Industry.
In the same year, Bedgebury Pinetum in Kent was declared The National Pinetum.
Westonbirt Arboretum contains five National Plant Collections, designated by Plant Heritage (www.plantheritage.org.uk).
The Japanese maple cultivars collection was started in the early 1980s and today contains some of the finest specimens in the UK. Planted in the picturesque style, Maple Loop in Silk Wood has been a great addition ever since it was planted in 2007. The current collection holds 355 different types of cultivar.
Westonbirt has always been famous for its maple species and this trend was started by the arboretum's creator Robert Holford in the 1870s. Many of our old maples are amongst the biggest and best in the UK.
This is a small genus of plants containing 11 species and a number of different cultivars. They are often overlooked as a garden plant but when flowering in the spring they are covered in white often tinged pink flowers and are very handsome.
This genus of plants is a must for any good tree collection and Westonbirt contains around 40 different ones. Lime Avenue in the Old Arboretum is a favourite for visitors in summer for its lushious leaves and shady contrasts. Our rarest is the Chinese lime which has attractive peeling bark. Of course our 2000 year old tree of small leaved lime is also not to be missed!
The Walnut family
This family contains a number of different genera including walnuts, wingnuts and hickories. It is currently represented by some 25 different types. Westonbirt has several champions but our grandest is the hybrid wingnut, Pterocarya x rehderiana, planted in the later part of the nineteenth century, which stands on the edge of the Downs in the Old Arboretum.