The Aboretum / Pleasure Grounds

"The Aboretum / Pleasure Grounds" circa 1890

“The Aboretum / Pleasure Grounds” circa 1890

Also known as the Pleasure Grounds, the Arboretum at Woodstock was the focus of a considerable amount of exotic tree planting during the 19th Century. The area which is located on gently rising ground was chosen to display the choice trees to their best advantage. An important component of the Pleasure Grounds were the Rhododendrons, which formed the background of the arboretum. Visitors to Woodstock in the 1860’s and 1870’s were very impressed with the exotic trees and their positioning.

One contemporary writer observed, ‘The turf is kept as smooth as a carpet and not a tree on it that is not a picture of beauty’ (The Gardener’s Record: An Irish Fortnightly Journal. Volume 1, pages 8-11, 1869).

Today the arboretum is dominated by conifers, notably Pinus montezumae var hartwegi, (Hartweg’s pine), Sequoia sempervirens (Coast Redwood), Cryptomeria japonica (Japanese Cedar), Sequoia dendron giganteum (Giant Redwood), Chamaecyparis pisifera (Sawara cypress), Thuja standishii (Japanese Arbor-vitae) and Thuja plicata ‘Zebrina’ (Golden Variegated Western Red Cedar) to name a few. In addition to the conifers are several other notable trees including Fagus sylvatica ‘Pendula’ (Weeping beech – Irish Clone), Castanea sativa (Sweet Chestnut), Quercus ilex (Holm Oak), Luma apiculata (Chilean myrtle), Crinodendron hookerianum (Chilean Lantern Bush)

Extensive tree works have been now carried out to all trees in the Arboretum where necessary to ensure their long term survival. Seeds and cuttings have also been taken and grown on to ensure a constant supply from original plant stock for planting in the future

Evening Photograph of tree works in Aboretum Woodstock

Evening Photograph of tree works in Aboretum Woodstock

Evening Photograph of tree works in Aboretum Woodstock