European Collections: A Continent Of Forests
Visit these collections to see the trees and shrubs of the forests that once covered eighty to ninety percent of Europe.
The European collections feature a group of plants native to Central Europe (Austria, Germany, Czech Republic, France, Belgium, Switzerland, Hungary, and Poland) and Northern Europe (Norway, Sweden, and Finland). These two collections rerepresent one of the oldest collections on the Arboretum grounds, started in 1925 by Henry Teuscher, the Arboretum's first botanist.
Eighty to ninety percent of Europe was once covered in forests. Much of Europe is densely populated, and its flora has been greatly affected by Europe's agricultural history. The continent offers a palette of plants that can thrive in Northern Illinois.
As you drive on the Main Route West Side, just over the bridge, the large Norway spruce (Picea abies) plantings on the right side of the road attract attention to the collection. Norway spruce is widely distributed in its native ranges, and this large planting of spruce was established to symbolize the vast spruce forests once common in Europe. Explore the collection and find many more outstanding specimens.