The University Arboretum - a living outdoor museum

In line with Polar-Alpine botanical garden in Murmansk and the Arboretum in Iceland, the dendrological garden of NArFU (AGTU-ALTI) is one of the oldest sites for botanical introductions in the North. The Arboretum was created in 1934 by Ivan Mikhailovich Stratnovich, the first head of the Department of Forestry Culture. In February 1999, the Academic Council of Arkhangelsk State Technical University (AGTU) decided to add his name to the garden.

The garden is located near the main building of the campus, and some of the exotic species are planted in front of the university facades. The garden has both an educational, scientific, experimental and cultural value. Its successful experience in introducing vegetation into northern environment was awarded with the jubilee medal of I.V. Michurin, silver and bronze medals of the Soviet Union Exhibition of achievements in the national sector and prices of M.V. Lomonosov contest.

Although the garden covers only 0.92 hectares, its tree and shrub species total about 230. About three thousand plant species of different geographical origin have been tested in the Arboretum.

Eye’s delights

The highest tree in the garden, that as if raises above the university building, is a black poplar. The warty and European euonymus is most beautiful in autumn. Their leaves reflect all shades of the purple and violet palette, its pink body pink and black-eyed seeds in bright-orange aril dangling like earrings.

The Karelian birch. Its precious wood is sold by the kilos, not cubic meters and it is perfect material for beautiful jewelry boxes and ornaments used for decorating rooms.

Mahonia aquifolium was brought to Arkhangelsk from North America. It's an evergreen bush which doesn't shed leaves even in winter.

The hydrangea behaves different. Blossoming with huge bright colored hats in the south, here in the northern arboretum she showed herself in all her beauty for the first time in 40 years in 2010.

In the arboretum grows several species of apple trees: Siberian (L. Málus baccata var. sibirica), apple berry tree (Málus baccata), forest apple trees (Málus sylvestris), chinese pear and plum-leaf (Málus prinifolia), Manchurian crabapple (Málus mandschurica) and cherry apple (Málus cerasifera). Since all of them are wild-growing trees, we call them ‘wildings’. Their fruits are very small and sour. Flourishing trees would often be planted here for their beauty. Here grows the dynasty of oaks – forefathers, their descendants and four ‘grandchildren’. The youngest oak trees are 22 years old.

Oregon-grapeArahaga MapleScotch rose
Bird CherryLilacBirch

Green zone, training facility and nursery

The university garden is a training facility and a natural laboratory for students and graduates. The future specialists take here their on-site training in dendrology, physiology, arboriculture, plant protection and forest culture. In the arboretum, the students are taught to grow ornamental trees. Future pharmacists can study here herbs. Even meteorologists put up their instruments here, to make their observation in natural conditions.

Schools, kindergartens and health centers source planting stock from here. In 2011 the Russian Federal Penitentiary Service ordered oaks, maples and lilacs. Since the early 1934, tens of thousands of trees and shrubs of southern origin have been transferred to Arkhangelsk by the staff of the natural laboratory.

The NArFU Arboretum has connections with over 80 botanical and dendrologist gardens around the world. They keep in touch to exchange information and the seeds. But that’s not all.

Arboretum’s “Walk of Fame”

In front of the main building grow ash trees planted by the son of the first rector of Arkhangelsk State Technical University Vasiliy Gorokhov, mayor of Arkhangelsk Viktor Pavlenko and NArFU rector Elena Kudryashova. A 12 year old oak tree was planted in the alley by the former governor of Arkhangelsk Ilya Mikhailchuk. Trees from the hands of Anatoly Efremov, Nikolay Malakov, Viktor Tretyakov, Petr Orlov, Pavel Balakshin, Evgeniy Tsarev, Nikolay Lvov, Oleg Sokolov and Pavel Sidorov are also growing here. The Arboretum is therefore not only a laboratory, but also a living museum.


Updated 27.04.2012