Trees of the Arboretum course - U3A


This very popular course that will help you to know so much more about our Arboretum trees is open for enrolments to anyone who is a member of U3A. The course is in four parts, each of 6-7 weekly sessions and 2 walks. Each part covers about a quarter of the trees in our forests and is full of interesting stories. You don’t have to do all the parts in a year and you can do them in any order that suits. Part 1 commenced this week (15 Feb) and only a few spots are available. The others all each have a good number already signed up so it is highly likely they will be going ahead.


National Botanic Gardens - Have Your Say

The Australian National Botanic Gardens is preparing a new management plan to set the direction for the future of the Gardens and guide its management from 2022 – 2032. The Have Your Say period will run until 3 March 2021 and you can contribute ideas and express issues that you would like to see addressed in the next management plan. For further information, see below.


2021 Australian Plants as Bonsai Exhibition

Canberra Bonsai Society and the Australian National Botanic Gardens are pleased to present the 2021 Exhibition of Australian Plants as Bonsai on Saturday 27 February and Sunday 28 February 2021. Location: Crosbie-Morrison Building at the Australian National Botanic Gardens.


A great tree story!

Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr, mayor of Freetown, Sierra Leone, is on a mission to plant a million trees over the next two years, increasing vegetation in her city by fifty percent while shoring up eroding riverbanks and increasing biodiversity.


Griffin's Green Hills talk - 24 March 2021

Friends have been invited to join the Australian Gardens History Society for an event to celebrate this year's Canberra Day. Last year, AGHS made a short film about Griffin's Green Hills, with Trevor Liscombe from the National Trust as the narrator. The video is also on our Friends' website (see link below). Trevor has agreed to give a 30-minute talk on the Green Hills, followed by refreshments. DATE: Wednesday 24 March TIME: 4.30-6.00pm VENUE: Himalayan Cedars BBQ area COST: $15 for Friends of National Arboretum Canberra; or $20 for non-members.


2021 Bonsai Pot Acquisition Prize


Bonsai Pot Acquisition Prize The Bonsai Pot Acquisition Prize 2021 is designed to encourage the appreciation of the art of bonsai pottery and to highlight the beauty and functionality of bonsai pots. Your challenge is to create a bonsai pot for a Water gum, Tristaniopsis laurina and have the chance to be on display at the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia and win a cash prize!


Bonsai Reshaped - 26-28 March 2021

Bonsai Reshaped-NoCode

Join us for this year's Bonsai Week event, entitled Bonsai Reshaped which will run from Friday 26 March - Sunday 28 March 2021. Come along to Bonsai Reshaped where Australian native trees and Australian artists feature alongside the beauty of Japanese traditional arts. From hands-on workshops to demonstrations and discussion forums, learn more about the ancient arts of bonsai, kusamono, ikebana and bonsai ceramics, which all focus on subtle elements that enhance nature and seasonal beauty. Join our local and interstate guest artists and the Curators of the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia for three days of events, held at the National Arboretum Canberra, home to the National Bonsai and Penjing Collection of Australia (NBPCA). ​ Overseas or can't travel? Join us online for the Demonstration and Discussion Forum on 27 March 2021. Please find further information on the link below.


FACTT Calendar of Walks 2021

Thanks to our enthusiasts at Friends of ACT Trees, below is the list of Westbourne Woods Arboretum monthly walks for your calendars. They are free guided 2-hour walks through the grounds of the Royal Canberra Golf Club. 2nd Sunday of every month: meet at 9.30 am at the entrance to Royal Canberra Golf Club, Bentham Street Yarralumla. No dogs allowed. The dress code of the Golf Club which can be found at applies if you wish to accept the invitation of the Club to take refreshments at the Spike Bar after the walk. PLEASE WEAR SENSIBLE SHOES/CLOTHES AND BRING A HAT AND WATER. WHEN WITHIN THE GOLF COURSE PLEASE RESPECT GOLFERS' NEEDS TO BE ABLE TO PLAY SHOTS WITHOUT DISTURBANCE.


2020 Volunteer of the Year - Ange McNeilly!

2020 VolrOfYr-AngeMcNeilly

Hearty congratulations go to Ange McNeilly, the Friends of the National Arboretum of Canberra Volunteer of the Year for 2020! Ange was presented with this Recognition Award at our recent joint Friends and National Arboretum Canberra End-of-Year celebration event in the Village Centre. Ange has had a truly amazing year - Canberra stopped but Ange did not! She worked throughout the smoke, storms, wind, cold winter days and throughout COVID lockdown keeping the Garden ready for the next season. She was harvesting, cooking, drying herbs and seed throughout the year, planting and potting up plants for the Garden and for sale at our Market Stalls. Ange is such a worthy person of this Award!


AAFBG Eucalypt - Nov 2020 issue

The Australian Association of Friends of Botanic Gardens has just released its November issue of Eucalypt. It's a great read - below are listed some of the many interesting articles. In particular, there is an update from the Eurobodalla Botanic Gardens in Bateman's Bay. You remember it was severely damaged by the January bushfires.


History of the Arboretum Project

Help us capture and record the history of the Arboretum - because the Arboretum will be celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2023. The Friends are planning to embark on a project that will capture the ‘told’ and ‘untold’ history of the Arboretum - the stories and the people who made it happen and so successful.


Griffin's Green Hills - video (August 2020)

This video tells the story of the plantings on the western edge of Walter Burley Griffin’s city plan, the Green Hills, now known as Roman Cypress Hill, Dairy Farmers Hill and the Himalayan Cedars. Originally marked on plans as a forest and game reservation and later a continental arboretum, Griffin finally settled on the afforestation of the three bare hills with cypress (Cupressus sempervirens) and cedars (Cedrus atlantica), from 1918 to 1920. Narrated by Trevor Lipscombe, ACT National Trust Heritage Walks organiser and filmed and directed by Anne Claoue-Long and Bronwyn Blake from the Australian Garden History Society, this short video reveals the connection of these three green hills which are driven past and visited by thousands of visitors every year.


Ngala Bus Tours begin!

Take a guided bus tour with our friendly guides and learn the stories of the forests and enjoy two viewing stops with spectacular photo opportunities. Bus tours depart 5 days a week: Wednesday - Sunday at 1.30pm.


Friends Photography Group - NEW

Do you love going to the Arboretum? Are you handy with a camera? The Friends would like to set up a Photographic Group - there are so many visually beautiful things to be seen and found at the Arboretum. Many of these photographic images are worthy of sharing with others, being used as attractive Friends' calendar photos or as part of an archive featuring regular photographs from fixed locations through the seasons as part of historical record-keeping. There is a Citizen Science strand in this too.


Interesting articles from FACTT (all 11)

Our thanks again to the Friends of ACT Trees (FACTT) and especially to Steve Thomas who wrote these fascinating insights into trees, most of which are growing in the Arboretum. See below for the index to these articles, which feature: #1 - Casuarinas #2 - Casuarinas - more #3 - Casuarinas - local #4 - Allocasuarinas #5 - Cypress pines #6 - Exocarpos #7 - Root-soil interactions #8 - Araucarias #9 - Nothofagus (beech) #10 - Taxonomists #11 - Podocarpus Thanks again, Steve!


Welcome to the Nulla Bus!

On 4 August, a Smoking Ceremony was held to welcome the Nulla Tour Bus to the Arboretum. Afterwards the Chief Minister (whose Directorate oversees the Arboretum) enjoyed his first trip in the bus, with guide par excellence, Scott Saddler, Executive Branch Manager.


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  • Address: PO Box 48, Campbell ACT 2612, Australia
  • Phone: 0406 376 711
  • Email: [email protected]