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Arboreta Vallombrosa

The name “Experimental Arboreta of Vallombrosa” is due to the creation in times past of more and more contiguous sections by prominent botanists and forestry scholars, who enlarged the Arboreta until a total of about 10 hectares. In 1870 Adolfo Di Bérenger made an initial collection of about 230 specimens in the estate that housed the Forestry Institute at Paterno (Firenze). In 1880 Vittorio Perona transplanted all the plants from Paterno to Vallombrosa, forming what is nowadays called Siemoni Arboretum.

Between 1885 and 1886 Perona worked to enlarge the surface of the arboretum of about four acres, forming the Section dedicated to the Vallombrosan Abbot Bruno Tozzi, scholar of botany.

In 1894 Perona established, at Masso del Diavolo, in an area sheltered from the inclemency of weather and well exposed to solar radiation, a detached arboretum with more thermophilous species. This Arboretum was later dedicated to Romano Gellini, professor of Forest Botany at the University of Firenze.

Before the Great War (1914) Ariberto Merendi and Aldo Pavari expanded the Arboreta with a section of about one hectare, dedicated to Vittorio Perona. Between 1919 and 1920 Pavari, in the meantime appointed Director of the State Forest, established a new section (now called Arboretum Pavari) with experimental plantations of Chamaecyparis lawsoniana, Thuya plicata, Pseudotsuga menziesii and Picea orientalis.

In 1922 Pavari instituted in Firenze the Experimental Station of Sylviculture, which from 1929 onwards managed the Experimental Arboreta of Vallombrosa, owned by the State Forestry Department.

The Experimental Station of Sylviculture was followed by the Sylviculture Research Institute of Arezzo, which, between 1976 and 1981, further increased the arboreta with a new section, containing a large number of exotic species, dedicated to the botanist Ernesto Allegri.

In 1990 the last enlargement is achieved with the establishment, on a portion of the old nursery, of a small collection of trees and shrubs with healing properties.

In 2004 the Sylviculture Research Institute of Arezzo was replaced by the Research Center for Sylviculture of Arezzo (CRA SEL), which continues to manage the Arboreta of Vallombrosa in keeping with the commitment made in 1929 by the Experimental Station. 

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