Blooming rhododendrons and colourful azaleas are a symbol of the spring open days at the Křtiny Arboretum. Photo credit: MENDELU.

Brno, May 23 (BD) – During the weekend of 27-28 May, the gates of Křtiny Arboretum will open for visitors from 9am to 5pm. Guided tours accompanied by dendrologists will be available on both days, and the Saturday program also includes bird-of-prey demonstrations, forest competitions and games for children.

Blooming rhododendrons and colourful azaleas are a symbol of the spring open days at the Křtiny Arboretum. In addition, lilacs bloom along the roads and the meadows are in full bloom. However, the Arboretum is also known for its 800 species of trees and shrubs, the most interesting of which form part of a guided tour with dendrologists from Mendel University’s Faculty of Forestry and Wood (LDF MENDELU).

“The willow collection offers an endless range of shades of yellow and green, together with the rare large-leaved willow,” said dendrologist Luboš Úradníček from LDF MENDELU. “The contrast of the reddish-brown trunks and grass-green needles is provided by the Japanese cryptomeria, planted at Křtiny in 1934. Among the striking exotics are also the lance holly or the Chilean gladiolus.”

Guided tours (in Czech) take place both on Saturday and Sunday, every hour until the last one starting at 3pm. “Observant visitors will definitely notice the improvements in the part behind the pond, a new footpath has been created here. I recommend paying attention to the light yellow to cream sprouting spruce cultivar,” added Úradníček.

The Saturday program is expanded with demonstrations of birds-of-prey, forest competitions, games for children, and creative workshops. The bird-of-prey demonstrations are on the program from 9am to 2pm.

“We regularly include them, because they have become popular with both children and adults,” explained arboretum administrator Petra Packová. “It is not only an opportunity to see up close the whole range of birds-of-prey that live in our landscape, but also an opportunity to learn a lot of interesting things about them. Their owners will not leave a single question unanswered.”

Refreshments will be available in the arboretum, as well as use of the local fire pit. “Those who like to roast can pack some sausages with them on the way and roast them by the fire after visiting the arboretum. In addition to small snacks, we offer beer, coffee and other non-alcoholic beverages at the arboretum cash desk,” says Packová.

The Křtiny Arboretum is among the most famous so-called forest parks in Central Europe, and at 23 hectares, it is the largest university arboretum in the Czech Republic. It is located approximately 20 kilometres north of Brno. It was founded in 1928-1929 by Professor August Bayer, the founder of the Dendrology Institute of the Forestry Faculty of the then newly established University of Agriculture in Brno (today Mendel University).

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