Chudenice - American Garden

The "American Garden" Arboretum is one of our oldest and rarest botanical gardens, focusing on a collection of woody plants, trees and shrubs. The garden got its name mainly because, in the first years after its establishment, trees native to North America dominated the garden. In contemporary materials, it is named directly as "American Garden" (Amerikanischen garten) in 1846 in the title of the budget proposal for the entire area.

In the fall of 1828, the then owner of the Chudenice manor, Eugen Czernin from Chudenice, had an area of about 2 hectares cut down, stumps pulled out and stones removed, and the entire area recultivated and fenced in a forest complex about 1 km from the spa house. This location was originally supposed to serve as a nursery and storehouse for growing and supplementing the trees and bushes intended for the spa. At the same time, the nursery was to serve as plant material for sale. The regular layout of the rectangular garden and flower beds, which are still visible today, correspond to this original intention.

The first seedlings were purchased in 1842 by gardener Zahn in the Bubeneč Park in Prague, from where 100 taxa of exotic trees and cultivars were imported. A house was built on the edge of the garden, into which a watchman was moved. The following year, the garden continued to be modified, when more trees were imported. Among other things, this shipment also included Douglas fir, today's dominant feature of the arboretum. Further plant imports are recorded in 1844 from Erfurt and again from Flottbeck. Not only the planting in the English Park, but also the sale of nursery stock continues. According to preserved documents from 1847, the offered assortment contained 62 different types of wood. At that time, forester Básel took over the management of the garden, who worked closely with the botanist Ladislav Čelakovský, the son of a well-known poet. This world-renowned botanist maintained an arboretum of new seedlings from around the world, scientifically processed expert botanical knowledge from the garden, and also received visits from prominent botanists from around the world.

During the following years until the First World War, other trees were planted, but mostly individual exotics and cultivars. In the 1950s, the arboretum underwent several technical modifications. Above all, the garden in the lower part was expanded and completely newly fenced. The old brick garden house was also demolished and a wooden gazebo was built in its place.

In 1969, the Ministry of Culture of the Czechoslovak Republic declared the arboretum a state-protected park as a rare scientific, natural and cultural monument. Currently, the arboretum is owned by the state enterprise Lesy CR, managed by the Český Les Protected Area Administration, and routine maintenance (mowing the grass area, raking and removal of fallen leaves and branches, etc.) is performed by the civic association Otisk.

Czernin's Douglas fir

It is located in the American Garden Arboretum. In 1843, yew hemlock (Pseudotsuga menziesii) or Douglas fir was planted here for the first time. This specimen has survived to the present day. According to the last measurement, which took place in May 2010, the height of the trunk is 32 m, the height of the whole tree is 34.8 m, the circumference of the trunk is 572 cm and the circumference of the crown is 68 m.

Source: town of Chudenice

339 01 Klatovy