Starhill Forest Arboretum

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United States of America - Illinois - Petersburg

Institution Code:

International Agenda Registration: No

BGCI Member: No

ArbNet Accredited: Level III

About the Starhill Forest Arboretum

Located on 50 acres in southern Menard County, IL, Starhill Forest is a private arboretum owned andoperated by the Sternberg family since 1976. The land has been farmed and grazed since the mid-19th century, when Abraham Lincoln traveled on the same road during his New Salem days.

Old trees in the forested areas date to about 1850, and the oldest planted trees were started from seed in 1964 and transplanted from another location. Permanent records kept by Starhill Forest include provenance information, propagation method and year, mapped location within the arboretum via a surveyed grid system, and other data. In addition, permanent records of other taxa that have been tested and have not survived include cause of death, when known.

The primary scientific collection is a quercetum (oak) comprising the living reference collection recognizedby the North American Plant Preservation Council. Additionally, approximately 150 other genera of woody plants are available for study, as well as herb and perennial landscapes, a native prairie garden, several provenance tests, and a conifer plantation.

Main Address:
Starhill Forest Arboretum
12000 Boy Scout Trail
Illinois 62675 United States of America

Primary Email:

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Guy and Edie Sternberg
    Curator's Name: Alana McKean
    Plant Records Officer's Name:
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 1
    Educational Staff Number: 1
    Research Staff Number:
    Administration Staff Number:

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Private: Yes
    Status: State: No
    Status: Educational: Yes
    Status: Municipal: No
    Status: Satellite: No
    Status: Trust: Yes
  • Date founded: 1976
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 5 Hectares
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 11 Hectares
  • Total Area: 20 Hectares
    Latitude: 39.9460750
    Longitude: -89.8075870
    Altitude: 180.00 Metres

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: Yes
    Herbarium: Number of Specimens: 150
    Arboretum: Yes
    Arboretum Size: 19
  • Micropropagation/ Tissue Culture Facilities: No
    Seed Bank: No
    Published Plant Catalogue: No
    Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Shop: No
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: No
    Disabled access: Yes
  • Number of Visitors: 300
    Number of Volunteers: 20

Plant Collections

  • Accession Number: 2000
    Cultivation Taxa Num: 1000
  • Special Collections:Starhill Forest's signature collection is the Quercus collection, including species accessions, provenance tests, cultivars, hybrids, and non-hardy oaks and related species wintered in greenhouses, as well as associated library documents. This collection already is known worldwide and continues to be the primary focus of the Arboretum.

    Approximately 160 additional genera are included in the Arboretum's documented collection.
  • Invasive Species Monitoring: Yes
    Invasive Species Policy: Yes
    Plant Collection Policy: Yes

Conservation Programmes

  • Conservation Programme: Yes
    Medicinal Plant Programme: No
    Ex Situ Conservation Programme: Yes
    Reintroduction Programme: No

Research Programmes

  • Biotechnology: No
    Plant Breeding: Yes
    Conservation - Biology: Yes
    Conservation - Genetics: No
    Data Management Systems and Information Technology: Yes
    Ecology: Yes
    Ecosystem Conservation: Yes
    Education: Yes
    Ethnobotany: No
    Exploration: Yes
    Floristics: No
    Horticulture: Yes
    Invasive Species Biology and Control: Yes
    Molecular Genetics: No
    Pollination Biology: No
    Restoration Ecology: Yes
    Seed/Spore Biology: No
    Systematics and Taxonomy: Yes
    Sustainability: Yes
    Pharmacology: No
    Agriculture: No
    Land Restoration: Yes
    Urban Environments: No

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: Yes
    Public Lectures/Talks: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Courses for School Children: No
    Courses for University/College Students: Yes
    Courses for General Public: Yes