Holden Forests & Gardens (formerly Holden Arboretum)

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United States of America - Ohio - Kirtland

Institution Code: HOL

International Agenda Registration: No

BGCI Member: Yes

ArbNet Accredited: Level IV

About the Holden Forests & Gardens (formerly Holden Arboretum)

In 2014 The Holden Arboretum acquired the Cleveland Botanical Garden. We have branded ourselves Holden Forests & Gardens. Our Mission: Advance and inspire a deeper understanding of plants to enhance life. Our Vision: Vibrant green communities and diverse native forests of the Great Lakes region will flourish and sustain life.

Cleveland Botanical Garden (4 hectares); The Holden Arboretum (1457 hectares).

Main Address:
Holden Forests & Gardens (formerly Holden Arboretum)
9500 Sperry Road
Ohio 44094-5172 United States of America

Telephone: (440) 946-4400
Fax: (440) 602 3857
URL: www.holdenarb.org
Primary Email: holden@holdenarb.org

Staff Details

  • Director's Name: Caroline Tait, Vice President Horticulture & Collections
    Curator's Name: Charles Tubesing, Plant Collections Curator
    Plant Records Officer's Name: Ethan Johnson, Plant Records Curator
  • Total Staff:
    Horticultural Staff Number: 13
    Educational Staff Number: 7
    Research Staff Number: 8
    Administration Staff Number: 3

About the Garden

  • Institution Type: Botanic Garden
  • Status
  • Status: Private: Yes
  • Date founded: 1931
  • Physical Data
  • Natural Vegetation Area: Yes
    Natural vegetation area: Size: 1215 Hectares
  • Landscaped Area: Yes
    Landscaped Area: Size: 246 Hectares
  • Total Area: 1461 Hectares
    Latitude: 41.6026550
    Longitude: -81.3060670
    Annual Rainfall: 1150 mm
    Altitude: 347.00 Metres
    Total area of glasshouses: 1535 Metres
  • Additional Locations
  • Satellite Garden Names: Cleveland Botanical Garden
  • Locality: Information
  • Locality: Garden Name: Cleveland Botanical Garden
  • Local Address: 11030 East Boulevard
  • Locality: City: Cleveland
  • Locality: State: Ohio

Features and Facilities

  • Herbarium: Yes
    Herbarium: Number of Specimens: 3051
    Arboretum: Yes
    Arboretum Size: 1457
  • Micropropagation/ Tissue Culture Facilities: No
    Seed Bank: No
    Published Plant Catalogue: Yes
    Computer Plant Record System: Yes
  • Open to public: Yes
    Friends society: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Shop: Yes
    Retail Outlet: Plant Sales: No
    Disabled access: Yes
  • Number of Visitors: 87946
    Number of Volunteers: 520

Plant Collections

  • Accession Number: 10467
    Cultivation Taxa Num: 5490
  • Special Collections:Ericaceae (excluding Rhododendron - 56 spp., 182 taxa), Conifers (219 spp., 442 taxa), Quercus (41 spp., 70 taxa), Acer (41 spp., 148 taxa), Viburnum (26 spp., 61 taxa), Malus (18 spp., 161 taxa), Syringa (12 spp., 160 taxa), Rhododendron (57 spp., 718 taxa), Magnolia (19 spp., 122 taxa), Betula (23 spp., 39 taxa), Ohio native plants (464 spp.), nut-bearing trees (114 taxa), hedge (22 taxa).
  • Invasive Species Monitoring: Yes
    Invasive Species Policy: No
    ABS Policy: No
    Plant Collection Policy: Yes

Conservation Programmes

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

Research Programmes

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

Education Programmes

  • Visitor/Education Centre: Yes
    Education Signs in Garden: Yes
    Public Lectures/Talks: Yes
    Education Booklets/Leaflets: Yes
    Guided Tours: Yes
    Permanent Public Displays: Yes
    Special Exhibitions: Yes
    Courses for School Children: Yes
    Courses for University/College Students: No
    Courses for General Public: Yes
    Education Programme: Yes

Restoring ecological integrity of second growth forests

Second growth forests have become common in much of the Great Lakes States and eastern United States, the result of agricultural land abandonment starting in the 1930s. While forested lands have increased in the area over the last 90 years, many of these forests lack structural and biological diversity, and are often comprised of even-aged stands harbouring few species, and frequently confounded by abundant non-native plants. The goal of our project is to restore structural and biological diversity to second-growth forests such that they begin to approximate old-growth forests in both form and function.   

Much of the eastern United States and Great Lakes Region has seen an expansion of forested land in the last 100 years due to the abandonment of former agricultural land. In Ohio, forest cover has expanded from approximately 2.5 to 7.8 million acres between 1940 and 2018. However, the resultant young, successional forest often harbour relatively low biodiversity and lack structural features (e.g. snags) required for many critical wildlife species. They also tend to be densely populated by non-native plant species. Wildflower communities in these young forests are often depauperate or entirely absent, likely a result of dispersal limitations. As a whole, relatively low biodiversity, productivity, and habitat heterogeneity tends to make these young forests less resilient to climate change, novel pests, and other environmental stressors than are their old-growth counterparts. 


Students and interns of Holden Forests and Gardens conducting restoration and research

We aim to improve the overall ecological integrity of young forests on former agricultural lands. We have three overarching goals: 1) restore structural characteristics such as snags, coarse woody debris, and light gaps, 2) increase plant diversity as well as the heterogeneity of age and size structure within the stands through the planting of native trees, shrubs, and herbs where appropriate and 3) control threats presented by deer and invasive plants such as garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) and common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica). Best forest management practices including improvement cuts, timber stand improvement (invasive species management and grape vine control), or a combination of both have been employed on approximately 57-hectares (140 acres) of young forest. Simultaneous to the restoration work, researchers are quantifying the impacts of these restoration efforts to inform future restoration work both within our organization and beyond. Forest improvement activities within a 67-acre demonstration site, known as the Working Woods, are accessible to the general public and professional groups who want to learn about forestry, forest restoration and the threats currently faced by forests. 

For more information on this project please contact David Burke, Vice President of Science and Conservation, at Holden Forests and Gardens.