Tree collection in the Royal Game Reserve
The landscape park of Royal Game Preserve (obora Stromovka) has been a major collection of woody species since the early 19th century. These species were planted at various periods during the park’s development primarily as compositional accents, clusters, and prominent stand-alone trees. Over time, they imparted their typical, unmistakable composition to the entire park. As a result, this is not a typical collection or arboretum where the arrangement of the species is governed by a collector’s plan; instead, the species collection accentuates the overall park composition.
Surviving records indicate that as many as 123 deciduous and six coniferous woody species were grown in the Royal Game Preserve, for the first time on the Czech territory, as early as between 1835 and 1844, which is rare for the period and indicative of the importance of the tree collection in the Preserve on the entire Czech territory.
Just as the park composition changes over time, so does the presence of the individual tree species in the park. The records available show that, for example, there were 105 species of deciduous and 34 species of coniferous trees growing in the Royal Game Reserve in 1981. Great attention is paid to preserving and developing the tree collection as part of comprehensive restoration of the Royal Game Reserve vegetation. Species planted in the park include ones that have been recorded there in the past, ones that have disappeared, and new species, mostly botanical ones. At this point, there are 203 deciduous species and cultivars and 44 coniferous species and cultivars, making the Royal Game Preserve one of the most diverse parks in Bohemia in terms of species.
The park has recently been equipped with 134 name plates fitted to 94 woody species and cultivars in the central sectors of the Royal Game Preserve. You can encounter as many as 18 oak species and cultivars in the Stromovka. The local white oak is the oldest tree of this species in the Czech Republic, documented to have been planted in the Stromovka for the very first time in Bohemia.
Leaflets with maps indicating noteworthy trees (and a QR code for loading the information into smart phones) are continuously supplied to the library at the Čítárna (Study) site in the bottom of the former pond. This gives the visitors to the park an opportunity to expand their knowledge, and experts and students will also find a lot of interest because certain species and cultivars described here are truly unique.