National Collections at Westonbirt Arboretum

Japanese Maple Leavers Acer Palmatum Westonbirt Generic
Photo credit: Gina Mills

Discover our five National tree collections

Westonbirt Arboretum is home to five national plant collections, as designated by Plant Heritage. These are groups of trees that Westonbirt Arboretum has undertaken to document, develop and preserve for the future...

Maples at Westonbirt

Japanese maple cultivars

Our collection of Japanese maple cultivars is world famous! Started in the early 1980s, today the collections contains around 297 different types of cultivar, including some of the finest specimens in the UK.

Maple species

Maples have formed an important part of the arboretum since our creation by the wealthy Holford family in the 1870s, and today people flock from all over the world to see their spectacular colours.

They provide the foundations for our world famous autumn colour spectacle, but they are also worth seeking out at other times of year. In springtime their small but beautiful flowers bloom and their young leaves burst forth in a breathtaking variety of colours. Some species such as paperbark maple (Acer griseum) and the snake bark maples (includingAcer pensylvanicumand Acer davidii) display wonderful bark patterns and look their best in winter.

Maple in autumn Westonbirt
Bladdernut tree Westonbirt


Bladdernut is a very small genus of plants containing only 11 species and a number of different cultivars. Spring is definitely the time to seek them out, when they are covered in white often tinged pink flowers and look very handsome.


Our collection contains over 40 different genera, and is a definite must see. Our rarest specimen is the Chinese lime which has attractive peeling bark, and of course our 2000 year old small leaved lime is not to be missed!

Lime Avenue Westonbirt
Walnut Westonbirt


This family contains a number of different genera including walnuts, wingnuts and hickories. We have around 25 different types, but our grandest is the hybrid wingnut, (Pterocarya x rehderiana), which stands majestically on the edge of the Downs in the Old Arboretum.

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