Westonbirt appoints dendrologist to map and raise profile of specimen tree collection

A new role has been created at the Forestry Commission's National Arboretum at Westonbirt to help develop and share expert plant knowledge.

The National Arboretum's new dendrologist, Dan Crowley, will support the mapping, archiving, identification and verification of plants in the 16,000 specimen tree collection.

He will also exchange information with other plant specialists to help raise the profile of Westonbirt's expertise.

Crowley said: "Undertaking this important work will be of great value to Westonbirt. Improving the standard of curation will be of benefit to the arboretum as a place to connect with and learn about trees."

Curator Mark Ballard said: "The National Arboretum has a responsibility to be a leader in tree and plant information. This new position will help us to become a more developed reference point for this expertise.

"By working with partners to utilise herbaria and plants of known origin and identification, Dan will help to verify specimens we have previously had little information about."

Work will start with prioritised groups of plants that are of particular value to Westonbirt, including the National Collections and other genera.

The arboretum hopes that the role, initially a six month post, can be extended to become a long term addition to Westonbirt's tree team.

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