On April 22nd, 1827, SPbSFTU’s botanical garden was founded as the Forest park at the dacha of St. Petersburg Forest Institute by the order of his Imperial Majesty Nicholas I.
In 1833, a dendrological garden was laid, and a year later — a greenhouse was built.
The court gardener Joseph Bush and the gardener Peter Biuk, well known for the creation of the best Botanical garden of St. Petersburg on Elagin island, were invited for the creation of the Forest Institute park.
In 1841 the nursery of woody plants was created. The forest nursery existed till the World War II and played an important role not only in the improvement of the Park but also became a research laboratory, the results of which were included in the Fund of Russian forest science.
From 1850 to 1862 R. I. Schroeder worked as a gardener in the Park of the Institute. In the early 80‑s the Park was managed by the gardener Urvein, and after his death from 1886 to 1931 the head gardener was E. L. Wolf. After the death of E. L. Wolf from 1931 to 1936 the park and dendroligical garden were headed by P. A. Akimov, and from 1938 to 1942 by professors V. N. Sukachev and N. M. Andronov.
Since 1942, garden and park were managed by A.A. Grabovskaya. Her task was very hard – she had to preserve the objects during really difficult period and to supervise the restoration of the park after thewar.
In 1952 garden and park management was delegated to academic studies office.
Category “Botanical” was assigned to the garden in 1970 by the order of the Ministry of Higher and Specialized Secondary Education of Russian Federation. ” … in order to preserve, study and enrich the existing unique world collection of woody plants, as well as taking into account the scientific significance of the work carried out on the introduction and acclimatization of tree species in the natural environment of the North-Western zone of theUSSR.”
The Botanical garden was organized on the basis of landscape gardening Academy (arboreta, nurseries, parks, orchards and flower plantations) with a total area of 43.7 ha. V. I. Drozhzhin was appointedthe Acting Director of the Botanical garden and associate Professor F. A. Chepik was appointed the scientific supervisor.
Later the following specialists worked at the position of the Botanical garden directors: V. G. Ivanov from 1972 to 1976, E. V. Smetannikov from 1976 to 1980, V. M. Polezhay from 1980 to 1984., G. A. Veretennikova from 1984 to 1989., H. P. Zakharova from 1989 to 1992, doctor of Biological Sciences, professor A. F. Chmyr from 1992 to 1994. From 1994 to the present this position is occupied by PhD of Biological sciences’ – N. P. Adonina.
Foresters widely known in our country and abroad – professor F. K. Arnold, A. F. Rudzsky, G. F. Morozov, V. D. Ogievsky, academician I. P. Borodin and others — contributed greatly to the development and replenishment of the garden collections. They carried out their investigations in the garden and involved their students into thiswork.
Great attention to the plantation was paid by professors M. N. Rimsky-Korsakov, S. I. Vanin, N. P. Kobranov, A. D. Dubah, G. G. Doppelmair, L. A. Ivanov, M. M. Orlov, academician I. V. Tyurin etal.
Great concern for the Park, the arboretum and the Botanical gardens was showed by academician V.N. Sukachev. It was he who promoted the expansion of the collection, in particular the acquisition of the most valuable species from Transbaikalia.
SPbSFTU's Botanical garden became a famous scientific center due to the work of climate scientists’ – D. A. Lachinov, V. N. Obolensky; soil scientists – professor P. A. Kostychev, academician K. K. Gedroyc; phenologist professor D. N. Kaigorodov; zoologist and entomologist professor N.A. Kholodkovsky; ornithologist professor A. A. Silantyev; geologists — professors P. Perelygin, S. A. Yakovlev, etc.
According to the most modest estimates, more than 300 scientific works have been performed at the garden objects.
EDUCATIONAL AND RESEARCH WORK
At the moment, the Botanical Garden includes three laboratories where educational and research work is conducted. They are: the laboratory of landscape gardening (park), the laboratory of woody plants, and the laboratory of herbaceous plants.
Scientific research at the SPbSFTU's Botanical Garden is carried out on the following research areas:
- preservation of the gene pool of plants of the natural and cultural flora of the Botanical Garden, maintenance of the main core of the collection, which has developed over many years of its existence;
- replenishment of collection funds of woody and herbaceous plants
Laboratory and practical classes in botany, dendrology, entomology, floriculture, decorative gardening and many other disciplines, as well as advanced training courses are held on the basis of the Botanical Garden. Students also collect materials for master's theses, dissertations, and scientific publications; and Dozens of diploma projects are defended on the basis of the Botanical Garden every year.
The collection of woody plants of the Botanical Garden of St. Petersburg State Forest Technical University includes about 1600 taxons belonging to 181 genera and 61 families. The collection of decorative herbaceous plants in open ground currently consists of about 3000 taxons belonging to 435 genera and 100 families. The collection of tropical and subtropical plants comprises 1176 taxons (903 species and 273 taxons of subspecies rank) belonging to 135 families and 403 genera.
One of the main tasks of the Botanical Garden is the collection and exchange of seeds, the publication of the exchange catalog of seeds "INDEX SEMENIUM". For the first time, the list of seeds offered in exchange by the dendrological garden of the Forest Institute was published by V.N. Sukachev, E.L. Wolf, G. Anufriev and A. Shennikov in 1928. It included 173 species and forms of woody plants.
The modern seed catalog includes more than 700 names of woody and herbaceous plants and covers species belonging to 80 families. The families with the largest number of species are:
- Rosaceae — 97,
- Caprifoliaceae — 49,
- Asteraceae — 27,
- Pinaceae –20,
- Oleaceae – 19.