On Thursday 29 October 2009, the Speaker of the ACT Legislative Assembly, Mr Shane Rattenbury MLA and His Excellency Mr Georgi Parvanov, President of the Republic of Bulgaria planted a Pinus heldreichii (Whitebark Pine) on the spine of the Central Valley landscape at the Arboretum.
Left: His Excellency Mr Georgi Parvanov, President of the Republic of Bulgaria and right Speaker of the ACT Legislative Assembly, Mr Shane Rattenbury MLA.
The Central Valley provides a sculpted landscape location for events, informal passive recreation and a setting for a children’s play space. The gardens have been created along the spine of the valley to accommodate trees planted by significant dignitaries and leaders.
The Pinus heldreichii (Whitebark Pine), is the third tree to be planted on the Central Valley spine. This tree naturally occurs in south-western Bulgaria and in the mountains of south-eastern Europe. In Bulgaria it is native to Mount Pirin, where the entire population is protected within Pirin National Park. A notable specimen in the Park is called Baikushev’s Pine. Dating from more than 1,300 years ago it is thought to be one of the oldest trees in the country. It is named after its discoverer, forest-guard Baikushev. The Pinus heldreichii typically has a pyramidal to oval shape and grows to 20 – 35 metres in Bulgaria.