On Thursday 25 October 2018, Mr Andrew Barr MLA, Chief Minister of the ACT, joined Mr Gen Nakagawa, Mayor of Nara, to plant a Zelkova serrata, Japanese elm in the Central Valley at the National Arboretum Canberra.
Sister cities since 1993, Nara and Canberra share a vibrant relationship with links between schools, community organisations, sporting groups, professional associations, businesses and government.
The Canberra Nara Candle Festival has been held annually in Canberra Nara Park since 2003, shares the values of peace and goodwill and celebrates the Canberra Nara Sister City relationship with thousands of candles, Japanese food, cultural activities and entertainment.
The Japanese elm, with stunning autumn displays of lemon yellow to bright red leaves, is planted adjacent to Forest 17 which features the Yoshino cherry whose blossoms are the national symbol of Japan.
Ceremonial trees planted from around the world
The National Arboretum Canberra is home to over 44,000 trees from more than one hundred nations. Many Australian and international leaders and public figures have planted ceremonial trees at the National Arboretum, including Their Royal Highnesses, the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwell.
Through ceremonial tree plantings and other special events, the National Arboretum Canberra builds partnerships with local, national and international organisations, individuals and communities to further its role in global tree conservation and research.