Research at the National Arboretum Canberra

One of the Arboretum's most important roles is to generate research and new knowledge about its rare, endangered and symbolic trees and forests and their ecology. With assistance from the Friends of the Arboretum and the Australian National University, baseline data is being collected through monitoring and analysing the relationship between the growth and condition of the trees and the environmental conditions including season, weather, soil condition, moisture, nutrition, aspect, pests and diseases and so on. Read the Arboretum's Sampling Framework (Word 29KB)

This, and other data including provenance information, is being collated into what will become a long-term database and reference resource.

The trees planted at the Arboretum have faced droughts, floods, hot winds and severe frosts. These extreme conditions offer opportunities to see how the trees respond - some trees thrive while others struggle. This is a rich vein for research and learning about the cultivation, adaptation and possible preservation of some of the rarest trees in the world.

The Research Coordination Committee

The role of the Research Coordination Committee is to:

  1. promote research opportunities andthe role of the Arboretum as a site for collaborative research,
  2. assess and coordinate researchproposals to ensure they are consistent with the Arboretum's vision and research priorities, and
  3. provide advice including input toannual reviews of the Research Policy.

The Research Coordination Committee members are: Dr Cris Brack, Dr Judy West, Ms Jennie Widdowson, Dr Roger Hnatiuk and Mr Stephen Alegria.

Research proposals

All enquiries about Research proposals should be directed to Mr Scott Saddler, Acting Executive Manager of the Arboretum, by phone on 02 6205 4056 or email:

Current research projects

Project title

Chief researcher

ANU Research Forest

Dr Cris Brack, ANU

Frogwatch research

Dr Roger Hnatuik, Friends of the Arboretum

Plant voucher specimens 

Dr Roger Hnatuik, Friends of the Arboretum

Precision measurement of trees and forests

Dr Cris Brack, ANU

Tree growth monitoring

Dr Roger Hnatuik, Friends of the Arboretum

Wind Response for Bushfire Modelling Rachael Griffiths (PhD Candidate, UNSW Canberra)