New UK Tree Research Lab Centre & Arboretum

This spring Bartlett Tree Experts announced the development of a new arboretum and research lab centre in the United Kingdom. The facility will be located in Spencers Wood, a village south of Reading in the Borough of Wokingham, Berkshire, England. This addition underpins Bartlett’s dedication to world-class tree research and establishing robust tree collections. In fact, it will complement two existing sites in the U.S.: The R.A. Bartlett Tree Research Laboratories and Arboretum in Charlotte, North Carolina as well as an arboretum property located in Cornelius, Oregon.

research lab rendering
A rendering of the new Research Lab provided by Snug Architects.

Global Tree Research Capabilities

Creation of a new arboretum and research site specifically in the United Kingdom provides Bartlett’s scientists and plant pathologists in the region with state-of the art capabilities. It enables them to best support arborists based in England and Ireland. This support means local arborists can provide the most comprehensive tree services to help clients maintain healthy trees and shrubs.

A History of Scientific Tree Care

Since its founding, Bartlett Tree Experts has continually made investments to expand its research and educational capabilities in the field of arboriculture and urban forestry. The Company’s founder started developing his own property in Stamford, Connecticut to study trees, planting many native and exotic species. He began an arboretum there in 1920 with formalized research activities starting in 1926. In these early days, there was a focus on the study of insect pests and diseases of shade trees. This included groundbreaking research on Dutch elm disease.

Scientists working in the first lab on F.A. Bartlett's property.
Scientists working in the first lab on F.A. Bartlett’s property.

In 1965, Bartlett’s research lab relocated to Charlotte, North Carolina. The city of Stamford purchased the original site, which would eventually become the Bartlett Arboretum and Gardens. Development of the Charlotte site got underway quickly with 1066 specimens and construction of a laboratory. Hundreds more trees were added the following spring and the site’s collections have been growing ever since.

Growing Trees & Tree Research

Continued expansion of the laboratories and arboretum has furthered research of contemporary issues such as the impact of air pollution on trees, causes of critical disease, and strategies for urban planting. This work helps arborists in the field better care for trees and shrubs. Further, it fosters growth across the industry as Bartlett scientists share findings, conduct lectures and write articles.

Today, the arboretum in Charlotte is an expansive 366 acres with collections of over twenty-six thousand accessioned plants in fourteen major groups and a number of ongoing research trials. The Company’s commitment to tree research is unwavering. As such, in 2022 Bartlett purchased a 17-acre arboretum and lab site west of Portland, Oregon, in Cornelius with more than 1,000 accessioned plants, including conifers, maples, dogwoods and rare species from around the world.

The third site in Spencers Wood is expected to be operational in late 2025 with construction commencing December of 2024. Bartlett is developing the project with a talented team of more than 20 consultants, including Snug Architects – Architect, Harris Bugg Studio – Landscape Master Plan, and UBU – Landscape Architect.

site of new UK Arboretum
The site that will become Bartlett Tree Experts’ new arboretum and research lab centre in Spencers Woods.

Latest News

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Make an appointment with your local Arborist Representative to discover why Bartlett is the leader in professional tree care.