The Botanical Garden of the University: Realities and Prospects of Development

August 7, 2014

On August 6, 2014 the university administration examined another university subdivision — the botanical garden.

The Head of the botanical garden, Olena Kolesnichenko, presented the brief history of the garden that was founded in 1928. At that time the question of preservation, study, acclimatization and breeding of rare and common species was very acute. In order to achieve these aims it was decided to establish such an institution.

The dendrology garden is of national importance and now functions as an education and practical laboratory for the study of dendrology, forest breeding and botany.
The botanical garden is the result of years of hard work of several generations of scientists who conducted their dissertation research here and underwent practice in particular areas of the garden.
Olena Kolesnichenko also presented the functional side of this huge territory.

First, the visitors examined the exposition area — forests and collection plantations. Afterwards, they visited the scientific area that includes experimental sections, as well as collections of fruit and ornamental plants.

Many plants that have medicinal properties grow in the botanical garden of the university, for instance, the female tree, actinidia, sweet chestnut, magnolia, sequoia etc. There is even the only Ukrainian tulip tree, which is 78 years old! One can also find phytolacca that can cure the diseases of joints.

The total number of plants that grow on the territory of the university botanical garden is 1499 taxonomic units.
Pure cultures of oak, honey locust, beech, catalpa and other mixed cultures are of great scientific and practical value. They are the basis of not only the botanical garden, but also of Maksym Rylskyy Golosiivskyy Park and of Golosiivske Forestry of Boyarka research station.
Olena Kolesnichenko says, “Our botanical garden can be proud that its territory is, without exaggeration, a national treasure: we have 112 century-old oaks. 24 oak trees have been declared natural monuments of local importance of Kyiv. Most of them are 400 years old. A one tree — Vetrov oak — is 500 years old.”

The garden has the largest collection of barberry and impressive collections of maple, arborvitae, Madagascar periwinkle, etc. The attention is also drawn to the collection of roses granted by Nikitskyy Botanical Garden.
During the examination of administrative buildings and territories, Acting Head of the University, Stanislav Nikolayenko, stressed the need to replace the greenhouses. By the way, one of them has 400 units of tropical and subtropical plants. Drain system on the roof of the administrative building also should be repaired. Crowns of trees should be shaped correctly in order to eliminate density. Approximately 1400 plants require sanitary trimming.

During the meeting Stanislav Nikolayenko and Vice Rector for Scientific and Pedagogical Activities and University Development, Sergiy Kvasha, stressed the need for full funding of scientific research. Olena Kolesnichenko and the Head of the Institute of Forestry and Landscape Architecture, Petro Lakyda offered to impart the garden with the status of a scientific institution. In turn, the Head of the Institute of Power Engineering and Automation, Volodymyr Kozyrskyy, suggested establishing two greenhouses in the area of the botanical garden in cooperation with the Department of Automation and other organizations.

Stanislav Nikolayenko charged Petro Lakyda, Volodymyr Kozyrskyy and Vice Rector for Educational, Research and Production Issues of Development and Administration, Valeriy Ishchenko with the task to elaborate the reconstruction plan by August 12. The plan should include measures on shaping and trimming trees, repairing drainage equipment to regulate the flow of water, improving lanes and alleys, as well as park lighting. Research topics should also be approved. In addition, Olena Kolesnichenko was charged with the task to hold short botanical garden tours for students as a part of “The School of a Freshman.”
Stanislav Nikolayenko highlighted that the botanical garden is the treasure of our university and of Ukrainian capital. The Acting Head of the University assured that he would support further development of the unit.

Stanislav Nikolayenko also visited the training laboratory of forestry technologies and the woodworking workshop.
In the future it is planned to establish a botanical garden between University Building 1 and the Department of Beekeeping. It may include a recreation site for teachers and students as well as facilities for orienteering.

The Head of the Department of Reforestation and Afforestation, Victor Maurer, held an excursion around the education and research hotbed. One of the most impressive sites is the area with 30 species of firs including North American, European and Asian species. The Head is very proud of student achievements. There was a case when one of the graduates planted 200 trees to perform his research task and only 3 trees died.
Another treasure is a collection of 18 poplar clones. For 20 years these trees give about 280-360 m3 of wood. They can be used as an alternative source of energy — biofuel.
For more efficient work the department needs a space for an education and research laboratory, as well as increasing the number of staff.
In conclusion, the administration examined the orchard that has good planting material, excellent variety of fruit trees, nuts, currant bushes and berry plantations.

So we have something to be proud of and it is our task to develop it!

Olga Nakonechna

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