Leslie R. Holdridge Arboretum

The Holdridge Arboretum was initiated in 1968. It was a small area of cacao with an exceptionally rich overstory of native shade trees, which was removed to aid the phenological study of the biologists Frankie and Baker. In 1970 Gary Hartshorn continued planting seedlings of many native tree species, bringing a total of about 240 species. The Arboretum currently occupies 3.5 hectares and includes 1013 individuals of 240 native and 3 exotic species, representing 60 families and 171 genera. The 1013 individual encompass 870 trees and treelets representing 217 spp, 106 are palms (19 spp.), 30 shrubs (11 spp.) 5 tree ferns (1 sp) and finally 2 woody vines or lianas representing 2 species.

The Arboretum is used intensively by courses, natural history visitors, students and researchers, this is an important facility for a wide range of observational studies, manipulations, dendrological practices, taxonomy etc; this make an outstanding reason to maintain up to date the tree collection and the site. The current arboretum list is computerized and available to researchers and all users.

Current management consists of regular bush cutting/mowing and irregular planting and retagging. The long-term goal for the arboretum is to have at least two individuals of all tree species at La Selva ( > 400 species). It is probable that more space will be required to complete this task, sections of the adjacent cacao groves will be converted to arboretum as this need develops. Each addition of area will be reviewed by the normal land allocation review procedure.

  Arboretum species list document (O. Vargas & E. Castro, 2011)