Ilanot Arboretum contains some 350 species of trees from different parts of the world, some quite exotic. Each species is identified by name and accompanied by a QR code for learning more about the tree. There will probably be two types of visitors here. One is families or individuals genuinely interested in trees and there is plenty of information for them throughout the arboretum in the way of signs about aspects of tree growth and associated fauna, although they are all in Hebrew. The Visitor Center is also an educational facility about trees. There will also be people who want a nice walk in a place that is interesting and different, and they will not be disappointed either. Just follow the paths in a circular way around the arboretum. Kids will also enjoy the maze.
How did these trees get here? In the 1950s, the Ministry of Agriculture planted 700 species of trees from around the world to assess their suitability for the forests of Israel. Many of them were from Australia. This project was closed down in 1986 and the land was abandoned until 2013 when the KKL-JNF (Jewish National Fund) took upon itself the task of rehabilitating this area as an arboretum. Trees that could be saved were saved, new ones were planted, paths were laid, and a Visitor Center was designed.
Directions and parking: Enter “Ilanot Arboretum” and click on “Ilanot Aboretum Visitor Center.” This will bring you to the main parking lot for the arboretum.
Admission: The botanical gardens is open from 8.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. during the summer and from 8.00 am to 5.00 p.m. during the winter. The restrooms adjoining the Visitor Center are open during the same hours. There is no admission charge. There are numerous picnic tables in a eucalyptus grove near the parking lot. There is no brochure, but there is map of the paths by the parking lot. Also, an audio description about this site. Different outside activities are arranged during the summer. A self-guided family orienteering game among the trees is available on a smart phone using the free Havaya’ar Ilanot app. Their phone number, including for the Visitor Center, is 09 897 4800. This is their website.
Public transport: Enter “Ilanot Arboretum Visitor Center.” The closest bus stop is at Tzomet Ilanot and is just a 5-minute walk from the Arboretum.
An exotic tree from Australia.
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The Visitor Center is open between 9.00 a.m. to 2.00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. It has sophisticated activity stations and videos are shown. Entry for individuals and groups needs advanced booking. The station activities are in Hebrew, English and Arabic. The video can also be seen in either of these languages.
For those wanting a somewhat longer walk than is provided by the Arboretum, there is a forest, Ilanot Forest, on the other side of Route 4 opposite the Arboretum. It is laid out with paths and has various recreational activities. It can be reached from southbound Route 4. There is also a circular, 3-Km Iris Trail that starts from the Arboretum. Dark-purple Iris can be seen between early February to early March.
Cyprus trees. There are trees in the arboretum from Israel and other countries.
There are many trees here from Australia. These are eucalyptuses.
Finding one's way through the maze.
Another Australian eucalyptus.