handing over cheque
Aitken Bequest Trustee Donald McDonald hands cheque to Councillor Bob Ellis of the Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust in 2005.
cutting robbon to declare Arboretum formally open
Environment Minister Michael Russell formally opens the Arboretum in September 2008.

History of the Arboretum

Back in the 1920s when Deuchny Hill was part of the Kinfauns Estate, exotic conifers were planted as part of a small arboretum. Today this ground is owned by Forestry Commission Scotland and is part of the Kinnoull Hill Woodland Park.

In 2003 James Aitken, a well-known Perth landscape gardener who had a great love of the trees on Kinnoull Hill, left £80,OOO to the Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust for the re-instatement of this Arboretum. Jim lived at Orchardbank on the Barnhill side of the Park and was heavily involved in all aspects of local natural history. He was president of the Perthshire Society of Natural Sciences for many years. And in his younger days he was employed at Branklyn House and helped to shape that lovely garden.

The cheque for £80,000 was handed over by Donald McDonald (one of the James Aitken bequest trustees) - wearing the cap in the photograph on the right - to Councillor Bob Ellis, Chair of the Perth & Kinross Countryside Trust, at the site of the Arboretum on Thursday, March 3, 2005.

Tree planting began in 2006.

A major milestone was reached in September 2008 when the Arboretum was offically opened by Michael Russell, the Scottish Minister for the Environment.