Botanical Gardens and Arboreta
The Botanical gardens and arboreta section organises 7 botanical gardens, 4 literary botanical gardens and 4 special gardens. All arboreta have been moved to under a new administrative section.
Their objectives are to:
collect living plant native or not to Thailand for botanical research conserve and propagate native plants, particulary the rare, endemic and economically important species act as collection centre of herbarium specimens act as education and recreation centre for tourists and local people, for pleasure and to raise environmental awareness.
Location of botanical gardens
North: In Chiangmai, Queen Sirikit Botanical Garden is found. It formerly belonged to the Forest Herbarium, and was then called Mae Sa Botanical Garden (established in 1983). It was moved to the Botanical Garden Organisation of Thailand in 1992.
Northeast: Northeastern Botanical Garden (Dong Fa Huan) is located in Ubon Ratchathani province. It was established in 1988. The garden's area is 544 ha (3,400 rai), with 120 ha of natural vegetation of dry evergreen and scrub forest with emerging Yang na trees (Dipterocarpus alatus). The altitude of the garden varies form 100 m to 250 m. The garden focuses on medicinal plants.
Central: The Central Botanical Garden (Phu Khae) was the first Royal Forest Department Botanical garden to be established (1941). It is located in Saraburi, and has an area of 300 ha (1,875 rai) including 100 ha of natural vegetation of semi evergreen forest. The average altitude is 120 m and a special characteristic is its bamboo, palms, and medicinal plants collection, together with the literary garden.
East: There are two botanical gardens, 'Roi Pee' Botanical Garden, official name: RFD Centennial Botanical Garden, located about 200 km east from Bangkok, partly in Sakeao and partly in Chachoengsao provinces. It consists of 3,000 ha (8,700 rai) and is a memorial garden celebrating both His Majesty's 50th Anniversary of his Accession on the Throne, and the RFD's celebration of its centenary. The garden was also established to be part of the master plan of the global Eastern Forest Flora and Fauna Conservation Project under Her Majesty the Queen's initiative.
The garden, which also includes a natural lowland dry evergreen forest ranges in altitude from 120-660 m. The name of the "RFD Centennial Botanical Garden" is given to commemorate the 100 anniversary of the establishment of the Royal Forest Department. In the natural forest is a trail with a total length of about 2 km. Various collections of plant families like orchids, gingers and ferns, medicinal plants, and plants of ecological interest are scattered along the trail.
On the 28th of July 1999 a special tree planting day was initiated to emphasize the importance of Dipterocarpaceae in the country and region. Many principal officials of different departments of the country and school children were involved in the plantings.
Eastern Botanical Garden (Khao Hin Son), in Chachoengsao province, was established in 1980 under an initiative of His Majesty King Bumiphon. It has an area of 68 ha (425 rai) of poor soil quality, with an average altitude of 50 m. The garden specializes in medicinal plants.
South: There are three botanical gardens in peninsular Thailand.
Khao Chong Botanical Garden, Trang was established in 1968. The natural vegetation fed by mountain streams from Khao Chong belongs to the lowland and submontane/montane evergreen forest types. The total area of the garden is 160 ha (1,000 rai) comprising 50 ha of natural vegetation, at an average altitude of 50 m. In 1983 a flood destroyed a large area, the palm collection being particularly affected. The garden is particularly important for its palm and rattan collections.
Peninsular Botanical Garden (Thung Khai) was established in 1993. The garden has been built following the idea of Chuan Leekphai, the Prime Minister, from the concept to build a Botanical Garden in peninsular of Thailand of international standard. It is an advantage for the country in the future. The Garden is located in Thung Khai Arboretum in the Thung Khai Forest Reserve in Trang province, Yan Ta Khao district. Within the Botanical Garden 416 ha (2,600 rai) of natural forest is present. The altitude ranges from 15 m to 40 m, with the main forest type being evergreen forest, and some small areas of savannah, swamp forest and a bog area.
Another Botanical garden is located in Phattalung and is part of the Peninsular Botanical Garden (called Panangtung). The garden is situated in a mangrove forest area which consists of 1,200 ha (7,500 rai). A fresh water lake surrounds the garden.