Located on 48 acres in southern Menard County, IL, Starhill Forest is a private arboretum owned andoperated by the Sternberg family since 1976. The land has been farmed and grazed since the mid-19th century, when Abraham Lincoln traveled on the same road during his New Salem days.
Old trees in the forested areas date to about 1850, and the oldest planted trees were started from seed in 1964 and transplanted from another location. Permanent records kept by Starhill Forest include provenanceinformation, propagation method and year, mapped location within the arboretum via a surveyed grid system, and other data. In addition, permanent records of other taxa that have been tested and have not survived include cause of death, when known.
The primary scientific collection is a quercetum (oak collection) comprising a living reference component of the APGA North American Plant Collections Consortium. Additionally, approximately 180 other genera of woody plants are available for study, as well as herb and perennial landscapes, a native prairie garden, several provenance tests, riparian natural communities, old-growth forest, and a conifer plantation. In all, nearly 2000 woody taxa are represented.
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