The Borova Hora Arboretum (ABH) is a scientific and educational workplace of the Technical University in Zvolen. It was built in 1965 and it has had an area of nearly 50 hectares. The beginning of its existence dates officially back to 30 March 1965, when the first plantings were realised (Pagan et al. 1975, 1985).
The first proposal of the ABH construction in Zvolen was made in 1958 by Ing. Jozef Pagan, the then assistant professor of the Institute of Dendrology and Phytocenology of the Department of Botany and Pedology at the Faculty of Forestry in Zvolen. His proposal was accepted by academic staff of the Forestry Faculty and Ing. Pagan was entrusted with elaborating more detailed documents. The focus was specialised on the location, size, and operational buildings. The preparation and processing of these documents with subsequent consultations took more than a year. Experts from Prague were invited to assess a suitability of the locality. In order to assess the suitability of the sites, experts from Prague were also invited – prof. Dr. Ing. Pravdomil Svoboda, DrSc., Ing. Jaroslav Hofman and Ing. Erich Vaclav. Their proposal was accepted for Borova hora.
Over the next few years, responsible staff solved the property and legal conditions, size, expertise and financial resources at different levels for building of the ABH.
In August 1962, on the basis of the developed investment task, the Ministry of Education and Culture in Prague approved the technical project for "Arborétum Lesníckej fakulty" in September 1963 as part of the construction of the University of Forestry and Wood Technology in Zvolen. This decision gave a basis for the beginning of the ABH activities.
Opinions on the professional and content focus of the collections were unified in 1964, after the arrival of Professor Pravdomil Svoboda at the Faculty of Forestry, He proposed that the ABH would be built on the principle of the plant system and, in contrast to other arboretums "would concentrate especially the varieties of domestic dendroflora collected with strict knowledge of origin, which can be further monitored, evaluated and demonstrated in terms of its morphological and geographical variability "(Kolektív 1964 ex Pagan 1998).
The extensive planted species, in the area of the ABH is very precious. In most cases, there are original species gained directly from natural forests of Slovakia or they were obtained from different specialised institutions. The exact register and photo documentation are retained; therefore the conditions are created for next monitoring and evaluating. The most valuable purpose of the ABH is based on the individual populations and precious forms of indigenous tree species from different parts of Slovakia and is generatively and vegetatively reproduced and subsequently preserved as a valuable gene pool.
In 1981, as an acknowledgement of the great value of the collections, the ABH was declared as a protected area “to protect the samples of genetic richness of the tree species in the Slovak Republic forests and a wide variability of individual tree species, as well as for scientific, educational and cultural purposes”.
In the period of 2012 – 2016, the use of the ABH was intensified especially through the direct education of different fields of dendrology, land use and ecological orientation. The University students can use different Arboretum´s plant species for their Bachelor, Master and PhD theses or researches. According to the Long-term Plan of the Technical University in Zvolen, the transformation of the ABH is anticipated for the science incubator with a possibility of involvement in the European Research Area. The ways for closer collaboration were being searched for the scientific research with its workplaces of similar specialisation not only in Slovakia but also in the EU states.
The Directors of the ABH have contributed to the realisation of these ideas, especially Professor Jozef Pagan, CSc., in 1970 – 1990, Ing. Juraj Labanc, CSc. (1990 – 1995) and Associate Professor Ivan Lukáčik, CSc. (from 1996 to the present).