Stepanavan Botanical Forest “Sochut” or Dendropark was founded in 1933 by the Polish forest engineer Edmon Leonovich, who was the director of the reserve. In 1998, the territory received the status of a specially protected zone.Dendropark is located at an altitude of 1550 meters above the sea level, which makes its weather cool and does not look like the weather of the other regions of mountainous Armenia.
There is a feeling that you are not in Armenia but in Ireland …The park covers an area of about 35 hectares, half of the territory is covered by a natural forest. 17.5 hectares is a natural forest, in 15 hectares – ornamental trees. Dendropark is considered to be the first forest in the South Caucasus, which was turned into a park.
As a part of the international exchange programs, plants from the botanical gardens of Tbilisi, Kiev, St. Petersburg and Moscow were brought to Stepanavan Dendropark.
Later, plants were also delivered from the USA, Germany, France, China and Portugal. Among the samples, there are magnolia, Siberian cedar, European larch and others. Of particular value is the Californian sequoia.
Planted next to each other 5 mighty sequoias are still small. They need a few hundred years to gain height.
This collection of plants is of great scientific interest for studying the adaptive characteristics of various plants for new climate conditions.
During the existence of the park, attempts have been made to plant more than 2500 species of plants in order to understand which ones will take root.
The best time to visit Dendropark is the beginning of July – November since it is very cold in winter and rainy in spring.
This is a great place for excursions and botanical tours. At the moment the park is in the centre of attention of the society, scientists and ecotourists.
They say that in Sochut dreams come true. There is a small wooden bridge. It is believed that if you make a wish before going for the first time on it, it will come true.
Perhaps, only it is necessary to try and wait for a miracle…