The forest botanic garden of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki is located in the Foinikas area, east of the city. The garden was founded thanks to action taken by the faculty members of the Laboratory of Forest Botany – Geobotany (former Laboratory of Forest Botany) at the Faculty of Forestry and Natural Environment of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. It covers an area of about 6.2 hectares, which the university acquired in 1964 by the initiative of professor Ioannis Papaioannou. When the garden was founded, in 1966, cypress trees were planted to reduce the intensity of winds and protect plants. In autumn 1970, the garden was planted according to a landscape plan.
Today, there are ligneous plants (trees and shrubs) that grow in Greece, as well as a small number of foreign plant species which are suitable for reforestation and are also grown for aesthetic purposes. In total, there are 111 species of ligneous plants which belong to 74 plant genera – 24 are gymnosperm and 87 angiosperm species. There are one or more plants of each species.
The main objective of the garden is to provide students at the Faculty of Forestry and Natural Environment with practical training. Students of all levels [primary and secondary schools, Higher Technological Education Institutions, Vocational Training Institutes (known in Greek by the acronym IEK.), Vocational Training Centres (known in Greek by the acronym ΚΕΚ.), etc.] are also offered the opportunity to visit the garden. Most ligneous plants are grown in the garden, attracting Greeks and foreigners interested in the Greek flora, who are given the opportunity to visit the garden and not only observe these plants but also study them. The Faculty of Forestry and Natural Environment relocated to the premises of the garden 15 years ago. There is also a greenhouse which covers an area of about 0.011 hectares.