Järvselja is the heart of Estonian forestry education and research as well as the place where Estonia’s first and oldest forest protection area was formed nearly a century ago. The area is called the Järvselja Primeval Forest or Nature Reserve, currently also known as a virgin forest. Additionally, several heritage culture and forest protection objects as well as its rich natural diversity have been preserved there. One of the symbols of Järvselja is the grand Kuningamänd (the King’s Pine), which is almost the same age as the University of Tartu (est 1632).
Today, the region of Järvselja does not need much of an introduction to people involved in forestry or to nature enthusiasts. Järvselja as a forest is one of the most researched places in the world; it is an important testing and learning site for scientists and students from several universities, and home to multiple exotic species and several of the highest trees of their kind in Estonia. The first nursery was established in Järvselja at the end of the 19th century. The current rich plant selection of Järvselja nursery offers planting stocks for both planting forests and for decorating gardens.
On 13 April 1921, the Estonian government at the time gave the Järvselja forest, then known as the Kastre-Peravalla forest area, to the Department of Forestry of the University of Tartu indefinitely. Thus the Training Forestry District of the University of Tartu was established.
This year, Estonian University of Life Sciences Järvselja Training and Experimental Forestry District, a significant national and international forestry education and research base, celebrates its 100th anniversary.