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Commemorative tree planting at Wakehurst Place

A tree has been planted at Wakehurst Place, the country estate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, to mark the 50th anniversary of the national Arboricultural Association.

7 May 2014

A field maple was planted in Coates Wood by Clare Trivedi, UK National Tree Seed Project Coordinator, Simon Kallow, UK National Tree Seed Project Officer and Jago Keen, chairman of the Arboricultural Association.

The field maple is a native British species that grows well at Wakehurst and is one of 50 native tree species prioritised for conservation by the UK National Tree Seed Project, which has recently secured a second year of funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery* (see more background below).

Iain Parkinson, Wakehurst’s Conservation and Woodlands manager, said: 

'Wakehurst is home to 100 hectares of woodland, thousands of trees, and Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, where the UK National Tree Seed Project was launched last year to lead vital conservation work, so it a fitting place to mark the Arboricultural Association’s anniversary.

'The field maple is one of many native trees we will be planting this year to help enhance our tree collections.'

Wakehurst’s woodlands are home to collections of trees from temperate regions around the world, including Northern American species in Horsebridge Wood, Asian species in Westwood Valley, and Southern Hemisphere trees in Coates Wood. Coates Wood is home to the national collection of southern beech or Nothofagus, from South America and Australasia.

The Arboricultural Association was established in 1964 as the national representative and accreditation body for tree care professionals in the UK. The organisation’s principal objectives are to set and promote standards, training and accreditation, and to raise government and public awareness of the value of trees within the urban and country landscape.

The commemorative tree planting at Wakehurst is one of a number taking place as a reminder of the work that the association does to uphold standards in the industry and also to draw the public’s attention to the health and well being benefits that trees deliver.

Jago Keen, chairman of the Arboricultural Association, said:

'Today’s planting of a field maple marks the 50th anniversary of the Arboricultural Association; a time during which we have worked with other organisations, like Wakehurst, for the betterment of amenity trees.

'The weather during this last winter has had a dramatic impact upon our trees and in the face of uncertain climate change we are delighted to be a part of the UK National Tree Seed Project. It is so important to recognise the benefit for future generations of retaining genetic reserves and to sustain trees in those places where people live, play and work.

*The UK National Tree Seed Project was set up to establish the country’s first national collection of tree seeds, thanks to support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, who have provided £200,000 in funding. The Project will ensure that the collection of UK tree seeds already protected in Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank will grow and become more comprehensive, eventually representing the full genetic diversity of the UK’s tree populations.

The Arboricultural Association is one of the partners in the project supporting tree seed collecting in the UK.

See previous press release for more background on the UK National Tree Seed Project:

Notes to editors

For more information call Iain Parkinson on 01444 894067, Kew press office on 020 8332 5607 or email pr@kew.org.

To download images of Wakehurst Place:  http://www.kew.org/press/images/wakehurst/wakehurst_%20index.html.

UK National Tree Seed Project images: http://www.kew.org/press/images/tree_seeds.html

Username is press. Password is kewpress.

Wakehurst Place is the country estate of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and home to formal gardens, natural woodlands, nature reserves, and a sixteenth century mansion. Kew’s Millennium Seed Bank, located at Wakehurst, is the largest wild plant seed collection in the world. The Royal Botanic Gardens Kew and its partners have collected and conserved seed from 10% of the world’s wild flowering plant species (around 30,000 species) and aim to conserve 25% by 2020.

Wakehurst is on the B2028 between Ardingly and Turners Hill (Junction 10 off the M23), West Sussex, RH17 6TN and open every day from 10am, except December 24 and 25. For more information ring 01444 894067 or visit www.kew.org.

Arboricultural Association

  1. Since 1964 the Arboricultural Association has been the national body in the UK and Ireland for the amenity tree care professional in either civic or commercial employment at craft, technical, supervisory, managerial or consultancy level. There are currently over 2,000 members of the Arboricultural Association in a variety of membership classes.
  2. The Charitable objective of the Arboricultural Association is to Advance the Science of Arboriculture for the Public Benefit.
  3. It does this by :
    • setting standards
    • promoting standards
    • enabling compliance
  4. The Arboricultural Association’s Website is www.trees.org.uk.

For further information call 01242 522152.

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