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Sponsor a heritage tree at Wakehurst

Sponsoring an individual tree is a unique way to celebrate the life of someone special, mark the birth of a child or remember a special anniversary or event.

Emmenopterys henryi leaves at Wakehurst

Sponsor an individual tree at Wakehurst to remember someone special or to celebrate a special event.

Introducing Wakehurst's trees

Sponsoring an individual tree is a unique way to remember a special anniversary, celebrate a family event or commemorate the life of a loved one.

Our range of trees start at £5,000, with some heritage trees costing £10,000.

Trees in Wakehurst do not have commemorative plaques but all gifts, along with your personal dedication, are recorded on the touchscreen register. Commemorative trees are also recorded on Kew's Arboretum database, which holds the curatorial information and unique accession number of every tree grown in the garden.

Heritage trees at Wakehurst

All of our commemorative trees have been selected to include a variety of beautiful specimens set in prominent areas of the garden and there are over thirty trees available for individual sponsorship. We would be happy to show you the trees that are available at Wakehurst, so please contact us to arrange a meeting.

To sponsor a tree today, download our commemorative giving form or contact Jill Taylor by at commemorative@kew.org or phone 020 8332 3248 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).


Taxus bccata_PLA_AM07KG20120801T132240

Yew (Taxus baccata)

A remarkable, but often overlooked, feature of the gardens at Wakehurst is the sandstone outcrop around the edge of Bloomers Valley, clothed in several places by overhanging yews. A number of these trees spread extraordinary skeins of exposed roots around and down the faces of the rocks, clinging tenaciously to the outcrops and creating a magical spectacle in shady enclaves along Rock Walk.

Location: Bloomers Valley

Accession Number: 1996-2917

Available for £10,000


Wollemi Pine (Wollemia nobilis)

Wollemia nobilis_PLA_AM07KG20120801T131059
In 1994, just over 50 years after the discovery of the Dawn redwood, another 'fossil tree' was discovered. In a deep canyon in Wollemi National Park northwest of Sydney, Australia, a park ranger named David Noble came across a group of tall, multistemmed conifers with unusual foliage and bark. He brought back samples for identification, and it became clear that this was a tree new to science. Fossil and genetic studies have established that the closest living relatives to Wollemi pine are plants in the genera Agathis (such as New Zealand's Kauri) and Araucaria (such as the Monkey puzzle), both in the ancient conifer family Araucariaceae, so the new genus Wollemia is now classified in this family. Though no fossils are known which are identical to Wollemi pine, fossil ancestors in the Araucariaceae date back to the Jurassic and Cretaceous periods between 65 and 200 million years ago and were widespread in a warmer, wetter world. The tiny remaining natural populations of Wollemi pine, around 100 mature trees in all, cling to life in moist canyon bottoms, and are listed by IUCN as critically endangered. As well as being threatened by accelerating climate change, they are at risk from introduced plant diseases such as the destructive water mould Phytophthora cinnamomi, and this has led to strict control of access to the sites. However, propagated plants have been sold around the world, and a proportion of the proceeds are reserved for conservation of the wild trees.

Location: Coates Wood

Accession Number: 2009-2444

Available for £10,000


Monkey Puzzle Tree (Araucaria araucana)

Araucaria araucana_PLA_AM07KG20120801T125247
Monkey puzzle is native to the Andes in Chile and Argentina, and the coastal cordilleras of southern Chile. The first plants reached Britain in 1795, and it has since become a distinctive and popular ornamental. Archibald Menzies, the botanist and ship's surgeon travelling with Captain George Vancouver, pocketed some seeds which were served at a dinner given by the Governor of Chile, and successfully raised young plants on the voyage home. The large edible seeds are an important food for the indigenous Pehuenche people of southern Chile, for whom the tree is sacred. The formidable foliage consists of thick, overlapping, spined leaves clothing sinuous branches, and large spherical green cones which form high in the crown before breaking up to release the seed. Monkey puzzle forests have been extensively destroyed and degraded by logging, fire and grazing, particularly in the more accessible lower elevation stands of the coastal cordilleras. Despite being declared a 'Natural Monument' of Chile, and international trade in the timber being banned, these pressures continue outside protected areas, and Monkey puzzle is listed as vulnerable by IUCN. This mature specimen is one of three prominent on the flanks of Bloomer's Valley, and recent collection of seed in Chile will allow future successor planting of these iconic trees

Location: Bloomers Valley

Accession Number: 1997-417

Available for £10,000


Hualo (Nothofagus glauca)

Nothofagus glauca_PLA_AM07KG20120801T130307

Hualo is a species of southern beech with a restricted natural distribution in central Chile, within a Mediterranean-type climate of long, dry summers and winter rainfall. It is found on thin, rocky soils on steep north-facing slopes and shows signs of adaptation to drought and high temperature. Its fruits and seeds are the largest of any southern beech, the grey-green leaves are rough and crinkled to reduce water-loss, and the attractive bark is formed of scaly, flaking layers which become very thick with age. Hualo reaches 30m in height and up to 2m in diameter. Human pressure is high in this region of Chile. Much of the hualo forest in the coastal cordilleras has been logged and converted to forestry plantations of the exotic Monterey pine, and this is increasingly occurring in the Andean populations, with IUCN listing hualo as vulnerable. This specimen is growing in Coates Wood, the home of Wakehurst's National Collection of Nothofagus. It was planted in 1984, and at 18m is currently the Tree Register of the British Isles (TROBI) Champion for height and girth.

Location: Coates Wood

Accession Number: 1981-2858

Available for £10,000


Japanese Nutmeg (Torreya nucifera)

Torreya nucifera_PLA_AM07KG20120801T114348

Growing in an area known as the Golf Grounds, this is a Tree Register of the British Isles (TROBI) listed tree, a British Champion for both height and girth. Despite an early introduction date (1764), Japanese nutmeg remains rare in cultivation here. It is a medium-sized, slow-growing species, which in its native Japan is known to grow for more than 600 years and is now protected due to over-exploitation of its durable timber in the past. Timber from old-growth trees is highly prized for making playing boards and bowls for the traditional strategy game Go. The clean-grained, yellow colouring of the wood, and the particular sonic quality produced by the even growth rings as the playing stones are placed on the board, play an important part in the aesthetics and etiquette of the game. As this wood is only available from trees which have died naturally, these boards are now very valuable. Japanese nutmeg is closely related to yew, with a plum-like fruit in which the seed is fully encased in a green-purple fleshy aril. The fruit is edible and is also pressed for oil.

Location: Pinetum

Accession Number: 1969-21338

Available for £10,000


Hungarian Oak (Quercus frainetto)

Quercus Frainetto_PLA_AM07KG20120801T102646

This large deciduous oak, growing alongside the main path from the Visitor Centre, is native to south-eastern Europe. Preferring heavy acidic soils, Hungarian oak is widespread in the Balkans, often growing in association with Turkey oak (Quercus cerris). The species was introduced into cultivation in Britain in 1837, and is relatively fast-growing, reaching heights of 30-35m. Light yellow-green emergent foliage develops into large, glossy, dark green leaves with deeply divided multiple lobes. Autumn colours are striking yellows and russets. In autumn and spring, the ground around the tree is carpeted with flowering cyclamen.

Location: Garden

Accession Number: 1996-4230

Available for £5,000


Roble Beech (Nothofagus obliqua)

Nothofagus obliqua_PLA_AM07KG20120801T103419

The trees in the genus Nothofagus are now commonly referred to as 'southern beeches', and Wakehurst holds a National Collection of those hardy in Britain. Roble beech was introduced into cultivation in Britain in 1902, and this specimen is likely to have been among the early plantings of Gerald Loder, who owned Wakehurst between 1903 and 1936 and who had a particular interest in the plants of the southern hemisphere. It is a fast-growing deciduous tree reaching 30m in the wild, with a slender crown arching outwards with age while lower branches sweep downwards to display sprays of foliage on herringbone twigs. The fruit is formed of three nutlets clasped together and is much smaller than our native beech, which has two nutlets. The durable, reddish timber has been put to a wide variety of uses including shipbuilding, interior joinery and furniture making.

Location: Garden

Accession Number: 1969-30652

Available for £5,000


Abies borisii regis_PLA_AM07KG20120801T103823

King Boris' Fir (Abies borisii-regis)

Native to the mountains of the Balkan peninsula, in the wild this fir can grow up to 60m high and to 2m in trunk diameter. It is named after Tsar Boris III of Bulgaria, during whose reign it was described as a species in 1925. Botanists generally regard it as of hybrid origin, intermediate between Silver fir (Abies alba), Grecian fir (A. cephalonica) and Nordmann fir (A. nordmanniana). This specimen shows a typical many-topped character with large branches forming competing leaders. As with many firs, the prominent cones are borne high in the tree, ripening in one season and disintegrating on the tree as the seeds flake away from the central rachis.

Location: Garden

Accession Number: 1969-22268

Available for £5,000

 


Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica)

Cedrus atlantica_PLA_AM07KG20120801T104133

Atlas cedar is one of only four species of 'true' cedar (Cedrus) and is found in the maritime ranges of the Atlas mountains in Morocco and Algeria, at elevations of 1370-2200m. The natural populations include a range of foliage colour from green to blue, and powdery-blue cultivars have been among the most popular of ornamental conifers since the tree was introduced into cultivation in Britain in 1841. Unusually among conifers, cedar foliage has two forms: young shoots on which the needles are held singly, and short lateral spurs with dense whorls of needles. As with the firs, the barrel-shaped cones are held upright, but mature over two years from green to purplish-brown before disintegrating on the tree. Although Atlas cedar is not yet listed by the IUCN (World Conservation Union) as threatened, human and climatic pressures on plants are generally high in the Mediterranean basin, and around 75% of the original cedar forest area was lost between 1940 and 1982.

Location: Garden

Accession Number: 1969-21397

Available for £5,000


1Sequoiadendron giganteum_PLA_AM07KG20120801T105023

Giant Redwood (Sequoiadendron giganteum)

Giant redwoods are the world's largest trees in terms of total volume, and also among the oldest. Their remaining natural distribution is restricted to 68 groves scattered across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains in California, where they can reach heights up to 95m, trunk diameters up to 17m, and age in excess of 3,500 years. Logging began shortly after their discovery in 1852 and continued for the next 100 years, but the huge logs were difficult to handle, wastage of the brittle timber was high, and public reaction to the destruction of the monumental trees helped give rise to the conservation movement and the creation of National Parks in the US through the second half of the nineteenth century. All the groves are now protected, and the IUCN lists giant redwood as vulnerable to the threat of extinction. Introduced to Britain in 1853, giant redwood quickly became a popular and ubiquitous planting in estates and parks, growing quickly and proving windfirm and free of pests and diseases. Chose from one of three trees growing close to the mansion at Wakehurst

Location: Garden

Accession Numbers: 1969-21431, 1989-8027 and 2007-343

Available for £5,000 each


Macedonian Oak (Quercus trojana)

Quercus trojana_PLA_AM07KG20120801T112021

Macedonian oak is native to the western Balkans, south-eastern Italy and Turkey. It was introduced into cultivation in Britain in 1890, and generally forms a medium size tree up to 20m in height. This multi-stemmed specimen, growing at the edge of Mansion Lawn close to the Balustrade, is listed by the Tree Register of the British Isles (TROBI) as the tallest in Britain and Ireland, measured 22m in 2007. The dense rounded crown is semi-evergreen, holding its leaves until late in the winter, when they brown and drop shortly before the new leaves flush. The leaves are grey-green, with toothed edges, acorns are short in a deep cup with free-tipped scales, and the bark is very distinctive with finely divided rectangular plates.

Location: Garden

Accession Number: 1969-35236

Available for £5,000


Tupelo (Nyssa sylvatica)

Nyssa sylvatica_PLA_AM07KG20120801T113448

Tupelo is native to the deciduous forests of eastern North America, found across a huge range from Ontario to the borders of Mexico, often on swampy or poorly drained sites. It was introduced to Britain in the early eighteenth century, but remains relatively infrequent despite its ornamental merit. Tupelo may grow to 30m in the wild and live to a great age, but are generally shorter in this country forming a rounded columnar crown. The glossy, entire leaves open late in the spring, and the outstanding feature of this tree is its autumn colour, with a kaleidoscope of red, orange and yellow among remaining green leaves in the best years. The furrowed bark on older trees resembles alligator hide, and its timber is hard, heavy and resistant to splitting, resulting in traditional uses for mallet heads, wheel hubs and pulleys. This specimen is the larger of a pair planted in the Slips, close to Black Pond and the Bog Garden.

Location: Garden

Accession Number: 1969-32455

Available for £5,000


Chinese Emmenopterys (Emmenopteris henryi)

Emmenoperis henryi_PLA_AM07KG20120801T113139

The famous plant explorer Ernest Wilson, who collected extensively in China in the early years of the twentieth century, described this species as 'one of the most strikingly beautiful trees of the Chinese forests'. It was first introduced to cultivation in Britain in 1907. Wilson is known to have visited Wakehurst at the invitation of Gerald Loder, and it is likely that this specimen was among the early introductions. It can reach heights of 30m in the wild, but in the more moderate climate of Britain it has proved slow-growing and reluctant to flower. The Wakehurst tree flowered for the first time in 1987, and this was the first recorded flowering in Britain. The large, dark green, deciduous leaves are held on upswept twigs. They emerge strongly red-tinged, and the red buds, leaf petioles and shoots give the tree a distinctive hue.

Location: Garden

Accession Number: 1969-32826

Available for £5,000


Chinese Stuartia (Stuartia sinensis)

Stuatis sinensis_PLA_AM07KG20120801T111659

Closely related to Camellia, the genus Stuartia is named after John Stuart, Earl of Bute, who was chief advisor to Princess Augusta when she founded the Botanic Garden at Kew in 1759. Native to the mixed forests of central and eastern China, Chinese stuartia is another introduction by Ernest Wilson, dating from 1901, and again this specimen will have been amongst the first planted in this country. The most remarkable ornamental feature of this tree is its bark. Smooth grey through summer, in autumn it turns purple-brown and later peels in translucent scrolls to expose the fresh inner bark. The white flowers are carried singly and are 5cm across, with orange/yellow stamens, and the deciduous leaves colour attractively in autumn.

Location: Garden

Accession Number: 1969-31231

Available for £5,000


Hybrid Wingnut (Pterocarya x rehderiana)

Pterocarya x rehderiana_PLA_AM07KG20120801T110145
This handsome fast-growing, deciduous tree is not found in the wild, but is the product of a hybrid cross between two widely separated parent wingnut species. It was raised at the Arnold Arboretum in Boston in 1879, and introduced into Britain in 1908. The parent species are Pterocarya stenoptera from China, and Pterocarya fraxinifolia, native to the Caucasus and northern Iran. Wingnuts are named for their striking fruit, small nuts with papery wings held on long pendant strings. Hybrid wingnut is generally intermediate in character between its parent species, as is common with many hybrids. Its long pinnate leaves have a slightly-winged central rachis, a feature more pronounced in P. stenoptera. The female catkins are borne abundantly in mid-summer, and can extend to 45cm long. This specimen has a fine spreading parkland crown.

Location: Garden

Accession Number: 1969-33649

Available for £5,000


David's Keteleeria (Keteleeria davidiana)

Keteleeria davidiana_PLA_AM07KG20120801T115308

Trees in the small genus Keteleeria are only found in China and neighbouring parts of south-east Asia. David's keteleeria is a minor constituent of mixed and evergreen forests in central and eastern China and Taiwan, and can grow to 50m in height. Its name honours the French missionary-naturalist Père Armand David, an early western explorer of the natural riches of China. It is related botanically to firs, with similar foliage, and the attractive cones with reflexed scales are held upright, but unlike firs the cones fall from the tree complete. After a first introduction to Britain in 1888, Ernest Wilson collected David's keteleeria and introduced it again in 1907. This specimen is growing in an area which was incorporated into a newly expanded Pinetum by Gerald Loder, and is likely to be from Wilson's collections. Very rare in cultivation in the British Isles, this is a Tree Register of the British Isles (TROBI) Champion tree for height and girth. Its relatively modest stature reflects the fact that the species is native to a more continental and warm-temperate climate.

Location: Pinetum

Accession Number: 1969-21014

Available for £5,000


Dawn Redwood (Metasequoia glyptostroboides)

Metasequoia glyptostroboides_PLA_AM07KG20120801T120116

A tree known to palaeobotanists from sequoia-like fossil remains, and thought to have been extinct for at least two million years, Dawn redwood was discovered alive and well in Hubei, China in 1943. After the second world war the new species was formally described, and in 1948 botanists from the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard were able to visit the site and collect seed, which was widely distributed to universities and botanic gardens around the world. Further investigations revealed more Dawn redwoods in other locations in Hubei and Sichuan, but they are few in number and under great pressure from human populations, and the IUCN lists the tree as critically endangered in the wild. It is a fast-growing tree, and though it does not approach the heights reached by its near-relatives the Californian redwoods, some trees in China are over 60m tall. The fine foliage is superficially similar to Sequoia, but the leaf attachment is opposite, and the tree is deciduous, turning an attractive foxy-red before leaf-fall. Another notable feature is the swelling, fluted trunk base. The specimen growing in the Pinetum was planted in 1969, and reached over 17m in its first 20 years.

Location: Pinetum

Accession Number: 1948-4109

Available for £5,000


Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens)

Sequoia sempervirens_PLA_AM07KG20120801T121439

Along the western coast of North America, bathed in moisture from the Pacific ocean, grow temperate forests which are home to many of the world's tallest conifer species. Tallest of all is the Coast redwood, found in California and southern Oregon along a narrow strip no more than 45 miles wide, where cold ocean currents meet warm continental air to produce regular summer fog-banks. These trees can reach over 115m in height and 8m in diameter, and mature redwood forest can produce more biomass per unit area than tropical rainforest. The durable timber has a wide variety of uses, including outdoor furniture, construction, decking and roof shingles. It is estimated that 95% of the original old-growth redwood forest has been cut for timber, and the species is classified as vulnerable by the IUCN. The specimen growing in Wakehurst's North American collections in Horsebridge Wood is the largest of only three mature Coast redwoods in the Gardens to resist the 1987 storm.

Location: Horsebridge Wood

Accession Number: 1969-21819

Available for £5,000


Pseudotsuga menziesii_PLA_AM07KG20120801T123214
Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii)

Another huge conifer from western North America, Douglas fir ranks second only to coast redwood in height. It is the mainstay of the North American timber industry, yielding more wood than any other species, and is widely planted around the temperate world, including in UK forests. Its wide native range extends along the west coast from British Columbia to California, and along the spine of the Rocky Mountains as far south as Mexico. The name honours David Douglas, the Scottish plant explorer who introduced the tree into cultivation in Britain in 1827. The fragrant foliage of Douglas fir has encouraged its recent use as a Christmas tree, and the pendant cones are curiously distinct with protruding, trident-shaped bracts. The towering specimen in Horsebridge Wood displays the long, straight, branchless trunk which makes forest-grown Douglas fir so valuable as a timber tree.

Location: Horsebridge Wood

Accession Number: 1969-22028

Available for £5,000

 

 

 


Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera)

Liriodendron tulipfera_PLA_AM07KG20120801T122528

Tulip tree was one of the earliest trees to be introduced to Britain from the immense deciduous forests of eastern North America, and is thought to have been collected by John Tradescant the Younger around 1650. It is in the Magnolia family, and the common name reflects the similarity of the green-yellow flower to tulip. Tulip tree is the largest of the deciduous trees of the eastern forests, growing to nearly 60m in the most favourable locations in the southern Appalachians. The distinctive light-green leaf with its truncated central lobe is similar only to the closely related Chinese tulip tree (Liriodendron chinense), and turns bright yellow in the autumn. Though the tree is fast-growing, the wood is relatively strong, with a light colour and fine grain, and it is widely used for interior joinery as well as specialist uses such as organ pipes. Native peoples west of the Appalachians used tulip tree trunks to make dugout canoes, so early settlers called it 'canoe-wood'. The young multi-stemmed specimen growing in Horsebridge Wood was planted in 1990 from seed collected in southern Canada.

Location: Horsebridge Wood

Accession Number: 1988-8520

Available for £5,000


Brewer's Spruce (Picea breweriana)

Picea breweriana_PLA_AM07KG20120801T124032

Of all spruce species in North America, Brewer's spruce is the most rare, restricted to high-elevation ridge tops in the Klamath-Siskiyou mountains of northern California and southern Oregon. It is thought to be among the first spruce species to have evolved, but its present relict distribution may leave it increasingly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. Though slow-growing, it may reach 50m in height in the wild, and live to 900 years. The most characteristic feature of Brewer's spruce is its foliage, borne on long branchlets which hang vertically in curtains from level branches, an adaptation which enables it to withstand the heavy winter snowfall of its native range. The group of trees growing at the southern end of Bloomers Valley were planted in 1979, marking the entrance to the North American arboretum in Horsebridge Wood.

Location: Horsebridge Wood

Accession Number: 1996-4230

Available for £5,000


Alpine Ash (Eucalyptus delegatensis)

Eucalyptus delegatensis_PLA_AM07KG20120801T131455

This multi-stemmed Alpine ash was among the first trees to be planted in Coates Wood after the area was devastated in the 1987 storm. It is part of a group planting of Eucalyptus which form a strong visual marker at the entrance to the wood, dedicated as a new southern hemisphere arboretum after the storm. Native to Tasmania and south-eastern parts of the Australian mainland, Alpine ash is among the tallest-growing tree species. It can grow to nearly 90m and is an important timber tree. The bark on the lower part of the trunk is rough, orange-brown and fibrous, but higher up it is smooth, blue-grey and sheds in long thin strips. The long grey-green, lance-shaped leaves are borne on reddish branchlets. White flowers emerge in clusters from the leaf axils. As its name suggests, it is found at higher elevations in its native range, and requires more rainfall than many eucalypts to grow well.

Location: Coates Wood

Accession Number: 1988-8091

Available for £5,000


Mockernut (Carya tomentosa)

Mockernut (Carya tomentosa) at Wakehurst

Mockernut hickory is a medium-sized deciduous tree from the forests of eastern North America. It has a huge range, from the Atlantic coast between Massachusetts and northern Florida, and west to between Ohio and eastern Texas. It is most abundant towards the south of this range, and is particularly prized for its strong, stiff timber. The wood is used for tool handles, sports equipment, ladder rungs, joinery and furniture, and is also valued for fuel wood and for smoking meats. Hickories are in the Walnut family (Juglandaceae), and the large seeds of the Mockernut, though not of value for human consumption, are a very important food source for a wide variety of mammals and birds in the forests. Mockernut hickory was introduced into cultivation in Britain in 1766, but remains relatively scarce here due, as with many of the hickories, to its intolerance of transplantation root disturbance. Nevertheless, it makes a fine specimen tree with finely-fissured silver-grey bark, and dark green shiny pinnate foliage which turns brilliant gold in the autumn. The tree in Bethlehem Wood is the best of a handful of mature hickories found here and around the gardens at Wakehurst.

Location: Bethlehem Wood

Accession Number: 1969-32755

Available for £5,000