Caring for the trees of the Sid Valley
TREE CELEBRATION 2019
Sidmouth Arboretum's annual celebration of trees was a great success. The Cellar Bar at Kennaway House was packed with people interested in trees.
We had illuminating talks: Kate Tobin from Forest England talked about the likely impact of climate change on the treescape of Sidmouth, Toby Taylor from the RSPB gave insights into what is happening on the Beacon Hill nature reserves, and local arboriculturalist and tree surgeon Andy Rowse had some fascinating slides on the unusual forms of clipped trees that adorn Japanese gardens.
We had Tess Bisson and the Sid Vale Folk Choir singing songs about trees.
There were stalls representing local environmental organisations, including the Woodland Trust, SVA, Friends of the Byes and the National Trust.
We also had craft stalls with Fairiewood Pyrography, woodturners Diana and Martin Russell and Keith Hudson, and woodcarver Sarah Protherough.
The quiz was won by members of the Exmouth Tree Project.
Huge thank you to Jeremy Woodward who did nearly all the work needed to get the evening organised.
STOWFORD MONTEREY PINE
Continuing the tree planting supported by Sidmouth Town Council, we (meaning Graham and Jon mainly) planted a young Monterey Pine at Stowford Rise this morning. The tree is actually a seedling from the large Pine in The Knowle. Peter Daniel from the Science Festival extracted some seeds from a cone and germinated them. Graham from the Arboretum grew this one on. Peter said he was amazed at how much it had grown. The planting was supported by Ian Barlow (STC Chair), Denise Bickley and Chris Lockyear (STC Environment Committee Chair and Vice-Chair), Chris Holland (Town Clerk).
We look forward to planting many more trees this season, and to welcoming you all to the Celebration of Trees, 6.30 this Friday 29th at Kennaway House.
Jon, Graham and Ed went along to St John's School on Tuesday 19th November to help Luke Towe and his class of year 4 children with planting the latest pack of young trees supplied by the Woodland Trust.
The children were bright and enthusiastic in the question and answer session before actual planting and they did a splendid job of getting the thirty trees, 10 each of Rowan, Birch and Cherry trees after watching Graham plant an oak sapling grown from an acorn collected locally. The children each took an acorn and promised to plant them at home.
This follows the year six children planting another thirty saplings last March. All of the first batch survived heir first summer and put on good growth. It will not be long before they grow into a copse that will harbour wildlife at the edge of the school field.
Year five children from the school will be working with the Arboretum team next May on a project making music with the trees in Sidholme.
CELEBRATION OF TREES 2019
Come along for a fun and informative evening.
AUTUMN COLOUR FOR THE RESIDENT
Each month, we have an article in the Resident magazine issued with the Sidmouth Herald. Usually this focuses on a particular tree and this month we have chosen the Liquidambar that stands in the middle of the park at the Knowle in Station Road. An introduced species from the USA, Liquidambars are notable for their autumn colour. The one in the Knowle is turning a deep purple at present and this will fade to a rusty gold before the leaves drop. Others around the town produce a range of colours including deep red and golden yellow.
Accessible Tree Trail leafletWe have launched an Accessible Tree Trail leaflet - The new trail, which is accessible to wheelchairs, mobility scooters and parents with young children in buggies, begins at the Museum, goes through the churchyard and Blackmore Gardens before looping round Heydon’s Lane and Coburg Road back to the Three- Cornered Plot. The trail leaflet has information about many of the trees plus smartphone links to more information on the internet. The Trail leaflet is available free of charge from the Tourist Information Centre and can be viewed online.
DAY OUT TO WESTONBIRT
Fantastic day out at the National Arboretum at Westonbirt, Gloucestershire, the 600 acre home to 15,000 trees representing 2,500 species of trees from around the world in a collection begun in the 19th century by a wealthy landowner Robert Holford.
Penny gave us a very informative guide around the propagation unit which plays a vital part in maintaining the collection and liaising with other tree organisations.
In the afternoon, friend of Sidmouth Arboretum and retired Westonbirt scientist Hugh Angus led a walk around the oldest part of the collection. It was a mixture of showing us interesting things and challenging our knowledge and we saw some really interesting and amazing trees.
SALCOMBE REGIS FAIR
Sidmouth Arboretum had a stall in the churchyard at Salcombe Regis Summer Fair. Lots of people stopped for a chat and to try the tree twig task. Twigs were collected from ten of the trees around the churchyard, they were numbered and people were asked to match the twigs to a list of tree names. There was also a map of the churchyard with 16 individual trees marked.
Trees to combat climate change
As part of Tree Week 2019, Bob Chard told us about his experimental woodland growing foreign hardwood trees to assess which ones could be used as substitutes for imported hardwoods.
The UK imports more hardwood for things such as furniture than most other countries if taken on a per capita basis. This creates a market for illegal logging in tropical rainforests.
Bob, who has a family history in forestry, is growing foreign species of tree to assess which will thrive in the UK. His work is attracting attention among the forestry community and will pay large benefits in years to come.
Dame Julia Slingo
Sidmouth Arboretum Patron and former Chief Scientific Officer to the Met Office, Dame Julia Slingo gave an absorbing talk about trees and climate change as part of Tree Week 2019.
Dame Julia gave an analysis of data from a range of sources to show that human activity has been affecting carbon dioxide levels for a long time as we have cleared large areas of forest across the northern hemisphere. This effect has been exacerbated by the burning of fossil fuels and this is causing wide ranging changes in our world.
However, the talk ended with a note of optimism, Dame Julia told us that things are moving and she believes that things will not turn out as bad as the worst case scenarios. One thing that will help is to plant more trees, lots more trees. Large scale reforestation will not prevent climate change, but it will help to moderate its progress.
TREE WEEK 20-25 MAY 2019
All events this week free of charge, except for Friday departing from the Museum £2.50p.
Monday 20th Sidbury Guided Walk
2pm Meet at Sidbury Council car park
Tuesday 21st with Café Scientifique
‘Trees for multiple benefits’
Illustrated talk by Bob Chard
3pm Cellar Bar of Kennaway House Sidmouth
Wednesday 22nd Salcombe Regis guided walk
2pm Meet at Tourist Information, Sidmouth
‘Trees for climate change’
Illustrated talk by Julia Slingo DBE FRS
7.30pm Music Room at Sidholme Hotel, Sidmouth
Friday 24th Sidmouth guided walks
10:30am Meet at Museum, Church Street, Sidmouth
Friday 24th & Saturday 25th MEET THE TREES
Guided visits to gardens with special trees
Map and times from Tourist Information Sidmouth
Or request from email@example.com
We would welcome anyone willing to help with our activities, whether active planting and maintenance or helping at our stalls when we attend the local Fairs and Festivals. Please get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
TIPS FOR MAY / JUNE
SHRUB PRUNING - one third of older shoots to ground level soon after spring flowering such as Philadelphus.
FRUIT summer pruning apples/pears for fruit, winter pruning for growth but remember stone fruits only prune in summer. https://www.rhs.org.uk/plants/trees for pruning guide lines and for planning your autumn planting now!
HAWTHORNS in bloom - ‘Paul’s Scarlet’ is very popular – see the trees in the Market Place and outside Unitarian Hall by Tesco in bloom in May. In spite of the thorns which put off many people, I am really keen on hawthorns – easy to grow, flower in spring, fruits in autumn, some yellow some red some black and the birds love them. But pruning – best left to winter.
The horse chestnuts are magnificent in flower now (mid May) though sweet chestnuts just starting into leaf.
CHECK out your water butts – you may need them this summer.
ANOTHER TREE PLANTED
Graham and Jon led the work party planting a Whitebeam (Sorbus aria) in Long Park. Sidmouth Town Council gave permission to plant in the park, Council Chairman Ian McKenzie-Edwards and Town Clerk Chris Holland came along. Diana and Ed also attended.
BLACKMORE FRUIT TREES
Working with EDDC, Graham and Jon kicked off this year's planting schedule when they planted fruit trees in Blackmore Gardens today. Two local apple varieties, the Woolbrook Pippin and the Woolbrook Russet were planted against the wall by the health centre. The trees will be trained on the wall as they would have been in times gone by. The team also planted a Rowan and an Apricot will follow soon.
As part of the Arboretum's remit to inform and engage the public, we are attaching labels to many publicly accessible trees in the valley. Each labels tells you the scientific and common name for the tree, but it also includes a QR code. A QR code is like a super barcode, it contains information about a link to the Arboretum website page for that particular tree. The code can be scanned with a smartphone app with data access and the link is made to the website with information about the particular tree and further links to wider information about the tree species from organisations such as the Woodland Trust, Forestry Commission and Royal Horticultural Society.
The first labels have been attached to trees in the Knowle. We will also be labelling trees in Blackmore Gardens, Sidholme and along the Arboretum's Tree Trails.
Contact Sidmouth Arboretum at: infoAATTsidmoutharboretumDDOOTTorgDDOOTTuk
|Website by Colin Walls|