Clinton Devon Estates teams have joined thousands of people from across the UK taking part in a tree planting initiative to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
The Queen’s Green Canopy has been created to help the public mark the occasion and create a legacy in honour of Her Majesty. Villages, towns, cities, community groups, schools and businesses will contribute and enhance the environment, by planting their own trees.
The first phase of the Estate’s involvement in the project has seen staff plant 25 trees at different locations across the Estate in North and East Devon. Among those taking part are the Clinton Farms, Property and Land, Forestry, Business Support, Finance, Bicton Arena and the Heanton Gardens teams.
Clinton Devon Estates’ Head of Forestry and Energy, John Wilding, said: “Alongside our traditional oaks, we have specifically chosen cherry trees for the Queen’s Green Canopy as they are very quick to grow and most importantly, they are not troubled by grey squirrels so will have a good chance of growing into a mature tree.
“When planting trees like this, if you get it right then they are going to be there for a very long time and many years to come, which is great. Of course, cherry trees blossom in the spring as well and that’s an added bonus as it gives a beautiful flash of colour each year.”
The forestry team came together at the Harpford Woods Jubilee plantation on the Heanton Estate in North Devon, to plant their contribution. They took a break from this season’s restocking and protection programmes to plant a glade of seven wild cherry trees, one to represent each decade of Her Majesty’s reign.
The Jubilee plantation was created in 2012 to mark the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. The addition of the flowering cherry will add spring colour to the views over Harpford and the Lower Otter valley.
John continues: “We see this as a wonderful way to celebrate this significant year for Her Majesty, The Queen. It is particularly special to see the trees being planted at the Jubilee Plantation, which marks another special event ten years ago.”
Managed woodlands occupy 1,800 hectares and account for 17% of the Estate area, comprising a rich mixture of both commercial conifers and native broadleaved species, which provide a wide range of habitats for many plants and animals.
The new trees have been planted in tree shelters, which act like a mini greenhouse. In the first year, the cherry trees are expected to grow to around seven feet in height, eventually reaching up to 26 feet in 10 years’ time. Fully grown, they can reach up to 65 feet.
As the official tree planting season has now come to an end, staff will continue with their planting activities in October.
Over the coming months, John says the most important thing will be to keep the ground around the trees well weeded. He adds: “Planting is the easy bit – it’s the ongoing maintenance and aftercare that is so crucial to each tree’s success.”