Commemorative elm tree planted to mark National Tree Warden scheme's 30th anniversary

Graham Hutchinson and Jon Ball plan the tree

Graham Hutchinson and Jon Ball plan the tree - Credit: Ed Dolphin

Local tree wardens have planted a commemorative disease-resistant elm tree as part of the National Tree Warden scheme’s 30th anniversary celebrations.
Sidmouth’s three tree wardens, all members of the Sidmouth Arboretum committee, and the Town Council came together with The Tree Council to provide a commemorative elm tree in Long Park to take the place of one of the ash trees felled recently because of ash dieback. Gifted by The Tree Council, with support from the Network Rail Community Fund, the tree is one of 30 planted around the country to celebrate three tremendous decades of the national Tree Warden Scheme.
Sara Lom, CEO for The Tree Council, said: “Tree Wardens have been caring for their local trees for thirty amazing years. These commemorative elms, each of which represents a year of the scheme, are a tribute to every single tree warden, past and present. They also symbolise the resilience of trees and the beauty of new beginnings – how many more amazing things will tree wardens have achieved when these wonderful trees are 30, 50 and 100 years old?”

Graham Hutchinson places the elm tree in situe

Graham Hutchinson places the elm tree in situ - Credit: Ed Dolphin


Arboretum Chairman Jon Ball said: “It is a real pleasure to be planting yet another tree. We have to thank the Tree Council and the Network Rail Community Fund for this very generous gift which was secured with a successful bid by our tree wardens. It is particularly apt that it is an elm tree because the valley was once dominated by large elms, but these were lost to Dutch Elm Disease fifty years ago. This new disease-resistant strain gives hope for their return in the future.”
A planting ceremony had previously been planned for and the three tree wardens, Diana East, Simon Pollentine and Ed Dolphin, would have been joined by local councillors to put the tree in the ground. Of course, this could not happen under current restrictions. Jon Ball and the Arboretum planting manager, Graham Hutchinson, planted the tree while observing sensible Covid precautions. The postponed get-together to celebrate the planting will now take place later in the year.

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