BENMORE TREE IN SECOND PLACE FOR SCOTTISH TREE OF THE YEAR —MORE VOTES NEEDED

Written by on 05/10/2015

 

The giant redwood at Benmore Botanic Garden,has so far  received the second highest number of votes in Scotland’s Tree of the Year competition.

To vote for the Benmore tree in Scottish Tree of the Year visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk /treeoftheyear

 

At first place at the moment is the sabal palm or bibby tree at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh that is the front runner in Scotland’s Tree of the Year competition with 312 votes.

Benmore’s giant redwood is in second place with 260 votes and the Suffragette Oak close behind with 232 votes.

Scottish Tree of the Year is an annual search for the nation’s best loved tree, organised by the Woodland Trust Scotland and supported by players of People’s Postcode Lottery.

The winning tree is decided by a public vote that takes place until Monday 12 October through the Woodland Trust’s website.

The avenue of Giant Redwoods at Benmore Botanic Garden is thought by many to be the best entrance to any botanic garden in the world.

The majestic Sequoiadendron giganteum at Benmore stand 50 metres tall. In autumn 2013 over 1,500 people attended “Glowing Giants’’, a light show to celebrate the avenue’s 150th anniversary.

 

The story behind how Sequoiadendron giganteum first reached British shores is entwined in the telling of a particular period of our history. It involves a competitive race to cultivate this remarkable tree and it is tied up with the California Gold Rush. The man credited with introducing it to Britain is the Scot, Patrick Matthew (1790-1874). With three of his sons involved in the Gold Rush, Matthew took advantage of the situation and requested seeds be sent home by steam packet, so narrowly stealing the glory from the famous Exeter nursery, Veitch. Although it isn’t known for certain, it seems likely that the Redwood Avenue grew from the seeds of one of these two collections.

 

Curator at Benmore, Peter Baxter commented: “Our Giant Redwood is part of an historic avenue that has become an immediately recognisable feature of the Garden. When the trees were planted in 1863 the American Civil War was at its height and Queen Victoria ruled the British Empire. It is heartening to know that so many people have voted for the tree so far. I hope the good support continues.’’

 

Carol Evans, director of the Woodland Trust Scotland, said: “Tree of the Year is all about finding trees with amazing stories to tell that can bring people together.

“It’s fantastic that players of People’s Postcode Lottery are lending their support to this unique celebration of Scotland’s best loved trees. All of the shortlisted entries are inspiring through their links to natural and cultural heritage, and I’m sure it will be a close run vote this year.”

 

The winner of Scottish Tree of the Year will go on to compete in the European Tree of the Year 2016 against trees from 15 other countries including France, Estonia and Germany.

To vote for the Benmore tree in Scottish Tree of the Year visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk /treeoftheyear

 

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