Yorkshire Arboretum Newsletter - Issue 5 - March 2015





If we don’t already have

your email address on our

files please email us or

phone 01653 648598

Visitor Centre

Early Closing

Due to wedding ceremonies

taking place at the

arboretum, the café and

Visitor Centre may close

early on the following dates:

2nd and 22nd May

6th and 27th June

10th July

8th and 31st August

19th and 26th September

Please note that access to

the arboretum will not be

affected by wedding

ceremonies or any early

closure of the Centre

In this issue:

From the Director 1

Tree in Focus 1

Bean Online 1

Event News 2

Dogs 2

Ray Wood 2

Staff News 2


Spring seems to be arriving slowly this year

but the arboretum is waking up: buds are

swelling and breaking, school group visits

have resumed and our swans are nesting.

The open lawns and paths have had their

first mow of the year and although not much

came off (rather like my haircuts) it has

crisped them up nicely.

The winter has been remarkably benign,

with very little hard weather, wind or rain,

which has meant we’ve been able to get a

lot of work done. The combined force of the

Grounds and Tree Teams working together is

remarkably effective; this is particularly

obvious around the lake where a lot of work

has been done to open up the view to the

lower pond and tidy up the banks.

The coppicing and pollarding of our

extensive willow collection continues,

rejuvenating the trees for the future and

reducing the risk of future collapses. We lose

a few every time there’s a bit of a blow and

then it’s usually too late to save them.

To set against the losses are the trees we

plant each year, this season including a

beautiful young Sequoiadendron giganteum


Sorbus caloneura is

one of the first trees

to come into leaf and

flower here, defying

the weather as the

buds expand and break into bronzed foliage

from January to March, with the blossom

appearing soon afterwards. Its physiology

deserves some serious study! It’s a flattopped,

wide-spreading tree and quite

pretty when covered in flowers and fresh

foliage. Unfortunately the fruits remain

greenish brown and don’t change colour.

Our specimens on Bracken Hill were grown

from seed collected by John Simmons, Hans

Fliegner and Jim Russell on their 1985

Guizhou expedition. The 30 th anniversary of

this expedition will be marked on the 8th

October with a Gardening Group talk that

will include excerpts from Jim Russell’s

unpublished account of the trip.

March 2015

(Giant Redwood). It was grown at Bedgebury

National Pinetum in Kent from seed

collected from the wild in California by Ben

Jones of the Harcourt Arboretum, Oxford

University – an example of how our plants

come to us. It’s still often known in English as

Wellingtonia, so there’s a nice connection in

this bicentenary year of Waterloo.

We’re also planting out a collection of

honeysuckles (Lonicera) funded by a kind

donation from a life member, and a selection

of rambling roses to be carried into the tree

canopies in Tercentenary Wood , and thence

we hope, shower down their perfume.

Although our bid to the Heritage Lottery

Fund was unsuccessful last year, we are

undaunted in our ambitions for the Yorkshire

Arboretum, and are pushing on with plans

for developments and looking for ways to

fund them. Your support as members is

hugely valued by us, and if each of you could

introduce a few friends to the arboretum,

and encourage them also to become

members, we could do even more to

maintain and enhance this beautiful place.


John Grimshaw


The classic encyclopaedia of woody plants,

W.J Bean’s Trees and Shrubs Hardy in the

British Isles, is newly available online, free to

all users at www.beanstreesandshrubs.org

The site is easy to use, offering fully

searchable access to this essential text.

Sponsored by the International Dendrology

Society, the site is under the editorial

guidance of our Director, John Grimshaw.

The sharp-eyed will notice that several of

the banner photographs on the home page

were taken in the arboretum or Ray Wood.

Brochure design: www.marketingbyignite.com

March 2015 Page 2


The 2015 What’s On brochure, showing all

events taking place this season, will be available

from the end of April. In the meantime…

Easter Bunny Tail Trail

28 th March-12 th April FREE

Fun for our littlest visitors. Find

all the bunny tails hidden

amongst the trees & plants,

complete the puzzle, then claim

your sticker prize!

Junior Rangers Club

Weds 8 th April: 10am-3pm £7.50 per child

A fun and fascinating day for accompanied

children aged 5-11 packed with indoor & outdoor

springtime activities & crafts.

Gardens & Gardening Club Talk

Thu 9th April: 7.30-9.30pm Adult £3.50 Child £2

Julian Sutton, of the aptly

named Desirable Plants nursery

in Devon, speaks on ‘Beneath

the Trees: non-woody plants for

the woodland garden'. Plants

for sale.


Members are respectfully reminded of the

requirements to keep dogs on leads within the

designated area (please ask for a map if you’re

uncertain) and ensure they’re under control at all

times elsewhere. We’ll soon be releasing peafowl

and guineafowl into the arboretum, and we ask

for particular care if your dog is in their vicinity.


We’re delighted to welcome

Emma Powell as Arboretum

Café Manager. She brings with

her a wealth of experience in

catering and hospitality and

continues to run her own bakery

alongside her arboretum role.

There’ll be more news about the

café in our next newsletter, but

please pop in and say hello to

Emma on your next visit.

Arboretum Walk

Tue 14th April: 10.30-11.30am Adult £3, Child £2

Join Alastair Fitter, Chair of the arboretum’s

trustees, on an arboretum walk to explore & learn

more about the collections and the botanical

highlights of the season.

Hawk Walk

Sun 19 th April: From 11am £40 per person

Experience the magic and thrill of flying birds of

prey. A great opportunity to get up close to some

amazing predators.

Dawn Chorus

Sat 25th April: 5 - 7.30am Adult £12.50, Child

£7.50, Family (2+2) £35

A dawn walk to see, hear and

learn more about our birdlife

from experts Peter Reed and

Barry Bishop of the RSPB. Then

back inside for free bacon

sandwiches and hot drinks!

And don’t forget our FREE weekly tours -

1.30pm every Thursday, April to October!


The rhododendron collection is coming into flower

and all indications are that it will be a good year –

assuming no horrible late frosts. Arboretum

members will have the chance to visit Ray Wood

under the guidance of experienced group leaders

on the 26th and 31st May. Blooms will also be

entered into the rhododendron competition at

RHS Garden Harlow Carr, Harrogate, on 9/10 May

– the show is well worth a visit.

Jonathan Watkinson, Ray Wood

Volunteer Manager, has been

awarded a bursary by the

International Dendrology

Society, to take part in a tour of

Yunnan, western China, in


The trip will give him the opportunity to see many

of the plants familiar in Ray Wood growing in the

wild. Congratulations Jonathan!

We hope this

newsletter is


informative &

helps you gain the

most from your

membership of

the Yorkshire


Please send your


together with

your photos,

stories &

suggestions for

topics you’d like

to see covered in

the next issue to:





If you’d like to

help us care for

and develop the


perhaps you’d like

to join our

volunteer team?

We’re currently

looking for lovely

folk to help with

everything from

administration to

research and from

weeding to

weddings! Please

look at the roles

available on the

website or

contact volunteer@


Castle Howard


YO60 7BY

p: 01653 648598

e: members@yorkshirearboretum.org

w: www.yorkshirearboretum.org

The Yorkshire Arboretum is indebted to the many talented photographers whose work illustrates these pages. These include, amongst others John Grimshaw, Harry &

Joyce Kingman. All photos & illustrations remain © of their respective copyright owners & are used with permission.

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