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Yorkshire Arboretum Newsletter - Issue 5 - March 2015

Yorkshire Arboretum Newsletter - Issue 5 - March

MEMBERS NEWSLETTER EMAIL ADDRESSES 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 FROM THE DIRECTOR 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 TREE IN FOCUS 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. BEAN ONLINE 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 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.