The Beginning of the Ems Valley Memorial Arboretum
Saturday 12th of November 2022 saw the ceremonial beginnings of the arboretum with over 100 people turning up to see the astronaut Tim Peake planting the first tree, a Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca’). Once the crowds had thinned out, a few of the volunteers planted the second Blue Atlas Cedar. This pair of trees mark the north end of the planned central avenue. A pair of Giant Redwoods (Sequoiadendron giganteum) were also planted at the south end to mark the beginning of the avenue.
Saturday 26th of November 2022 saw the real work start with the main inaugural planting at EVMA. After all the rain in the month prior, it was surprising to find that the ground wasn’t actually waterlogged. Fourteen volunteers comprising members of the Friends of Hampshire Farm Meadows and other Tree Warden groups gathered and worked hard all morning to complete the main avenue. A shelter belt was also planted so that in the coming years more delicate trees can be planted.
The avenue consists of 12 paired trees set 10m apart. Except for the two gateway pairs (the Cedar and the Sequoia), the remaining 10 pairs are all deciduous specimen trees. They include Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera), Hornbeam (Carpinus betulus ‘Rockhampton Red’), Chestnut Leaved Oak (Quercus castenifolia), European White Elm (Ulmus laevis), Sweetgum (Liquidamber styraciflua ‘Worplesdon’), Freeman's Maple (Acer freemanii ‘Autumn Blaze’) and Black Walnut (Juglan nigra). Due to a delay with the delivery of a few specimen trees, the avenue was not completed. These will be planted when they arrive in the new year.
The shelter belt comprises of Corsican Pine (Pinus nigra), Monterey Pine (Pinus radiata) and Western Yellow Pine (Pinus ponderosa) planted in a zig-zag fashion along the southern boundary of the site. Even though some of these trees were on the small side they were still staked, strapped and a metal cage was added for protection from dogs and deer and finally a good load of mulch was placed around the trees. The tired and muddy volunteers then cleared up their gear and went home for a well-deserved rest.
Particular thanks must be recorded to EVMA Trustee Guy Schofield, together with Friends of Hampshire Farm Meadows organisers Cath and Neil Mant for the brilliant planning and organisation of these successful plantings.
Below are a few pictures of the tree planting process. You can also view our photo gallery, which showcases the opening ceremony with Tim Peake.