To mark the ‘Plant a Tree Year’ in 1973, a northern red oak tree (Quercus rubra) was planted at Wexham Springs, where our annual shows were held for many years, by Jeanette Hartley, who was Chairman at the time. It was chosen for its striking bark and colourful autumn foliage and we picture it here 45 years on with Jon Homan.
The Society’s 125th Anniversary was commemorated on 5th May 2009, with the planting of a Wollemia nobilis in the Stoke Poges Memorial Gardens by the then President and Chairman, Jon Homan and Roger Beauchamp. This tree species was, until the late 1990’s,only known from fossil records dating it back 90 million years and thought to be extinct some two million years ago. It was discovered in 1994 by David Noble, a ranger in the Wollemi National Park, New South Wales and identified by the Sydney Botanic Gardens and assigned to the Araucariaceae, an ancient family of coniferous trees including the Kauri and Monkey Puzzle tree. Named after David Noble with the Wollemia meaning’ look around you, keep your eyes open and watch out’ .
By an extraordinary co-incidence, at exactly the same time as the planting took place in the Memorial Gardens in 2009, Her Majesty The Queen and HRH Prince Philip were also planting a Wollemia nobilis at the Royal Botanic Gardens in celebration of the 250th anniversary of Kew Gardens. A reply from Her Majesty the Queen in response to a letter from Jon Homan acknowledging this event, is reproduced in the History booklet.
More recently in July 2017 the society planted a Paulownia tomentosa (also known as the Foxglove Tree, the emperor or empress tree and the princess tree) on Bells Hill Green, Stoke Poges, in memory of Jim Ireland CBE, a former President Emeritus. The tree is showing some good growth and we hope it will provide much pleasure to all in due course , when it flowers in early spring.
The tree flowered for the first time in May 2021, it is now almost 5 mtrs tall and survived a pretty harsh winter and late frosts on April.