A message from our Chairman Geoff Cole, here
Well the team at BTfL all gave a united cheer as we dug our first spade into the ground to plant our first tree of the season in National Tree Week! It had been a long time coming and we had been itching to get out and engage in our normal timetable. Unfortunately, we have been unable to work with schools or volunteers this year so far, but never fear – we eventually got here and will be back to normal as soon as we can be.
At Hope Gardens, a small park in Nechells as part of our HS2 funded programme the BTfL team planted five flowering Cherry Trees. Despite the rain and the cold our spirits weren’t dampened and we were all so happy to be outside on site, doing what we do best – putting trees in the ground.
These five Prunus Royal Burgundy ornamental trees will bring beautiful spring colour, a gentle snow flurry of delicate petals falling all around as Spring turns to Summer. They will bring more biodiversity, improve air quality, flood defences, tree canopy cover and will beautify the park even more for local resident to enjoy all through the year.
While planting the trees two of the local residents were curious as to what we were up to and wanted a friendly chat. There was a big thank you from one local lady as she walked through the park, ‘what a lovely thing to do. I have a cherry tree in my garden.’ As she pointed to the beautiful trees on the borders of the park, with a smile she told us how she remembered those established trees being planted 25-years ago.
A gentleman passing by shouted a big thank to us for improving the area with more trees! ‘Here here,’ we all cheered back!
It’s good to know that the local-residents of Nechells appreciate their trees and love seeing more planted. In 25-years our Flowering Cherry Trees will look splendid and even more beautiful with each passing year.
And while resident can enjoy the new trees we have planted what many of them may not know is that there is a very special tree in Hope Gardens Park!
With a history going back to the Jurassic period, the Metasequoia glyptostroboides, its common name, (Dawn Redwood) is a tree that dates back to the dinosaurs and had been known formally for years through fossils deposits across the other side of the world. Sadly these trees were deemed extinct until the early 1940’s when it was found growing in a remote part of China. Since then every Metasquoia glyptostroboides in the world has come from that small population of trees from China. How amazing to trace back this beautiful specimen of a tree in Hope Gardens back to the dinosaurs all the way from East Asia!
So who knew such amazing tree history sat quietly nestled on the borders in Hope Gardens.
And who knows what next year might bring – a bit of normality hopefully when we can think about enjoying our tree planting events with schools, volunteers and our wonderful corporate sponsors.
Because believe it or not planting trees is only half the story. Planting trees is about building a bit more of Birmingham’s beautiful green history, adding to the BTfL legacy and feeling the love and ownership of every tree we plant together – and together we will plant these trees!
Please see a link to our photos here