Lord Gardiner, Minister of State at Defra (centre); Hossein Arshadi, Director of Hillier Trees (second from right) and pupils from Easebourne CE schools at the tree planting ceremony in the South Downs National Park.
Image courtesy of the Tree Council
On 1st December, the tree was carefully planted in a hedgerow on the South Downs National Park by Lord Gardiner, Minister for Rural Affairs and Biosecurity. He had eager support by pupils from local Easebourne CE Primary School.
National Tree Week, which launched in 1975, is the annual celebration to raise awareness and appreciation of trees as well as encourage planting. At the planting ceremony, Pauline Buchanan Black, Director-General of The Tree Council, commented: “The huge economic and environmental value [of trees] has been understated and it’s time that intellectual as well as landscape views were changed to recognise that.”
This year, the vital issue of plant health and the prevention and management of tree disease was also a key part of the National Tree Week message. Also speaking at the event, Lord Gardiner said: “It is vitally important we continue to value our nation’s trees, ensuring their resilience against the threats they fact. That is why we are investing more than £37million to understand pests and diseases and find new ways to tackle them.”
As the UK’s largest grower of trees, Hillier is a firm advocate of action to ensure the continued health of our trees and minimise biosecurity risks. We work closely with regulatory bodies and advisory authorities such as DEFRA and the HTA in the research and development of plant health and biosecurity and are committed to helping define the standards set out across our industry. As a grower, we also comply with all government regulations and legislation to ensure that plant health remains at the highest of standards and the risk of disease entering the UK is controlled and minimised.
We believe buying and planting British-grown trees is one of the most significant ways to support biosecurity, as many pests and diseases originate from abroad. We were delighted, then, that the locally-grown origin of our Quercus was an important factor in its selection for this special occasion, now providing a living monument within the most wooded National Park in England.