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28 Mar 2022

Planting trees for the jubilee

Man planting a tree
An oak tree planted at Haddo House marks the beginning of our charity's participation in The Queen's Green Canopy.

The National Trust for Scotland was delighted to commence its participation in The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) with a planting in the grounds of Haddo House, Aberdeenshire on Friday 18 March.

The QGC is a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee in 2022 which invites everyone from across the United Kingdom to ‘Plant a Tree for the Jubilee’.

Aerial view of country house, set in parkland
Haddo House, Aberdeenshire has a history of specimen trees.

An oak tree was planted by Lord George, 8th Marquess of Aberdeen and Temair, whose family passed Haddo House to conservation charity the National Trust for Scotland in 1979. There is a long tradition of specimen tree planting in the grounds near the house, including two - now mature - Wellingtonias planted by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1857. This link makes Haddo House a particularly appropriate site to formally begin the National Trust for Scotland’s participation in The Queen’s Green Canopy. An oak tree was selected on this occasion because it is symbolic of longevity and a native tree species, good for biodiversity.

The QGC encourages everyone from individuals to organisations to play their part to enhance our environment by planting trees - a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the nation of great benefit for future generations. As a Friend of the QGC the Trust is very pleased to be participating and to encourage others to do so too.

A group of seven people stand around a newly-planted oak sapling
Staff from Haddo House and the North East, joined Lord George and his mother, Lady Aberdeen for the planting.

Chief Executive of the National Trust for Scotland, Philip Long OBE, said: ‘We are all more aware than ever of the value of trees in our environment – for beauty, heritage, biodiversity and the environment. As we clear up the aftermath of this winter’s storms across Scotland, the importance of continually planting trees and managing woodlands has been underlined for us all. We are pleased to be a Friend of the QGC, to be encouraged - and to encourage others - to plant more trees for the future.’

Further QGC plantings will be taking place at our properties in Aberdeenshire before the end of March (the end of the traditional planting season) including at Crathes Castle, Drum Castle, Fyvie Castle and Castle Fraser. Activities will step up again from October 2022 (when the season begins again) at other Trust properties across Scotland, carrying through to the end of the Jubilee year.

Plans include orchard planting at Harmony Garden, flowering cherries at Kellie Castle and reinstatement of historic landscape trees at House of the Binns. Larger scale projects include woodland at Brodie Castle, on the Inverewe Estate and replacement trees for the shelterbelt at Arduaine Garden, badly affected by plant pathogen Phytophthora ramorum.

Head of Heritage Gardening (policy) for the National Trust for Scotland, Ann Steele, said: ‘Around 60 per cent of our gardens and designed landscapes is woodland, and we know they are important for nature and for people. The QGC initiative supports the ideas of long-term thinking and sustainability when it comes to planting and managing trees in our landscapes and we couldn’t agree more. What we plant now is a legacy that will create the grand specimens, stretching avenues, protective shelterbelts and habitats of the future.’

Chief Executive of the Queen’s Green Canopy, Dan Rex, said: ‘We are delighted the National Trust for Scotland is marking the Platinum Jubilee with tree plantings in some of Scotland’s most iconic sites. From coastlines to castles, art to architecture, wildlife to wilderness, the National Trust for Scotland encourages people to connect with the things that make Scotland unique while protecting them for future generations. These special trees will leave a lasting legacy and we thank the National Trust for Scotland for supporting The Queen’s Green Canopy.’

Lush garden with purple flowers in the foreground and castle in the background
Kellie Castle is also taking part in the QGC.