Benmore Conservation Project Marks the Queen's Platinum Jubilee
As the nation prepares to celebrate Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, staff at Benmore Botanic Garden pay their tribute to a remarkable monarch with the completion of plantings of the endangered Cryptomerica japonica – part of The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) tree planting initiative.
The trees are part of a rolling programme of plantings throughout the year across the four sites of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), from the capital city to the heart of the Scottish Borders, mountainous Argyll and sub-tropical Rhins of Galloway.
Answering the call for individuals, community groups and corporate organisations to support the initiative marking Her Majesty’s 70th anniversary as the head of the nation, RBGE’s Curators have selected specimens appropriate to their four Gardens.
Earlier this year, the project began with the successful planting of Jubaea chilenses or Chilean wine palm at Logan Botanic Garden near Stranraer in Dumfries & Galloway.
Now, Benmore near Dunoon in Argyll, marks the Jubilee in a very special way as the parkland landscape to the fore of the former mansion house – now an outdoor education centre – is enhanced by the planting of nine specimens of Cryptomeria japonica. Traditionally one of the most common forestry trees in Japan, this species, also known as Japanese cedar or sugi, is now suffering from past commercialisation. Highly prized for construction because of its size, workability, and durability, there are only a few small and fragmented populations still to be found in its natural habitat. Although it is now Near Threatened, valuable conservation projects are underway in Japan and also through International Conifer Conservation Programme (ICCP) initiatives in the United Kingdom.
The trees, collected during the Edinburgh Iconic Kew Japan Expedition (EIKJE) in 2013, will complement the Sequoiadendron giganteum specimens which were planted in 2017. The new plantings will enrich the landscape, giving pleasure to visitors of both Benmore House and the Garden for many years to come.
The final part of the programme – planting at the research institute’s flagship Edinburgh Garden and at Dawyck Botanic Garden near Peebles in the Scottish Borders – will take place towards the end of this year.
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