From the tiniest seedlings to the tallest trees
At over eight metres tall and several tonnes in weight, Trachycarpus princeps isn’t the daintiest of botanical specimens.
Nonetheless, the palm, a rarity in cultivation and, therefore, one of the most important trees at the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh (RBGE), was successfully transplanted last week as part of the Garden’s Edinburgh Biomes project.
Preparations for the project, perhaps the most visionary in the Garden’s 351-year history, began in Spring 2021 with a team of dedicated horticulturists decanting an incredible forty thousand plants from in and around the network of Glasshouses.
Focus then turned to the removal of large trees from the Victorian Temperate Palm House. Ranging from the three-metre tall clumping palm Chamaerops humilis to the towering Trachycarpus princeps, each tree was dug out carefully by hand then raised from the ground using a system of ropes and A-frames. Laid horizontally, they were gently transported to the Temperate Lands Glasshouse where they will remain throughout the Edinburgh Biomes project.
Construction on the project will begin in Autumn 2021 and will include the much-needed restoration of the iconic Victorian Palm Houses, 1960’s Front Range Glasshouses and behind-the-scenes Research Glasshouses. At the Nursery, an energy centre will help to reduce the organisation’s carbon emissions, while new plant health facilities will support research into combatting the increasing numbers of plant pathogens in the environment. The final part of the project will see the creation of a stunning new Glasshouse that will revitalise the entire Glasshouse Experience.
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