Westonbirt Arboretum is creating a one hectare site with trees that visitors could see more of as the effects of climate change take place.
Planting of the 2050 Glade at Westonbirt has recently begun and follows a brief to trial species from different provenances to see how they perform in a changing climate.
It will also create an attractive area for visitors to enjoy and to learn more about the issues that surround tree selection and growing in a changing climate.
The aim of the 2050 Glade is to push the boundaries of hardiness and test plants that may grow better in the future. It is situated between Pool Avenue and Lime Avenue in the Old Arboretum at Westonbirt.
Trees from countries such as Turkey, Japan, Chile and Mexico will be propagated from seed at Westonbirt and planted in the glade.
Westonbirt will be recording flowering times on a range of plants as one of the possible indicators of a changing climate.
This work will be part of a much older European trial studying these natural occurrences and will cover a range of species, some of which will be planted in the glade. Approximately 50 specimens will be planted over the next few years.
Ten initial specimens have been planted, including a field maple collected from seed in Turkey. Around half have survived the harsh winter. Field maple is a species native to England and it will be interesting to see whether the plant collected in Turkey performs any differently.
Other species to be tested are the Turkish sweetgum, the Kamila tree and both the Chinese and Japanese Tallow tree. Three of these are trees known for good autumn colour and may be suitable substitutes for Westonbirt’s autumn colour providers, such as maples, that might not do so well in a warmer climate.