National Tree Collections of Scotland planting for the future at Scone Palace

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18 APRIL 2012NEWS RELEASE No: 15418

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A new generation of trees - and a new collection of rare Japanese trees and shrubs - is to be planted in the grounds of Scone Palace to replace some of the old specimens that have been lost in storms over the past 12 months.

The joint effort involving the Palace and the National Tree Collections of Scotland (NTCS) aims to increase tree planting following the devastating effects of recent storms.

New trees to be planted in parkland near the Palace include Western plane (Platanus occidentalis) American ash (Fraxinus americana) and Cappadocicum maple (Acer cappadocicum).

Tom Christian, project officer for the National Tree Collections of Scotland, said:

“The gales of 2011 and early 2012 did a great amount of damage to tree collections across Scotland, including important sites like Crarae Garden, Kilmun Arboretum and here at Scone

“This has highlighted the importance of regularly planting for the future, to ensure that there are successive generations of trees coming on to replace inevitable losses.

“It is really exciting to be able to help Scone plant a new generation of rare trees.  Some of the species chosen are very unusual and are only to be found in a few specialist tree collections in Scotland.  The Japanese species that are being planted, including acers, alders, walnuts and oaks will be particularly stunning when they mature because of their incredible array of autumn colours.”

Scone Palace has a rich and important history of tree planting. The grounds boast an original Douglas fir, grown from the first seed sent back by David Douglas during his travels in Western North America in the 1830s, as well as a range of threatened conifers planted as part of the iCONic project, a Perthshire based effort to save globally threatened species of conifers from extinction.

The new rare and unusual species that are to be planted have been secured from the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh, whose research staff gathered the seeds on collecting expeditions to countries such as Turkey and Japan.

Viscountess Stormont, Patron of the iCONic project said:

“Given the devastation caused by the last year’s gales, we are extremely grateful for the support given by the National Tree Collections of Scotland.  This will help ensure that Scone Palace offers visitors the opportunity to admire such rare and unusual species and continues the legacy of tree planting for future generations.”

Syd House, Forestry Commission Scotland, who chairs the NTCS Steering Group, added:

"Many of our finest tree collections are located within or adjacent to historic properties such as Scone Palace and have been looked after by the estate for a very long time.

"At Scone Palace we see one of the best examples of this, so it is particularly gratifying to see new trees being planted thereby ensuring future generations can enjoy wonderful specimen trees in the same way that we can today."

The National Tree Collections was officially launched at Scone Palace in June 2011. 

Notes to Editors
1) The National Tree Collections Scotland is a partnership project, led by Forestry Commission Scotland and Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh. It aims to involve tree collections at sites around the country in a national arboretum for Scotland, raising awareness of Scotland’s world-leading role in tree conservation. It also aims to highlight the rich history of Scottish plant collectors, whose legacy shapes modern forestry - and its significant contribution to Scotland’s rural economy.

2)  Scone Palace – the Crowning Place of Kings of Scots, birthplace of David Douglas and features a Pinetum dating back to 1848.  A number of veteran trees are planted within the grounds, including the original Douglas Fir, and a sycamore planted by King James VI of Scotland.  Record breaking Sitka spruces also feature within the Pinetum.
Open from 1st of April to 31st of October  2012 –

3) Media enquiries to:  Gillian Harrower, Tourism and Leisure Solutions, Tel 01738 860 523