Naturally, we’re tree mad here at Hestercombe, and as it’s National Tree Week, we want to shout about some of the trees we’re particularly fond of.
It’s both the perfect time for planting trees, and celebrating the ones we have. Did you know that our sweet chestnut on the Orangery Lawn is more than 500 years old? That’s pretty old! And one of our claims to fame is that the horse chestnut that stands in our car park was registered as the tallest of its kind in Somerset, back in 2017.
We also have a whopping oak in the east corner of our orchard. It’s a particularly important tree as it’s not only part of Hestercombe’s historic landscape, but it is a vital habitat provider. We need to reduce the height of our oak over the next three years in order to keep it in tip top condition and to preserve it for the future. It’s currently got some fungal issues and decay, but we’ve applied to the council to allow us to bring in a tree surgeon to take a proper look.
National Tree Week is an initiative to tackle climate change and protect the habitats for wildlife. The trees not only give us oxygen, but they are habitats for all kinds of different species, they preserve the soil and store carbon. In the fight against climate change they’re our strongest allies. You can help to support National Tree Week by planting a tree, or just getting out and appreciating the trees that surround us. Come and see our favourites at Hestercombe, and hug a tree – go on, you know you want to!
Our Head Gardener Claire Greenslade says, “We don’t have many older trees in our landscape so we are really keen to protect them. A lot of our job in the Landscape Garden is about views – when the tree surgeons are up there cutting branches down, I’m often telling them which ones to cut so that we don’t spoil the view!”