Winter storm damage appeal
This winter has certainly been a long and turbulent one, with the heavy snow and high winds causing disruption across the country. Whilst this has been an inconvenience to many, at Westonbirt Arboretum the price paid has been even greater.
Throughout the last few months, the arboretum has experienced the worst damage in ten years. The Tree Team have been incredibly busy trying to clear up from the extensive damage caused by snow, ice and high winds. Just when they were getting on top of the widespread debris, the bad weather once again reared its head, causing further devastation across the arboretum.
- £20 A donation of £20 could pay for a pair of ear defenders, essential for protecting the ears of a hardworking arborist
- £50 A donation of £50 could contribute to the essential pieces of equipment needed for the arboretum's Tree Team to manage this 600 acre site
- £150 A donation of £150 could pay for the care of several young saplings, from their germination in the propagation unit, to their planting out in the arboretum and continued care
Several important specimens have been lost, perhaps the greatest of which was the magnificent Chinese red birch ( Betula utilis subsp. Utilis). This historic specimen was planted in 1938 from a cutting taken from an existing tree in the arboretum, which provided a direct link with the arboretum’s Victorian roots.
The damage has been considerable, with over 135 separate specimens having been significantly damaged - these are trees that have been uprooted or experienced major limb failure. On top of this, there have been countless losses to branches across the arboretum, which those who have visited in the past months will likely have seen for themselves.
As a priority, the Tree Team have been quickly getting to work clearing debris that was covering paths and roping off any areas that have the potential to be unsafe for visitors. There are still many more months of work involved.
Not only will the tree team be working hard to clear the damage, but will be planting new specimens to replace those lost. What this really highlights is the importance of having a permanent Tree Team onsite, able to react quickly due to their intimate knowledge of our living collection and dedication to the care of Westonbirt’s trees.
We won't know the true cost of the damage until later in spring, when we can truly see how our trees have been affected.