Monday, 16 December 2013

Council Plants Tulip Tree To Replace Much-Loved Horse Chestnut

A large specimen tree is to be planted on Christ’s Pieces following the recent removal of a mature Horse Chestnut tree near to the tennis courts. The Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) will be installed close to the site of the original tree.

The planting is in response to, and in recognition of, the strength of public feeling over the loss of the tree and its significance within the landscape.  This significance is marked by the size of the new tree, which will be around seven metres tall, and create an instant visual impact.

This particular tree species will be the only one of its kind on the park and one of very few in the city. Tulip trees are pyramidal in form and can exceed 25m in maturity. They are deciduous and their light green leaves are unusual being unlike any other temperate tree as they seem to have been cut off across the top. They produce distinctive erect solitary flowers about 4-5cm in diameter in early summer all over the tree, even on low branches. The flowers have six overlapping petals resembling a tulip. The petals are a pale greenish-white with a faint orange blotch toward its base. Autumn coloration is outstanding, developing over 2-3 weeks from soft yellow to gold then to golden-brown.

Executive Councillor for Public Places, Andrea Reiner commented: "We have put a lot of thought into this selection, in recognition of how strongly people feel about the natural environment, and the unfortunate loss of the Horse Chestnut earlier this year.  As ever when we plant trees, we hope generations to come will benefit from the work we are doing today.  The added bonus here is that by planting such a large Tulip Tree, today's residents will also enjoy the immediate effect of this unusual selection."

The tree will be planted on Wednesday 18th December with the Mayor of Cambridge attending at 11.00am.  The public are welcome to join in and mark a significant moment in the history of the park.