Lady standing by newly planted tree

Treetops Hospice Care has been gifted an Elm tree to plant in its grounds, to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the National Tree Warden Scheme.

The Elm tree, a gift from The Tree Council, is an  Ulmus ‘New Horizon’ – which will grow 12 metres high after 25 years. The Tree Council donated 30 of the Elm trees to the first 30 tree wardens across the UK who filled in an application form online. Pat Ancliff – a tree warden for Erewash – choose the grounds of Treetops Hospice Care as the destination for one of these magnificent trees.

The elm was planted in mid-January in the hospice grounds for patients, staff, volunteers and visitors to enjoy.

Dedicated team of volunteer gardeners at Treetops

Pat said:

Group of volunteers planting a tree“I have been a tree warden for Erewash for more than 12 years now and have researched many of the trees in Risley. Our village had many mature elms, as evidenced by documents, photographs and in the tree walk booklet which I helped to produce.

“The reason I chose Treetops to plant this commemorative tree is because it is in the heart of the village and has public access, too. The ground is also in a conservation area and there is a dedicated team of volunteer gardeners at Treetops who will take care of the tree.

“There is a dedication stone on the grounds, too, which was unveiled in 1990, so its history matches that of the Tree Warden Scheme.”

Dutch Elm Disease – a fungus which is spread via bark beetles – was accidentally introduced into Europe, from Asia, in the 1970s. It has devastated native populations of elms that did not have resistance to the disease.

It changed parts of the landscape in the UK forever but, thanks to a new generation of disease-resistant elm seedlings which are being bred, they are making a welcome return.

The tree which has been planted in the grounds of Treetops is 100 per cent disease resistant and is suitable for any soil type. Capable of supporting other plants and animals, including rare butterflies and birds, the tree is also resilient to urban and coastal conditions, very high and very low temperature and windy locations.

Treetops Hospice Care is a perfect setting

Pat added: “The Elm Tree is very hardy. We planted it just before several days of rain, which is good for a new tree.

“This elm is a symbol of scientific development and a hope for the future, so Treetops Hospice Care is a perfect setting.”

The hospice has over 12 acres of land on site, which is maintained by a group of volunteers, headed up by Sarah Butcher.

Our grounds and gardens are much loved by patients, volunteers, staff and visitors alike

She said: “It was very thoughtful of Pat to think of Treetops as the setting for this tree.

“More than 20 million elm trees died during the 1960s and 1970s from Dutch elm disease. In the aftermath, the Elm – which dates back to the Bronze Age – was largely forgotten.

“It is thanks to scientific developments and the hard work and enthusiasm of volunteers like Pat that this wonderful tree is making a welcome return to the UK.

“Our grounds and gardens are much appreciated and loved by patients, volunteers, staff and visitors alike, so the Elm tree is a welcome addition.”

Treetops is doing all it can to continue to support those in most need. The hospice welcomes donations to ensure the future of the hospice and its services.