Stonehouse Town Council in Gloucestershire is absolutely delighted to have planted a very special tree in the centre of the town.

The tree is a London plane (Platanus x acerifolia) and is one of the saplings which was produced by Barcham Trees from cuttings of the famous Bishop’s Plane in King’s Ely School in Cambridgeshire. The Bishop’s Plane is thought to have been planted in 1680, making it one of the first plane trees planted in the UK. Only around a dozen of these cuttings were produced, and the others have been planted in locations such as the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk.

The tree in Stonehouse will be one of the centrepieces of the Stonehouse Community Arboretum, an initiative intended to bring environmental, social and economic benefits to the community and to improve social cohesion through trees. The town will be turned into a unique tree collection which will be free for all to enjoy and which will include trees in parks, front gardens, churchyards, schools and alongside the streets.

The plane was planted on one of the village greens by Stonehouse Town Council, local community group Stonehouse in Bloom and Councillor John Parker, who is also Technical Director at the Arboricultural Association, based in Stonehouse. In addition to being a special tree in its own right, the plane is also part of Progetto400, a project led by the University of Padua, Italy, which intends to monitor the development of trees over the centuries, from sapling through to ancient specimen. Many thanks are due to both Barcham Trees and King’s Ely for this wonderful addition to the Stonehouse Community Arboretum.