Wokingham District Veteran Tree Association

Commemorative and Memorial Trees in Wokingham

Spragg memorial tree image

Albert Spragg memorial lime tree

Collecting the data

The Jubilee Oak Project

The Jubilee Tree Map

Collecting the data

WDVTA has now recorded thousands of veteran and significant trees across the Borough. As you can see from from the database summary there are still more to be surveyed in some parishes but work is progressing well.

WDVTA is now recording trees planted in public places for memorial and commemorative purposes, for example, the lime tree planted in 2011 in Langborough Recreation Ground as a memorial to Wokingham beekeeper, Albert Spragg.

The database of commemorative trees collected so far can be found in this Google Drive location. See the database file notes for a description of these files.

Commemorative Tree Map

Here is a map of our recorded memorial and commemorative trees. It's a Google map using standard Google controls so, for example, you can zoom in and out using the + / - controls in the lower left corner of the map and you can open a full screen display with the icon in the grey area at top right. Each circular icon on the map can be activated to give you further details of the tree at that location. The icon in the top left corner in the grey area opens a side window with further display options:

  • The red tick boxes allow you to select just the commemorative trees or just the Jubilee oaks.
  • The ' v ' icons provide expanded information or additional links.
  • The green rectangle opens the satellite view.

When in full screen mode the side window shows a red header area with hamburger icon (top left) and ellipsis (top right) offering further options.

 


We are always looking for examples of other commemorative or memorial trees that should be recorded within the Borough, whether or not they still survive. We would be especially interested, in this year when the start of First World War is being remembered, if there are, or were, any trees planted in memory of people involved.

Any information would be gratefully received especially if accompanied by details of the tree species, location, date of planting and person or event commemorated. Photographs would be especially welcome. If you do have some information, please use the nomination button below and fill in the form describing the tree or trees in question.

  


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Jubilee oak planting

WBC/WDVTA Diamond Jubilee Tree Planting project

Barchams Nursery

October 2012
Trees at Barcham's nursery prior to being delivered to Wokingham Borough.
(Photo: Derek Oxbrough)

In June 2012 Wokingham Borough Council invited WDVTA to collaborate with the officers of the Trees and Landscape team to organise the planting of 60 standard English oak trees across the borough to celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Barbara Stagles agreed to join the working group and acted as Jubilee Trees coordinator on behalf of WDVTA.

This was a wonderful opportunity to plant English oaks in places where they could grow to their full glory and be enjoyed by future generations. So many lovely old oaks have been lost in recent years and many face threats from ground compaction by roads and paved areas, heavy pruning, and disease. The Jubilee trees should give pleasure to the people of Wokingham for decades, perhaps even centuries. They will also help remind everyone of Wokingham's history as part of Windsor Forest.

Finding the sites

Many suggestions were received for sites and over 50 requests were put forward for consideration by a working group of members of the WDVTA committee and the Borough Council Trees and Landscape Team. After careful assessment of each site, it was decided that the trees should be planted on 44 sites in the borough, including public open spaces, churchyards, nature reserves, roadside verges and school grounds. The towns of Earley, Wokingham and Woodley would all have trees planted, as well as the parishes of Arborfield and Newland, Barkham, Finchampstead, Hurst, Ruscombe, Shinfield, Swallowfield, Twyford, Wargrave, Sonning and Winnersh. Care was taken to ensure the chosen sites were as well distributed across the borough as possible.

Buying and planting the trees

The trees were bought from Barcham's nursery, Cambridge in June 2012. Heartwood Tree Surgery, project subcontractors, planted the trees in the winter 2012/13. The firm is contracted to monitor and maintain the trees for five years. The trees were between five and seven years old and almost four metres tall when they were planted. Since their planting all except two of the trees have grown very well. The two that failed to thrive (#16 and #26) have been replaced.

Each tree has a numbered memorial plaque and has been recorded in the Woodland Trust's Royal Record.

Ceremonial tree planting events

Councillor David Lee with tree 59
Councillor David Lee plants tree #59 at Cantley Park
21 March 2013
Photo: Stewart Turkington
Tree 23 plaque
Plaque for tree #23 at Finchampstead Church

Ceremonial planting ceremonies including community groups took place in the 42 sites during 2012/13. The first ceremony was held at Wokingham Borough Council offices at Shute End on 24 November 2012 where the Mayor of Wokingham, Councillor Bob Wyatt, officiated. At the ceremony in Cantley Park in March 2013, Cllr David Lee, Leader of Wokingham Borough Council and initiator of the project, welcomed trees #59 and #60.

A table of all the planting events gives their locations, names of site owners and dates of ceremonies.

An interactive map of all the sites shows their locations, photographs, information about the plantings and subsequent developments concerning the trees.

Jubilee Trees Display - October 2013

From October 1st - 31st there was a display in the entrance hall at the Shute End Borough Council offices describing the Wokingham Jubilee Trees planting project and showing photos of all the trees and the celebration events - including some delightful riddles created by Hawthorns Primary School young students about the wildlife that can be found in oak trees.

Leaflets about the planting project complete with a map showing the locations of planting sites were on display. Copies of the leaflets are still available from the Jubilee trees project coordinator.

Shute End ceremony

Coralie Ramsey, Barbara Stagles, Cllr. Ulla-Karin Clark (Wokingham Borough Mayor) and Oliver Ward (Heartwood Trees) at the Jubilee Trees Exhibition opening ceremony at Shute End
(Photo courtesy of WBC)

Hawthorns school riddles

Cllr. Ulla-Karin Clark and Stephanie McKay (Hawthorns School) at the Jubilee Trees Exhibition showing riddles created by pupils at the school
(Photo courtesy of WBC)

Jubilee trees bring local benefits

As well as the trees being widely welcomed for their own sake, the planting and associated events have generated considerable community interest among voluntary groups and local residents. All the sites are attractive and environmentally valuable and many have an interesting history. The presence of the Jubilee trees may well encourage people to visit places they would not otherwise know about and in some instances it has led to suggestions about further improvements to the sites including ideas for additional tree planting.

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