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Sidmouth Arboretum

Caring for the trees of the Sid Valley

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In between torrential rain and baking heat, any new planting will need attention.   Soon find out which plants tolerate a dry site!    

Tree canopy is crucial - which is why every tree lost should be replaced by enough small trees to replace the canopy.    "The more (green) plants you have, the more CO2 is being removed from the atmosphere."  The Garden July 2017

Time to take semi-ripe cuttings from some shrubs, such as Hebe especially as they are now in flower clearly showing the colour and form of the bloom. Also new non-flowering shoots of Hydrangea should root down well.

My grape vine is coming along nicely - in an unheated greenhouse.   I am fairly drastic with cutting out new shoots, and this year have even started thinning the bunches.     Currants ripening, blackcurrants need pruning.

Otherwise it is a fairly quiet time for trees: enjoy the shade on a hot day and the shelter from the rain, notice berries forming on holly and hawthorn to feed the birds in autumn.

Diana East


SATURDAY 3 JUNE  2pm  GUIDED TREE WALK in Sidmouth, visiting Powys retirement estate and Littlecourt Cottages private gardens – led by Kevin Croucher of Thornhayes Nursery.     A well attended event on warm, sunny day.    Kevin provided a lively and informative narrative as he guided us around the very difference gardens and advised on new planting at Powys.   We look forward to welcoming Kevin back to Sidmouth in the autumn.
Diana East


A new venture to introduce more young children to the joys and delights of mature trees, in the gardens of Sidholme Hotel.    

5 groups of primary school children were welcomed to Sidholme for activities outdoors relating to trees and nature. Arboretum Treasurer, Ed Dolphin, together with Chairman Jon Ball, together with Penny and Jill from the Arboretum committee, used the mature gardens of the Sidholme Hotel to provide a busy and varied day.    Tree identification achieved excellent results and the event is likely to be repeated next spring.

Diana East

A Week Well Spent - a week spent with trees ... and some people.


About 10 years ago I had gone on a tree planting conservation week with "Trees For Life" in Scotland, and in May this year, I finally managed to repeat the experience.


"Trees For Life" ( ... TFL ... is, a conservation charity based in Scotland, with the grand plan of re-creating the Caledonian Forest over much of it's original extent in central Scotland, through natural regeneration, planting native trees and removing non-native trees.  A 250 year plan !


I chose the particular conservation week, as May is generally warm, before the midges arrived and the week was a mix of tree planting and working in the TFL tree nursery.


The week followed collection at Inverness railway station, with a dozen other volunteers and minibus to TFL's base near Fort Augustus (near the western end of Loch Ness). We stayed in a hunting lodge that TFL bought a number of years ago, and which is part of a hunting estate they are gradually re-foresting, by planting, fencing and reducing deer numbers.  We lived communally on vegetation food (all included) and took turns to cook evening meals, which were all brilliant and tasty.


Some days we walked into the hills above the lodge and spent the day tree planting into a newly created exclosure, planting; rowan, holly, oak, aspen, hazel and willow (my personal favourite, as no digging was required and we simply pushed willow sticks into boggy ground).

Other days we spent in the nursery, potting on tiny birch seedlings in the poly-tunnels, weeding seed beds and planting willow twigs.


TFL had by 2012 planted over a million natives trees ... and this is being added to as weekly conservation volunteers plant the 50,000 broadleaf trees produced each year by the nursery and native scots pines bought by the organisation.


Conclusion - a really fun and inspiring week, particularly if you like nature and species that abound in the area.

Jon Ball

'Step change' needed to create more woodland

A parliamentary report shows (see BBC report) that planting woodland is not happening fast enough to meet the target of 12% woodland cover 2060.
Jon Ball

We need to plant more trees.

BBC Countryfile devoted much of its episode on Sunday 2nd April to the state of commercial forestry.  The general trend of the coverage was that the UK needs to be planting far more trees than we have in the last few years.  If you missed it then you catch up on the BBC iPlayer.
Ed Dolphin
Countryfile 02 Apr 2017
Countryfile 02 Apr 2017

Committee Meeting 21st March

At the latest committee meeting, the updated aims and objectives for the Arboretum were discussed along with the program of 2017 activities.
Colin Walls


Winter 2015/2016 hedge planting with children from Sidmouth College, sponsored by Sidmouth Rotary 

Spring 2016 Climate Change Week - 
Maintenance & renewal of riverside planting with sponsorship from Sidmouth Town Council 
Tree event in Sidbury Guided walk & talks: Trees for Bees 

Summer 2016 Relaunch Sidmouth TREE TRAIL LEAFLET with sponsorship from Wyevale Garden Centre
Took part in Sidbury Fair week 
Contributed to Neighbourhood Plan on environmental and health issues 
Autumn 2016 Science Festival support team on environmental issues 
Tree planting in town - with support from Sid Vale Association Keith Owen Fund 
Celebration of Trees 25 November – with support from many individuals and businesses including Clinton Devon Estates and Tree Drawings by Ewan Anderson

Colin Walls
Hunters Moon
Hunters Moon

New News System

The Webmaster has implemented a new system for news management, in which the committee members can maintain their own items. Power to the People!
Colin Walls
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