The Garden Bridge planting team is well on the way to selecting all the trees needed for the project.
Following a successful trip to Northern Germany and Bedfordshire in autumn 2015 the team revisited the nurseries to finalise previously chosen trees and to select 144 trees out of the 270 needed for the Bridge.
The tagging team was made up of the Bridge’s garden designer Dan Pearson, planting contractor Willerby Landscapes who will help transport, acclimatise and plant the trees on the Bridge, and lead designer Arup.
Deepdale Trees were also present on the trip. Deepdale is an award winning UK nursery who will supply some of the stock. They will also hold all the trees in Bedfordshire while they grow and acclimatise to windy conditions of the Bridge environment.
The purpose of this second nursery visit was for the team to view the tree species, quality, size, height, spread, and rootball dimensions. If the specimen fitted the criteria the team hard tagged and put the tree on the final selection list.
The tagging process involves using blue plastic security tags with the Trust and planting contractor’s name and number of the tree. This number will allow the design team to locate each position of each species on the Bridge and check it is in keeping with the design using photographic records.
Dan Pearson, Principal of Dan Pearson Studio, said: “Despite the chilly weather it was wonderful to get out amongst the trees and tag such a large percentage of what we need for the project. The team is very excited to start bringing our planting design to life.”
Two nurseries were visited in Northern Germany over two days to select trees, which will be acclimatised in the UK and then planted on the Bridge. Deepdale Trees, Bedfordshire, will work with planting contractor Willerby to cultivate and transport the trees from Northern Germany to the nursery and then to the site of the Bridge in 2018.
On day one, Lorenz von Ehren was visited by the team. Lorenz von Ehren is a long established nursery and is one of the leading producers in Europe of high quality stock, it is located just south of Hamburg and spans over 550 hectares.
The team selected 79 trees (with an additional 10 as backup) from Lorenz von Ehren. Species selected include crabapple trees (Malus), which boast white blossom in spring and small fruits in autumn which are very attractive to wildlife. Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ was also selected. This is an elderflower which produces small dark fruits and has historically been used as medicine to cure influenza and other viral infections.
On day two, the team travelled over 150km west to visit the second nursery, Von Falkenhayn in the Amerland region of Germany. This nursery is a specialist in cultivating large tree specimens. The team tagged 50 trees with additional 5 as back up. Trees chosen included oaks (e.g. Quercus robur), which is the tallest tree tagged from the trip standing at 7.75m in height.
The trip has allowed the team to hard tag over half of the tree stock needed for the Bridge. There will be a third and final tree tagging visit at Deepdale Trees in mid-February. The trees chosen on this trip will add to the stock chosen at Deepdale and will remain there to acclimatise to the Bridge environment before being planted on the Bridge in 2018.