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QGC 'Tree of Trees' sculpture stood tall at Platinum Jubilee weekend

15 Jun 2022 | BALI Member News

A group of Queen’s Green Canopy Junior Foresters visited Buckingham Palace to help prepared the last branches of the “Tree of Trees” before the final piece of the trunk was lifted into position at the top of the 21-metre sculpture.

It was an exciting centrepiece of the Platinum Jubilee weekend celebrations, the Tree stands tall as a message of hope, regeneration and optimism to the nation and the world. Designed by Thomas Heatherwick, the sculpture reflects the joyful Jubilee tree planting which has swept the nation as part of The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC), inspiring over a million trees to be planted during its first season, from October 2021 to March 2022.

As recently announced, the Tree was illuminated as the Principal Beacon during a special ceremony at Buckingham Palace on the evening of Thursday 2nd June.

As the project neared completion, Junior Foresters from Coppice Primary School and William Torbitt Primary School in Essex helped to place the last of the 350 British grown trees which make up the sculpture into aluminium pots embossed with Her Majesty’s cypher. As the pots were added to the branches, the children learned about the Tree’s bespoke watering system which operates through pipes going directly into each pot. They also got involved in weaving LED lights through the trees which will illuminate for the Beacons ceremony.

The living sculpture seeks to put the importance of trees and nature at the heart of this historic milestone to celebrate Her Majesty, who has planted over 1,500 trees throughout the world during the course of her 70-year reign.

After the Jubilee weekend, the 350 trees in their special pots were gifted to selected community groups and individuals to celebrate their work and inspire the next generation of tree planters across the nation. The trees were distributed evenly across the UK in proportion to the population. The QGC is working closely with Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenants in each county on the selection process, with priority given to those seeking to create a cleaner, greener environment which will work towards a living legacy for the Platinum Jubilee.

In the meantime, the trees will be carefully stored during the summer ahead of distribution at the start of the planting season in October. The recipients of the trees will be announced in due course.

The Queen’s Green Canopy is a not-for-profit initiative. The “Tree of Trees” sculpture has been supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies.

Sir Nicholas Bacon, Chairman, The Queen’s Green Canopy said:

“The Tree of Trees offers a message of hope, regeneration and celebration to people and communities around the world. I am delighted in the way that everyone has come together across our Nation to ‘Plant a tree for the Jubilee’. I hope that this wonderful living sculpture, showcasing 350 British-grown trees, will inspire even greater tree planting in the autumn, when we also look forward to celebrating with those communities, who have led the way and who make our country so special.”

Thomas Heatherwick, designer of the Tree of Trees said:

“This sculpture acts like a beacon sending one simple, eternal message that trees are the super-heroes of our towns and cities and matter much more to our lives than we realise. It’s been made by a team of welders, arborists, designers and fabricators from right across the country, all of us playing a part in this huge community campaign that’s literally transforming the landscape and proudly honouring The Queen.”

Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg L.P and Bloomberg Philanthropies said:

"The Tree of Trees is a powerful symbol of The Queen’s leadership and what communities can achieve when they come together for climate action. Our team at Bloomberg continues to lead local greening and sustainability projects around the world, and we’re glad to support The Queen’s Green Canopy at this special moment for the UK.”

The QGC Junior Foresters from Coppice Primary School and William Torbitt Primary School are participating in the RFS Junior Forester Award.

Background – The Tree of Trees

The Tree of Trees was created with materials and talent from across the country. Materials have been sourced wherever possible from local suppliers within the United Kingdom to minimise transportation, energy use and waste.

Provided by Barcham’s Nursery in Cambridgeshire, the 350 British grown trees include the following species: Alder, Alnus glutinosa, Field Maple, Acer campestre, Hazel, Corylus avellana, Hornbeam, Carpinus betulus (Orange Retz), Larch, Larix decidua, Rowan, Sorbus aucuparia, Silver Birch, Betula pendula, Small Leaved Lime, Tilia cordata, Whitebeam, Sorbus aria.

Provided by Cleveland Steel in Yorkshire, the design has been optimised to maximise the use of old surplus steel, keeping the level of embodied carbon to a minimum.

The sculpture has been fabricated and installed by Millimetre in Hove, and project managed by Rise International. The timber support, deck and joists are Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.

Background - The Queen’s Green Canopy

The Queen’s Green Canopy (QGC) is a unique tree planting initiative created to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee. All across the UK people are being invited to “Plant a tree for the Jubilee” to create a legacy in honour of The Queen’s leadership of the nation, which will benefit future generations.

With a focus on planting sustainably, everyone from individuals to Scout and Girlguiding groups, villages, cities, counties, schools and corporates will be encouraged to play their part to enhance our environment by planting trees during the official planting season between October to March. Tree planting will commence again in October 2022, through to the end of the Jubilee year.

As well as inviting the planting of new trees, The Queen’s Green Canopy will dedicate a network of 70 Ancient Woodlands across the United Kingdom and identify 70 Ancient Trees to celebrate Her Majesty’s 70 years of service.

By inviting everyone to plant considerable numbers of new trees throughout the country, the QGC seeks to highlight the significant value of trees and woodlands as nature’s simple but highly effective way to clean the air we breathe, slow the impact of climate change, create important wildlife habitats and improve our general health and wellbeing.

• Throughout Her reign, The Queen has planted more than 1,500 trees all over the world and has spoken alongside Sir David Attenborough of the importance of trees in the Earth’s future.

• The QGC is a voluntary and inclusive initiative which is open to participation by everyone in the UK.

• The QGC is a symbolic gift which involves the voluntary dedication of forests and woodland – there is no land/title transfer.

• The QGC is a not-for-profit initiative, which has not received Government funding. Further information about the QGC is available here.

The Queen’s Green Canopy Partners

Collaboration is central to the QGC. We are proud to work with Cool Earth, The Royal Horticultural Society, The Woodland Trust, Trees for Cities, The Forest Canopy Foundation, DEFRA, The Tree Council, The Conservation Volunteers & Community Forest Trust.

The Queen’s Green Canopy – Platinum Supporters

The QGC is grateful to the Royal Mail Group as our first Founding Partner. We are also working with Platinum Supporters Bloomberg Philanthropies, Coutts, John Lewis & Partners, Waitrose & Partners, Rentokil Initial, Coupa, Regatta and Craghoppers Bridgepoint, Howdens, Johnnie Walker, McDonald’s UK & Ireland. Bags of Ethics by Supreme Creations is an Official Supporter.

The Queen’s Green Canopy – QGC Friends Network

A diverse collection of groups located across the UK, our Friends Network is supporting the QGC, from planting trees to helping inspire the nation to get involved.

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