Conifer Conservation Programme in Edinburgh

Conifer conservation project small

Edinburgh Trees to Benefit from Conifer Conservation Programme

On Tuesday 6 March a ceremonial tree planting in Edinburgh’s West Princes Street gardens marked the launch of a conifer conservation project in the city.

Conifer conservation project small

Edinburgh city council and the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh (RBGE) launched the joint initiative, which aims conserve and grow threatened tree species across the city, as part of RGBE’s Conifer Conservation Programme.

Launched in 1991, the programme combines genetic and horticultural research with conifer conservation, with the latest development being a Memorandum of Understanding between the Council and RBGE. The five year agreement between the Council and RBGE, signed in December, not only aims to conserve endangered trees, but also intends to increase biodiversity in the city’s parks.

A new nursery has been established by the Council as part of the project. At Inch Nursery, conifers and other internationally collected tree samples supplied by RBGE will be grown, before being planted in public parks and gardens across the city. Researchers will also collect cuttings from the city’s rare Elm collection, as well as heritage and veteran trees throughout sites across the city, which will be cultivated and replanted to preserve the City’s nationally important Elm and genetic tree resource.

Conservation of Endangered Trees

David Jamieson, the Council’s Parks and Greenspace Manager, said: “We have worked with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh for many years and are delighted to help secure the conservation of the some of the world’s most endangered trees. Edinburgh’s 142 parks already provide a rich local biodiversity for people to enjoy, a biodiversity that will be enhanced even further through this project.”

Martin Gardner, Co-ordinator of the International Conifer Conservation Programme at RBGE, added: “What an extraordinary opportunity to work with the Parks and Greenspaces of the city of Edinburgh in order to extend the conservation work of the RBGE. Our collaboration will help to secure the long term future of some highly threatened tree species.”

Attended by ICF Executive Director Shireen Chambers, Thursday’s ceremonial tree planting saw six endangered trees introduced to one of Edinburgh’s most central parks. As part of the project, trees from Europe, America, North Africa and Japan will also be planted across parks in Edinburgh.

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