Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Wallemi pine

Wallemi pine

Rare new tree for Alexandra Park

A wollemi pine, an historic tree, has been planted in Alexandra Park in Hastings, a green space that is renowned for its collection of trees, both rare and common. Over 2000 trees of about 400 different kinds (including forms and cultivars) grow in the park, and there are more in the adjacent woods.

The cultivation of rare species seems to have begun during the laying out of the main part of the park by Robert Marnock in 1878 – 1882, with collections of oaks, limes and maples being established, along with a bank of beech cultivars and an avenue of different hollies. Since then, a succession of enthusiastic park managers have helped perpetuate the tradition of growing trees normally only seen in botanic gardens.

Lead councillor for the environment, Cllr Colin Fitzgerald, explained: “A Wollemi pine has been donated to Alexandra Park by Hastings residents, Max and Lee Colton. This most unusual tree was discovered in Australia in 1994, and had previously only been known through fossil records.

“Thanks to a propagation programme this magnificent tree is now being grown across the world. It can reach a height of 40m, and it has a unique brown and knobbly bark which resembles the ‘Coco Pops’ breakfast cereal! Although we certainly don’t recommend eating it…

“We are very grateful to Max and Lee, it will be a very welcome addition to Alexandra Park’s already superb tree collection.”

Posted 13:43 Tuesday, Nov 27, 2018 In: Nature

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