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Armed Forces Memorial holm oaks

The Armed Forces Memorial at The National Arboretum, 2017. Picture; Barcham Trees
The Armed Forces Memorial at The National Arboretum, 2017. Picture; Barcham Trees

Barcham Trees’ fitting tribute to fallen heroes

A decade after the Armed Forces Memorial was dedicated in the presence of HM The Queen, in October 2007, the pyramidal holm oaks have been clipped into circular forms.

The trees, supplied by Barcham Trees, are at the National Memorial Arboretum in Staffordshire.

They stand sentinel at this nationally significant focal point for remembrance, honouring members of the Armed Forces killed on duty or as a result of terrorism.

Barcham’s David Johnson said: “It seems incredible it is now 10 years since the holm oaks were planted, and we are delighted they have proved worthy of their position in this important place.

The holm oaks’ journey – from nursery to memorial

“Even while they were still on the nursery in their formative years, they formed a dramatic feature, impressing many of our visitors.”

Liam O’Connor, the architect for the project and designer of the landscape setting, and David Johnson selected more than 50 trees before they underwent a rigorous cultural programme on the Cambridgeshire nursery to meet Mr O’Connor’s specifications.

He also produced a drawing during the memorial’s construction to show how the maturing trees should be pruned during their first decade in situ.

The National Memorial Arboretum – www.thenma.org.uk – is in Alrewas, Staffordshire (DE13 7AR for satellite navigation), close to all Midlands motorways.

It is an evolving woodland landscape, featuring 30,000 trees and more than 350 memorials. The 150-acre site serves as a living tribute to those who have served and continue to serve the United Kingdom.

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Mandy Watson is a freelance journalist and an incurable plantaholic. MandyCanUDigIt grew from the tiny seed of a Twitter account into the rainforest of information you see before you. Gardening columnist for the Sunderland Echo, Shields Gazette and Hartlepool Mail and editor of the Teesdale Mercury Magazine. Attracted by anything rebellious, exotic and nerdy, even after all these years. Passionate about northern England and gardens everywhere. Falls over a lot.

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