Memorial Trees

Only trees indiginous to the area will be permitted and will have to be landscaped in order to maintain a natural and ecologically sound environment.

Silver Birch

Betula pendula

The silver birch is a striking medium-sized deciduous tree, typically reaching 15-25m tall and a crown of arched branches with drooping branchlets. The bark is white, often with black diamond-shaped marks or larger patches, particularly at the base. The flowers are wind-pollinated catkins, produced before the leaves in early spring which, after pollination change colour to a dark crimson. Silver birch provides food and habitat for more than 300 insect species. Woodpeckers and other hole-nesting birds often nest in the trunk, while the seeds are eaten by siskins, greenfinches and redpolls.

Pedunculate Oak

Quercus robur

Large deciduous trees, 25–35 m tall (exceptionally to 50 m), with lobed leaves 7–14 cm long. Flowering takes place in mid spring, and their fruit, called acorns, ripen by the following autumn. The acorns are 2–2.5 cm long.  It is a long-lived tree, with a large wide-spreading crown of rugged branches. While it may naturally live to a few centuries, many of the oldest trees are pollarded or coppiced, both pruning techniques that extend the tree’s potential lifespan, if not its health. The oldest oak in the UK is believed to be over 1000 years old and is in Lincolnshire.

Within its native range Quercus robur is valued for its importance to insects and other wildlife. Numerous insects live on the leaves, buds, and in the acorns. The acorns form a valuable resource small mammals and some birds, notably Eurasian Jays. Jays were overwhelmingly the primary propagators of oaks before humans began planting them commercially, because of their habit of taking acorns from the parent tree and burying it undamaged elsewhere.

Sessile Oak

Quercus petraea

Sessile oak is a deciduous broadleaf tree native to the UK and most of Europe and is a large deciduous tree up to 20-40m tall.  It has a more upright trunk and straighter branches than English oak, and the leaves have longer stalks.   As oaks mature they form a broad and spreading crown with sturdy branches beneath. Their open canopy enables light to penetrate through to the woodland floor, allowing bluebells and primroses to grow below, and their smooth and silvery brown bark becomes rugged and deeply fissured with age.

Male and female flowers are found on the same tree. Male flowers are green catkins and female flowers are inconspicuous clusters of bracts (modified leaves), which resemble red flower buds. After pollination by wind, female flowers develop into a shiny seed held in a scaly wooden cup, commonly known as an acorn. Young acorns are green, maturing to brown before they fall.

Whether sessile or pedunculate, oak trees support more wildlife than any other native trees. They provide a habitat for more than 280 species of insect, which provides food for birds and other predators. The bark also provides a habitat for mosses, lichens and liverworts, and deadwood cavities for nesting birds and roosting bats. The acorns are eaten by a number of birds and mammals.

Downy Birch

Betula pubescens

Downy birch is a deciduous broad-leaf tree native to the UK and northern Europe and northern Asia.

Mature trees can reach 30m in height, forming a light canopy with elegant, drooping branches. Trees are more upright than silver birches and the bark is browner in colour with more obvious horizontal grooves. The leaves are triangular in shape but more rounded at the base than silver birch leaves and the leaf stalks are downy, as opposed to hairless on silver birch.

Downy birch is monoecious, meaning both male and female flowers (catkins) are found on the same tree, from April to May. Male catkins are long and yellow-brown in colour, and hang in groups of two to four at the tips of shoots, like lambs’ tails. Female catkins are smaller, short, bright green and erect. After successful pollination (by wind), female catkins thicken and change colour to a dark crimson. Masses of tiny seeds are borne in autumn, which are dispersed by wind.

Holly

Ilex aquifolium

Holly is an evergreen shrub with distinct spiked, glossy leaves. It is commonly found in woodland, scrub and hedgerows, especially in oak and beech woodland. Mature trees can grow up to 15m and live for 300 years. The bark is smooth and thin with numerous small, brown ‘warts’, and the stems are dark brown. Leaves are dark green, glossy and oval. Younger plants have spiky leaves, but the leaves of older trees are much more likely to be smooth. Leaves in the upper parts of the tree are also likely to be smooth.

Flowers are white with four petals. Once pollinated by insects, female flowers develop into scarlet berries, which can remain on the tree throughout winter.  During winter storms birds often take refuge in hollies, which provide shelter, protection from predators (by the spiny leaves), and food.  Holly provides dense cover and good nesting opportunities for birds, while its deep, dry leaf litter may be used by hedgehogs and small mammals for hibernation. The flowers provide nectar and pollen for bees and other pollinating insects. The leaves are eaten by caterpillars of the holly blue butterfly, along with those of various moths including the yellow barred brindle, double-striped pug and the holly tortrix. The smooth leaves found at the tops of holly trees are a winter source of food for deer. The berries are a vital source of food for birds in winter, and are also eaten by small mammals such as wood mice and dormice.

Field Maple

Acer campestre

Common Field Maple is native to the UK and most of Europe. It is a medium-sized deciduous tree reaching 15-25 m tall, with a trunk up to 1 m diameter, with finely fissured, often somewhat corky bark. The shoots are brown, with dark brown winter buds. The leaves are in opposite pairs, 5-16 cm long and 5–10 cm broad. The flowers are produced in spring at the same time as the leaves open and are insect pollinated. The fruit is a samara with two winged seeds aligned at 180º, each seed 8-10 mm wide, flat, with a 2 cm wing. The flowers are small, yellow-green, cup-shaped and hang in clusters. After pollination by insects, flowers develop into large, winged fruits, which are dispersed by wind.

Field maple is attractive to aphids and therefore their predators, including many species of ladybird, hoverfly and bird. The leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of several species of moth, including the sycamore moth, the mocha, the maple pug, the small yellow wave, the prominent and the maple prominent. The flowers provide nectar and pollen for bees and birds, and small mammals eat the fruits.

Rowan

Sorbus aucuparia

Rowan is also known as mountain ash and is native to the UK and northern and western Europe.  It is commonly found in the wild, particularly in the highlands of Scotland, but it is also widely planted as a street or garden tree.  Mature trees can grow to 15m and can live for up to 200 years. The bark is smooth and silvery grey, and leaf buds are purple and hairy. Leaves are pinnate (like a feather), comprising five to eight pairs of leaflets, plus one ‘terminal’ leaflet at the end.  Each leaflet is long, oval and toothed. Rowan flowers are borne in dense clusters, each one bearing five creamy white petals. After successful pollination by insects, they develop into scarlet fruits. The seeds are dispersed by birds.

The leaves are eaten by caterpillars of a number of moths, including the larger Welsh wave and autumn green carpet. Caterpillars of the apple fruit moth feed on the berries.

Flowers provide pollen and nectar for bees and other pollinating insects, while the berries are a rich source of autumn food for birds, especially the blackbird, mistle thrush, redstart, redwing, song thrush, fieldfare and waxwing.

Hazel

Corylus avellana

Hazel is a deciduous broad-leaf tree native to the UK. Hazel is often coppiced, but when left to grow, trees can reach a height of 12m, where it can live for up to 80 years (if coppiced, hazel can live for several hundred years). It has a smooth, grey-brown, bark, which peels with age, and bendy, hairy stems. Leaf buds are oval, blunt and hairy, and the leaves are round to oval, doubly toothed, hairy and pointed at the tip. Leaves turn yellow before falling in autumn.

The yellow male catkins appear before the leaves and hang in clusters, from mid-February. Female flowers are tiny and bud-like with red styles. Once pollinated by wind, the female flowers develop into oval fruits, which hang in groups of one to four. They mature into a nut with a woody shell surrounded by a cup of leafy bracts (modified leaves).

Hazel leaves provide food for the caterpillars of many moths, including the large emerald, small white wave, barred umber and nut-tree tussock.  Hazel has long been associated with the dormouse. Not only are hazel nuts used by dormice to fatten up for hibernation, but in spring the leaves are a good source of caterpillars, which dormice also eat. Hazel nuts are also eaten by woodpeckers, nuthatches, tits, wood pigeons, jays and a number of small mammals. Hazel flowers provide early pollen as a food for bees. The trunks are often covered in mosses, liverworts and lichens, and the fiery milkcap fungi grows in the soil beneath.

Lime

Tilia x europaea

Common lime is a deciduous broad-leaf tree, native to the UK and parts of Europe. A hybrid between small-leaved and large-leaved lime, common lime has characteristics of both species. The bark is pale grey-brown and irregularly ridged, with characteristic large burrs and leaf shoots at the base of the tree. Twigs are slender and brown, although they become red in the sun. Leaf buds are red, with one small scale and one large scale, resembling a boxing glove, and form on long leaf stalks. The leaves are dark green in colour, heart-shaped and flimsy and measure 6–10cm in length. They have a lopsided, lobed leaf base and tufts of white hairs in vein axils, and fade to a dull yellow before falling in autumn.

Lime leaves are eaten by the caterpillars of many moth species, including the lime hawk, peppered, vapourer, triangle and scarce hook-tip moths. They are very attractive to aphids, providing a source of food for their predators, including hoverflies, ladybirds and many species of bird (bees also drink the aphid honeydew deposited on the leaves). The flowers provide nectar and pollen for insects, particularly bees.

Wild Cherry

Prunus avum

Wild cherry is thought to be the most ornamental of our native broadleaf woodland trees. It is native throughout the UK and Europe, except the far north. The second part of its botanical name – ‘avium’ refers to birds, which eat the cherries and disperse the seed. In Scotland, cherry is sometimes referred to as ‘gean’. Mature trees can grow to 30m and live for up to 60 years. The shiny bark is a deep reddish-brown with prominent cream-coloured horizontal lines. The green leaves are oval and toothed with pointed tips, measuring 6–15cm with two red glands on the stalk at the leaf base. They fade to orange and deep crimson in autumn.

Cherry trees are hermaphrodite, meaning the male and female reproductive parts are found in the same flower, in April. Flowers are white and cup-shaped with five petals, and measure 8-15mm across. They hang in clusters of two to six.

After pollination by insects, the flowers develop into globular, hairless deep red cherries. The spring flowers provide an early source of nectar and pollen for bees, while the cherries are eaten by birds including the blackbird and song thrush, as well as mammals such as the badger, wood mouse, yellow necked mouse and dormouse.

The foliage is the main food plant for caterpillars of many species of moth, including the cherry fruit and cherry bark moths, the orchard ermine, brimstone and short cloaked moth.

 

Long Term Management

All purchased memorial trees will be planted in the tree planting season (typically between mid-November to late-March) to allow the best chance of success.

Any planted memorial trees will be guaranteed for 5 years, during which time any failing trees will be replaced.

All trees will be maintained by the Estate in accordance with good arboricultural practice and British Standards.

Natural, eco-friendly or environmentally-friendly burial is the interment of the deceased person in the soil in a way that does not stop natural decomposition but allows the body to recycle naturally. It is an growing alternative to other traditional burial methods.
Trees rather than traditional head stones are planted to mark the location of the grave.
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