Local primary school children planted three new species of trees in Brooke Park to mark the recent success of one of its big attractions.
The Knobbly Tree placed second in the Woodland Trust’s ‘Tree of the Year’ competition last September after a public vote.
The Knobbly Tree is a Platanus Cuneata and was gifted to the Gwyn and Young Charitable Institute by the Edinburgh Botanical Gardens in 1851. The grounds of the Gwyn’s Institute orphanage became Brooke Park - ‘the People’s Park’ - in 1901. Since then the tree, which is located on the main avenue in the Park, has aged and developed its familiar large squat trunk and its rough knobbly bark.
Mayor Michaela Boyle joined the local pupils from Rosemount PS, St Eugene’s PS, St Anne’s PS and the Model PS on Thursday morning to plant three new types of trees, which she hopes will receive the same recognition in years to come.
“The Council are delighted with our prize from the Woodland Trust and in celebration of our Knobbly Tree we have planted three new specimen trees in Brooke Park - a Davidia Involucrate Vilmoriniana, a Magnolia Loebneri ‘Merrill’ and a Zelkova Serrata. Hopefully in years to come these three new trees will become as loved and as celebrated as our Knobbly Tree.
“Brooke Park is one of the most beautiful spots in the city, and our award-winning tree is a big part of that landscape.”
Colin Kennedy, Parks Development Manager, said it was a great honour to receive the runners-up position.
“We were delighted that the Knobbly Tree in Brooke Park was nominated for the Woodland Trust’s ‘Tree of the Year’ as it’s a competition which aims to highlight and celebrate remarkable trees in the community and the stories behind them,” explained Colin. “We were particularly thrilled given that it was the public themselves who had their say and deemed the Knobbly Tree worthy of a tree care award from the Woodland Trust. It’s a prestigious prize and something we are very proud of.”
Ian McCurley, Woodland Trust Northern Ireland Director, said the Knobbly Tree was worthy of its recognition.
“Tree of the Year brings a wonderful opportunity for individuals and communities to nominate and share their best-loved trees and, like the Knobbly Tree, it could be a well-known local landmark.
“Our aim is to draw attention to Northern Ireland’s amazing unsung trees. We want to put them firmly on the map, giving them the recognition they deserve.”
For more information on Council’s parks, visit https://www.derrystrabane.com/Subsites/Parks-and-Open-Spaces/Parks.