Arbor Tree

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Arbor Tree

Arbor Tree Information

A research article about the Arbor Tree in Aston on Clun, by John Box, 2003, states that:

'The Arbor Tree was a male black poplar [1] that was said to be at least three hundred years old when it collapsed in 1995 and had been repeatedly pollarded. There are reports of the tree being pollarded in 1908, 1955, 1962, 1963/4, 1968, 1970 and 1991 (Anonymous 1955; Hughes n.d., 40 [2]). The tree was hollow, and Gwen Hamilton, a local resident, can remember boys hiding in the tree as long ago as the late 1910s [3].

The Marston estate was auctioned in lots in November 1949 and the fate of the tree was discussed by Hopesay Parish Council [4]. Subsequently, it was agreed to write to the new owner to see if the tree could be conveyed on the same terms as the gift of the tennis courts to the Parish Council [5].

There was concern about the health of the tree, and both Percy Thrower (the Parks Superintendent at Shrewsbury) and Jim Carey (Chiltern Tree Surgeons) inspected the tree in 1954 (Shrewsbury Chronicle 4 June 1954, 12; Shrewsbury Chronicle 22 October 1954, 11; Anonymous 1954; 1955).  The Parish Council formally agreed to commit the care of the tree to the Society of the Men of the Trees [6], with all tree management and surgery to be done in consultation with the Society [7].

This arm's-length arrangement does not seem to have worked. In 1963, the Parish Council agreed to write to the Society rescinding the 1955 minute [8] and took back responsibility for the tree and its pollarding [9].

The old tree dramatically collapsed early in the morning of 2 September 1995 (Shropshire Star 2 September 1995). The present black poplar grew from a rooted cutting taken from the old tree that was given to local resident Marina Harding, who played the "bride" in the pageant in May 1986 celebrating the two-hundredth anniversary of the wedding of John Marston and Mary Carter.  This tree was subsequently grown on land owned by Hopesay Parish Council at nearby Broome [10]. The young tree was dug up, moved from Broome to Aston-on-Clun, and replanted with much ceremony on 16 December 1995 [11].'

The full text and supporting notes by Box can be found on the sub-page:

'Dressing the Arbor Tree'