Surrey garden nurtures rare tropical tree

Surrey garden nurtures rare tropical tree
    Tree pruners may have been being put to good use in the Royal Horticultural Society's (RHS's) Garden Wisley in Surrey.

A rare pink trumpet tree known as Tabebuia impetiginosa has been successfully nurtured and is profusely blooming in the green area for the first time.

"We've had the tree for five years, but have never had a display like this before," remarked team leader of the RHS Glasshouse Peter Jones.

Indeed, no more than a small number of flowers have been produced in its lifetime at the location.

However, it has finally been coaxed into full bloom and is said to offer a unique spectacle.

The pink trumpet tree is native to Central and South America and is also known as pau d'arco, which translates as bow stick.

Very few specimens of the plant are known to exist in the UK, as they can only be grown under glass in the relatively temperate climate.

It is known to members of staff at RHS Wisley as 'Sleeping Beauty' and has grown to stand at 15 feet tall.

This is a significantly smaller size than the tree is capable of reaching, as heights of around 150 feet have been recorded in areas where is found in the wild.

"In its natural habitat, the tree will flower most prolifically after a rest period during the dry season and this year we've managed to re-create that effect at Wisley," Mr Jones explained.

"Hopefully, the tree will stay in flower for at least another ten days and visitors will have the chance to see something really exceptional," he continued.

At the end of 2011, director-general of the Tree Council Pauline Buchanan-Black launched National Tree Week in order to encourage plantation more generally.

It was noted some of the long term benefits of greater numbers of trees could include the more sustainable cultivation of materials and energy.

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