Tree Planting

November 2020 – Thirty mature trees planted in Lewes

This November members of the Trees Committee of Friends have made a fantastic start to the tree-planting season by planting thirty mature trees in Lewes!

On Sunday 1st November we planted nineteen trees in Lewes Cemetery: four Grey Alder, four Swedish Whitebeam, three Cut-leaf Beech, an English Holly, a Copper Beech, a Judas tree, two Field Maples and three Irish Yews. We had a great team and the willing helpers included neighbours James Power and Juliette Mitchell from Rotten Row and the family of Chris Bibb, who is an active member of the Trees Committee. Careful siting of the new trees will increase biodiversity without compromising the chalk grassland recovery on the areas of the Cemetery left unmown for wildflowers.

On Wednesday 4th November, in a second working party organised at short notice once the new lockdown restrictions had become apparent, we planted a further eight trees: three small-leaved Lime, three Amelanchier and two Hybrid Larch. To celebrate that this was a collaborative project between Friends of Lewes and LDC, we invited several councillors to join us and were pleased to welcome Councillors Adrian Ross, Imogen Makepeace and Matt Bird. They all took an active part in digging, planting and staking the trees, as the photographs on our Facebook page, “Lewes Urban Arboretum”, will show you!

FoL planting trees at Lewes Cemetery
Planting Copper Beech, Holly, Irish Yews, and Larch at Lewes Cemetery. Click image to enlarge

The trees were chosen for the interest they would add to the landscape and for their resilience to chalky soil conditions and climate change. Some of us have taken part in Wildflower Lewes surveys of the Cemetery over the Spring and Summer and observed a wide range of butterflies and bees there, including Long-tailed Blue, Wall Brown and Adonis Blue butterflies! The rare Brown-banded Carder Bee, Bombus humilis, and the Long-horned Nomad Bee, Nomada hirtipes, were also recorded at the Cemetery by James Power last June. Knowing this, we considered how our tree planting might add to the food available for pollinators throughout the year. With the addition of the mixed native hedgerow that we plan to plant along the wall near the Winterbourne stream before the end of the year, the trees selected should provide a long season of flowering from February to October.

On Saturday 7th November, a small group of us met at Mount Harry Road to plant a Grey Alder and a native Crab Apple on the grass rectangle there – a project that had to be postponed from March. Last of all, we went back to Prince Edwards Road where we planted a Whitebeam to replace the Hawthorn which we had planted in November 2019 and which had suffered from fire blight.

Planting Whitebeam at Prince Edwards Road; Grey Alder, and Crab Apple at Mount Harry Road
Click image to enlarge


A new Elm for Lewes!

Back in September, Tree Wardens were invited to apply for one of thirty trees offered by the Tree Council to celebrate thirty years of their Tree Warden Scheme.

Elms on St Anne's Hill, LewesOur application was successful, and we will be taking delivery of a DED-resistant Elm, Ulmus “New Horizon” in January, to be planted at Lewes Cemetery. This is the same sort of Elm as the four we planted on St. Anne’s Hill, in collaboration with ESCC. It was developed by a Professor Eugene Smalley who began in 1957 with a determination to develop 100% DED-resistant Elms to “put a smile on the landscape”, to reflect his philosophy of smiling through hard or difficult times. It is believed that Ulmus “New Horizon” is the answer to providing mature Elms for the future and it is also key to the survival of the endangered White-letter Hairstreak butterfly.


Friends of Lewes plant elm grove at Vert WoodsTree planting in 2019

  • Seven street trees planted for National Tree Week
  • Vert Wood Elms
  • Lewes Street Elms Project – update

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Trees planted in Highdown Road, LewesTree planting in 2018

  • Mount Harry Stores, and Houndean Rise
  • Lewes Street Elms Project
  • Houndean Rise

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Tree planting in 2017

  • Abergavenny Road revisited


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Tree planting, Valence Road, LewesTree planting in 2016

  • Middle Way, Valence Road, Abergavenny Road, South Downs Road


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Tree planting at Southover SchoolTree planting in 2015

  • Malling Industrial Estate
  • Southover School
  • Southover and Western Road Schools
  • Lewes street tree survey

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