November 2019 – Seven street trees planted for National Tree Week
We began in Prince Edwards Road where we planted a white Hawthorn, (Crataegus monogyna), a Hornbeam, (Carpinus betulus), and a Wild Cherry, (Prunus avium). This project was in response to a request from three of the residents, who have each “adopted” a tree to help to look after them.
After watering the trees in, we moved on to the green in Cross Way, on the Nevill. There we planted four more trees, two at each end of the green, to allow plenty of room for play space between them. The trees chosen, following consultations with nearby residents, were: a Wild Cherry, (Prunus avium), a Hornbeam, (Carpinus betulus), a Rowan, (Sorbus aucuparia), and an Ornamental Pear, (Pyrus calleryana “Chanticleer”).
Nevill Residents’ Association not only asked for some trees here, but they also donated £300 to us so that we might be able to plant some more around Nevill in the future.
April 2019 – Vert Wood Elms
Members of Friends of Lewes Trees Committee have regularly been involved in tree events at Vert Woods Community Woodland, near Laughton. We are very grateful to VWCW for giving a home to our nine Elm Whips, (a whip being a small sapling about 75 cm in height). In 2014, the Conservation Trust gave these to us, after they were taken from cuttings from surviving trees in Hove. After almost five years growing them on from 4” pots to 11” ones, it was clearly going to be some time before they would grow large and robust enough to be suitable for planting as street trees for Lewes. Vert Woods let us plant them in a protected space on either side of what will become an avenue of Elms. Three of the trees were planted on New Year’s Day 2019, and the rest were planted in April 2019.
This adds to the growing collection of Elms at Vert Woods, many of which were planted as part of the “Bring Elms back to the South Downs” project. We hope that they will encourage the White-letter Hairstreak butterfly, which breeds on Elm species, especially on the edges of woodland rides. The numbers of these butterflies declined in the 1970s when its food source was reduced by the effects of Dutch Elm Disease.
The elm varieties planted are: Ulmus hollandica Wentworthii, Ulmus rugosa pendula, Ulmus Hollandica virens, (Kidbrook), Ulmus laevis, (White Elm), and Ulmus coritana, (Minor).
The Friends of Lewes’s “Lewes Street Elms” project aims to restore the avenue of Elm trees on St Anne’s Hill, Western Road, and at the same time to create a beautiful, green and healthy gateway to Lewes High Street.
Three Elms were planted in 2017 and 2018, and in January 2019, a fourth Elm tree was added to the row, funded by Friends of Lewes, Tesco “Bags of Help” and private donations.
Unfortunately we have not been able to complete the original avenue of seven trees due to the presence of street furniture and underground utilities.
The row of four Elms on St Anne’s Hill