Garden Bridge tree team reaches halfway mark

The Garden Bridge planting team is well on the way to selecting the trees needed for the project, with 144 of the 270 trees tagged in two European nurseries.

A Malus 'Red Jewel' at Lorenz van Ehren nursery, destined for the Garden Bridge. Image: Garden Bridge Trust
A Malus 'Red Jewel' at Lorenz van Ehren nursery, destined for the Garden Bridge. Image: Garden Bridge Trust

Following a successful trip to Northern Germany and Bedfordshire in Autumn 2015, the team revisited the nurseries to finalise previously chosen trees.

The tagging team was made up of the bridge's garden designer Dan Pearson, planting contractor Willerby Landscapes and lead designer Arup.

Deepdale Trees, which will supply some of the stock, was also present on the trip. The company will hold all the trees in Bedfordshire while they grow and acclimatise to windy conditions simlar to the bridge environment.

Pearson said: "Despite the chilly weather it was wonderful to get out amongst the trees and tag such a large percentage of what we need for the project. The team is very excited to start bringing our planting design to life."

Two nurseries were visited in Northern Germany over two days to select trees. At Lorenz von Ehren, an established nursery south of Hamburg, the team selected 79 trees plus an additional 10 as backup, including crabapples and the elderflower Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'.

On day two, the team travelled over 150km west to visit the second nursery, Von Falkenhayn in the Amerland region of Germany. This nursery is a specialist in cultivating large tree specimens. The team tagged 50 trees with five as backup, including Quercus robur, the tallest tree tagged from the trip standing at 7.75m in height.

The trip has allowed the team to hard-tag over half of the tree stock needed for the bridge. There will be a third and final tree tagging visit at Deepdale Trees in mid-February. The trees chosen on this trip will add to the stock chosen at Deepdale and will remain there to acclimatise to the bridge environment before being planted in 2018.

The news follows confirmation in recent weeks that the two main contenders for the London mayoral seat both support the Garden Bridge, despite apparent discrepancies in the procurement process.

Tory Zac Goldsmith told the Architect's Journal the procurement process had been "thorough" while Labour's Sadiq Khan said he "fully" supports the project despite his concerns about procurement issues.

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