Cherry tree planted to commemorate friendship with Japan

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A cherry tree has been planted in Alexandra Gardens in Windsor as part of a project to mark the UK’s friendship with Japan.

More than 50 Japanese cherry trees have been planted at sites across the borough including Sutherland Grange and Sawyer’s Close, near Dedworth, and Braywick Leisure Centre, in Maidenhead, as part of the Sakura Cherry Tree Project.

The latest addition was planted by Councillor Donna Stimson, the Royal Borough’s cabinet member for climate change, sustainability, parks and countryside, with the help of Alastair Brooker, managing director of ANB Groundcare.

Councillor Stimson said: “It was an honour to plant the latest of several trees that were gifted to the Royal Borough under the Sakura Cherry Tree Project to commemorate the long-standing friendship between the people of the UK and Japan.

“These trees will live on for future generations to enjoy, provide a shaded area on a warm summer’s day and make our beautiful parks and open spaces even more attractive.

“One of the actions in our recently adopted Environment and Climate Strategy is to increase tree cover in the borough and being gifted these stunning cherry trees is a step towards that.”

The tree planted in Alexandra Gardens is the Beni Yutaka variety which has a bright pink blossom, flowering in early April. The council’s parks and countryside team will ensure that arrangements are in place for the trees to be maintained and watered regularly as they become established.

When completed, the Sakura Cherry Tree Project, which was launched in November 2019, will have seen the planting of some 6,500 trees across the UK’s parks, gardens and schools.

The trees have been funded entirely by Japanese businesses and individuals.