Tree of the Month - April

Spring 2024 has been the earliest on record across many parts of Britain; the steadily increasing warmth, combined with the last year's ample rainfall, has also encouraged spring-flowering trees to blossom more profusely than perhaps they have ever done.

It's very hard to choose just one tree to represent this floral bonanza. Here is a magnolia 14 metres tall whose flamingo pink in March lights up a corner of St Helens Woods in Hastings. St Helens Woods were saved from development in the 1950s by a local group of residents, and the St Helens Park Preservation Society's first chairman was the late Logan Edgar, who ran a nursery near Hastings specialising in camellias and magnolias, a few of which he planted around the woods and fields. This one is known to have come from Caerhays Castle in the 1960s, and is probably the hybrid now sold under the name 'Caerhays Belle'.

Owen Johnson MBE VMM
(Photo: Owen Johnson)