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Princess Royal and Wessexes pledge to plant trees for jubilee

By Tony Jones, PA Court Correspondent
The Princess Royal and the Earl and Countess of Wessex have pledged to join the nation in planting trees to mark the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

The Queen’s children have said they will plant saplings to mark the 70th anniversary of the monarch’s reign as they toured the Queen’s Green Canopy garden (QGC) at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show in London.

The green space, opened earlier by Dame Judi Dench, is an initiative celebrating the monarch’s platinum jubilee next year by inviting people to “Plant a Tree for the Jubilee”.

David Dodd, gardener and landscape designer who created the garden, said about Anne: “I was absolutely blown away by her knowledge of trees.”

The Queen’s daughter lives on her Gatcombe Park estate in Gloucestershire with husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, who was with her at Chelsea.

The designer added: “She said ‘we’re having more planting of trees here, planting there’ and that’s part of her celebration of the Queen.”

Mr Dodd said the earl had told him his family were also planning on planting a tree, and he joked Edward had got the message about encouraging the nation to increase the tree population.

The garden designer added: “The difference we can make with climate change is going to be phenomenal if we start planting trees.

“We all know the benefits of trees cleaning the air, absorbing pollutants and giving us oxygen.”

His garden features a tapestry of grassland beneath a canopy of 21 trees – a living picture of biodiverse regeneration in its various phases.

The Chelsea Flower Show was cancelled last year and postponed from May this year because of the pandemic. It is expected to have a very different feel due to the change in season for the event, which will be for one year only.

Under the QGC project the public are being encouraged to begin tree planting on October 1, when the season begins, through to March, and it will start again in October until the end of the jubilee year in 2022.

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