Update June 2015 - View the latest on the Cheery Tree replacement project.
Visitors to Chester Road in Regent's Park this spring are likely to see work underway on significant improvements to the historic treescape of the park.
Diseased Cherry trees (Prunus 'Kanzan') are being removed and being replaced with a more suitable variety (Prunus 'Sunset Boulevard'). This is a similarly spectacular flowering Cherry with excellent autumn colour but with a more upright form than the current wider spreading variety 'Kanzan'.
Many of the existing trees have failed and most are in poor condition. We intend to replace the remaining 82 trees with 100 regularly spaced, even aged, suitably trained, even stemmed trees of a single variety.
Royal Parks arboriculturist Matt Steinmann explains more:
"The variety of Cherry we are removing is suffering from a bacterial canker (Pseudomonas syringae pv. morsprunorum). This disease manifests itself as dead areas of bark accompanied by a gummy ooze. Death of branches occurs when the infected bark girdles the branch. Girdling of the stem will result in the decline and eventual death of the tree. The trees also have a spreading crown shape, which makes them vulnerable to vehicle damage.
"We will remove all the trees, excavate the stumps and re-condition the soil in the planting pits. Replanting with the new 6-7m trees will take place this autumn. The replacement variety of Cherry selected, Prunus 'Sunset Boulevard' has a more upright habit, better suited to roadside planting, this combined with an enhanced rooting environment will give us a much improved uniformity and aesthetic to Chester Road."
The Royal Parks have consulted with English Heritage, The Friends of Regents Park, The City of Westminster, The London Borough of Camden and Crown Estates Paving Commission prior to these works commencing, and the works are in line with current Royal Parks strategies for retaining and enhancing historical viewpoints throughout the park. Chester Road is part of the original Nash layout of the park from 1832 and was originally planted with Cherries in the 1930s at the same time as the Rose Gardens in Queen Mary's Garden was established. Both were made possible by a donation from Sigismund Goetze (1866-1939).
Sponsor a Cherry tree
If you would like to support our work on Chester Road by sponsoring a Cherry tree please get in touch with the Royal Parks Foundation, the charity for London's eight Royal Parks.
The Park Manager for Regent's Park is helping the Foundation to raise funds for this project by running the London Marathon on April 26th, you can sponsor him on his Virgin Money Giving fundraising page.
Please help us restore this beautiful gateway to The Regent's Park.