Farewell to favourite tree
Published Wednesday, 30 March 2011
The David Livingstone Centre in Blantyre is bidding farewell to a much-loved local landmark this week.
The Queen Mother's Beech Tree, which was planted when the museum opened in 1929 by the late Queen Mother, has become infected with Meripilus giganteus, a virulent and fast-acting plant disease which has made the tree unsafe.
Following discussions with the council's arboriculturalist John Ferguson, the decision was taken to fell the tree at the popular National Trust for Scotland centre.
Over the years, the plaque commemorating the planting became embedded in the trunk of the tree, making it an unusual living monument to the museum's opening.
Local artist Richard Price will use wood from the felled tree to create a unique, commemorative artwork in memoriam to the proud tree and its famous planter.
Frances McChlery, the acting property manager, said: "We are all very sad to say goodbye to this tree which has been here since the museum opened all those years ago.
"However, we will ensure that the tree and the significance of its planting are not forgotten. Richard Price will help us to create a fitting tribute, one which will endure for all time.
"And we already have plans to plant a suitable replacement tree to mark the commemoration of the bi-centennial anniversary of David Livingstone's birth. It will be a fitting way to begin our anniversary celebrations in 2013."
The David Livingstone Centre opens to visitors for 2011 on 1 April. The centre and museum give visitors a unique insight into the early life of David Livingstone, his teachings and achievements.
The grounds and Explorer's Garden also provide an opportunity to enjoy Lanarkshire's rich natural heritage in a tranquil setting on the banks of the Clyde.
Events and walks are scheduled throughout the spring and summertime, getting underway this Easter with the Cadbury's Easter Egg Trail. Join the team on Saturday 16, Sunday 17 and from Friday 22 until Monday 25 April for Easter fun.
For more information and events, please go to www.nts.org.uk