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Rowney Green - Redditch Road (Worcestershire)
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Thanks to Jo who contacted us "about stand of ten trees that are not on your database. I only wish I'd discovered you years ago so I could have let you have details sooner. Between 2011 and 2017 I lived in Rowney Green, Alvechurch, Worcestershire. We owned the field behind our house and one side of that field bordered the A441 Redditch Road. Planted on the wide council-owned verge between our field and the road were ten Wellingtonias. Like all Wellingtonias they are prominent feature and can be seen from miles away.

Although not 'ours' we felt a sense of responsibility towards them during the five years that we lived there. I attempted to get the council to apply TPOs but unfortunately this didn't come to anything. In an attempt to find out why they were there (- an unimportant site outside an unimportant village!) I did some research and was lucky enough to actually find and speak to the person who, as a boy, planted them. This confirmed that they had not been planted for any significant reason or with any ceremony.


A tall story

Alan Jones did lots of fun and interesting things as a teenager. Sometimes he got to accompany Rance, a German prisoner of war, who worked with Alanís father the Head Cowman at Cobbs Barn Farm. One day Alan found himself helping Rance to plant some tree saplings. It was heavy work; the saplings were 5 Ė 10 years old and already so large that Alan and Rance needed to use some lifting gear to get them into place. That was back in 1952.

You can see these trees now standing tall as they mark one edge of the Rowney Green area. They are the ten imposing Wellingtonia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) in the belt of trees in the verge alongside the B4120 Redditch Road, opposite the turning to Grange Lane.

As Alan has grown older so heís watched the saplings become stately trees. The tallest is now about 30 metres high with a girth of 7.5 metres at its base.But they are still youngsters Öthese Wellingtonia have the potential to reach 90metres with a trunk up to 7 metres in diameter when fully grown.

The natural range of Wellingtoniais limited to the western slopes of the Sierra Navada in California. There they represent the world's largest living organism, and one of the longest-lived. One felled tree was found to have been 3,200 years old, and several still standing are aged between 1,500 and 2,000 years old. Letís hope ours are still standing in another 2,000 years too. We can only wonder whatRowney Green will look like then!

In Britain Wellingtonia are often planted for ceremonial or landscaping reasons. Yet it seems our trees have no such connection; Alan wasnít aware of any story or particular intention behind why he was asked to plant these ones.

This short article, and the chance for Alan to tell the RGA what he recalls about the history of these striking Rowney Green trees, all started with the curiosity of a householderwho asked a couple of simple questions.
An article that Jo wrote for the local community magazine in 2013

Fantastic research and such a good result finding the person who actually planted these Wellingtonia. We also wish you had found us years ago!

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