The Annesley Garden, within Castlewellan Forest Park, is well known for its international collection of trees.
The discovery trail takes mini nature detectives around the world as they meet trees from across the globe such as Argentina, Japan, Tasmania and Australia.
Taking centre stage is a 160 year old giant redwood reigning from California, USA. Most redwoods have eyes only for the sky as they shoot to over 100 metres tall, but Castlewellan’s behemoth grew width ways instead to form 19 inter-connecting stems. Last year the redwood topped the public poll to become Northern Ireland’s Tree of the Year 2018 after being nominated by tree enthusiasts Dr Sally Montgomery of Castlewellan Futures’ Heritage Group and Ann Irwin of Arboretum Regeneration Group. The competition prize money was put to good use installing the nature trail for everyone to enjoy.
Dr Sally Montgomery from Castlewellan Futures’ Heritage Group said: “Tree of the Year is a great way for anyone to celebrate a tree that is special to them. Northern Ireland has hundreds of amazing trees with special memories – and they all have a story to tell.
“Winning the competition helped raise the profile of the Annesley Garden and has enabled us to create new educational resources to help engage the next generation with the wonders of our fabulous trees.
“I encourage you to take five minutes to nominate your favourite tree and celebrate nature’s giants.”
The Woodland Trust’s Tree of the Year competition aims to celebrate and shout about the best trees that Northern Ireland has to offer.
Individuals, groups and organisations are encouraged to share the myths and memories of their best-loved tree. So whether your tree simply brightens up your garden or has been around for thousands of years – The Woodland Trust wants to hear about it.
The winning tree will benefit from a tree care award of up to £1,000, with runners up receiving £500, which might assist a health check from a specialist, educational materials or a community event in celebration of the tree.
For more information about the competition and to submit your nomination, by 19 July, visit www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/treeoftheyear