Paul Niven, John Winterton, Cllr Joe Powell and Philippa Rawlinson planting the trees

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Cuttings grown from an historic tree in Lichfield have been planted at the National Memorial Arboretum.

The four young willows were grown from Johnson’s Willow which stands next to Stowe Pool.

The tree became well-known during the 18th Century due to its size and the interest Samuel Johnson showed in it.

The cuttings were taken by Lichfield District Council after a request from the Johnson Society.

They were grown and planted at the National Memorial Arboretum with special plaques placed to mark their significance.

John Winterton, from the Johnson Society, said:

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“We are all delighted to see the trees planted at the National Memorial Arboretum.

“Johnson’s Willow is a unique, living link with Samuel Johnson and his age.

“It keeps alive the memory of the people of the past and their achievements, so that we can honour and learn from them both now and in the future.

“Since this is very much in line with the principles on which the National Memorial Arboretum was founded, it is highly appropriate that cuttings from Johnson’s Willow should join the collection here.”

John Winterton, Johnson Society

The original Johsnon’s Willow blew down in 1829, but cuttings were taken from it, and a second willow was planted.

Ever since then, this process of renewal has been repeated when necessary, and the current tree is the fourth incarnation of Johnson’s Willow.

Cllr Joe Powell, chairman of Lichfield District Council, said:

“It’s wonderful to see these four important trees being planted in the beautiful surroundings of the National Memorial Arboretum.

“It allows us to share a piece of Lichfield’s history with the many people that will visit over the years, who will enjoy the trees and their heritage.

“I would like to thank the Johnson Society for organising this and for the National Memorial Arboretum for welcoming the trees.”

Cllr Joe Powell, Lichfield District Council

The four trees can now be found at two locations at Water’s Meet at the National Memorial Arboretum.


Founder of Lichfield Live and editor of the site.