The fifth incarnation of an historic tree in Lichfield will be planted later this year, it has been confirmed.
Lichfield District Council and the Johnson Society have been working together to make sure Johnson’s Willow is regrown as the current tree reaches the end of its life.
It grows to the side of Stowe Pool and is famous for having been Dr Samuel Johnson’s favourite tree when he lived in Lichfield in the 18th Century.
It has already been regrown three times using cuttings from each version.
The current Johnson’s Willow needs to be felled after a survey revealed extensive decay.
Cllr Iain Eadie, cabinet member responsible for parks, said:
“Although it’s sad to see this remarkable tree come down, we’re really pleased to be planting a new tree later in the year.
“Our community gardeners have been tending cuttings taken from the current tree, and will choose the strongest one to be planted in the autumn.
“This will become the fifth incarnation of Johnson’s Willow so future generations will be able to enjoy this historic tree for years to come.”Cllr Iain Eadie, Lichfield District Council
A ceremony is being planned to celebrate the replanting of Johnson’s Willow, which will include the reading of a poem penned by the winner of a competition run by the Johnson Society.
John Winterton, heritage liaison officer for the Johnson Society, said:
“The felling of the current Johnson’s Willow will be a very sad event, but is unavoidable in the circumstances.
“The good news is that the future of the tree will be secured by the planting of the fifth willow only some three months later – the shortest interval in the tree’s history.”John Winterton
Johnson’s Willow is expected to be felled in mid-August and a cutting will be planted in the same location in November when the site has been cleared.
The poetry competition is open to all and will see the winner receive £50, while two runners up will receive £25 and £15 respectively.
Eligible poems must:
- be between 14 and 30 lines
- focus on Johnson’s Willow
- be suitable for reading at the ceremony
Entries can be emailed as Word files to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on 15th August.