Sunday, 05 December 2021

Crab apple tree with ancient roots planted

Crab apple tree with ancient roots planted

A TREE grown from a seed from the oldest apple tree in the world has been planted in an orchard in Henley.

The crab apple, which is about three years old, was planted at Three Oaks Orchard, off Greys Road.

The seed came from a Malus sieversii tree in southern Kazakhstan that was planted in the 1700s.

Ali Pootstchi, an agronomist who runs the orchard with his sister Banny Hay and her husband Nick, decided to plant the tree in honour of a group who stayed at the orchard on a pilgrimage.

He said: “People spread the seeds to Syria and it came down the Silk Road. My parents came from Iran and they uprooted, moved here and grew children and planted trees. This is what this pilgrimage is doing. It’s part of their greater life journey.” 

The group, called Listening to the Land, comprises 18 people who are walking from London to Glasgow in three months for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference in November to urge world leaders to protect nature. The artists and landworkers, who were strangers before the start of the walk, set off from London on Saturday and visited the orchard on Sunday.

Jolie Booth, one of the organisers, said: “This is a truly once-in-a-lifetime moment when we stand at the precipice as a species and as a planet. It’s so easy for ordinary members of the public to feel powerless, given how big and impossible the environmental emergency feels, particularly when all the decisions are being taken on our behalf and behind closed doors.

“With this project, we want to flip that and help people feel energised, inspired and empowered and to have their voices on climate, biodiversity and nature heard. We want to include as many voices as possible in this beautiful, creative act of reverence for earth as we call on world leaders to walk the walk on climate.”

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