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Specimen Tree Planting at Inverewe Gardens

The weather tried its best but didn’t stop a rather special tree from being planted at Inverewe Gardens on Wednesday 26th October 2022.  A new specimen tree, Davidia involucrata ‘Sonoma’, was chosen by Head Gardener, Kevin Ball.

Davidia Involucrata Sonoma

Also known as the ‘handkerchief tree’, A deciduous, conical tree to 15m tall with broadly ovate, sharply-pointed, red-stalked, mid-green leaves. Selected for its ability to produce the small, dark green flowers from a very young age, sometimes after only two or three years, and these are held within noticeably long, large, creamy-white bracts during late spring, followed by small, ovoid fruits.


The tree was sponsored by the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum at Aultbea.  To commemorate the Arctic Convoys and the personnel who made the ultimate sacrifice during World War II, and in the year of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee, it was the perfect  opportunity to plant a specimen tree which will hopefully be part of Inverewe’s unique botanical collection for many years to come.

Kevin Ginty and Thomas Cherry

The tree was planted by Kevin Ginty, on behalf of the Board of Trustees, and Kevin Ball, Head Gardener at Inverewe.  It also reflects a developing link between the Russian Arctic Convoy Museum and NTS Inverewe.  The donation is recorded in the Donations Register at the Gardens.


The Western Highlands weather did its usual thing!  It poured with rain during the morning, and the planned visit of a number of Arctic Convoy Museum team had to be postponed.  We will return at a later date, and in finer weather!   Our new specimen tree didn’t mind a bit.

Kevin Ginty and Martin Hughes


Kevin Ginty said, “It’s a great honour to be able to plant a tree to commemorate Her Majesty  Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee, and the Russian Arctic Convoys and what they achieved in the most difficult of circumstances.”


Francis Russell, chair of the Russian Arctic Convoys Museum said, “It is a unique opportunity both to commemorate the platinum jubilee and the Russian Arctic Convoys.  We are delighted to build on our links with Inverewe going forward.”