Strand gets a 'great tree'
PUBLISHED: 12:48 13 March 2013 | UPDATED: 12:48 13 March 2013
'Jurassic Park' has come to Exmouth after a prehistoric tree, thought extinct up until 69 years ago, was brought back from the dead and unveiled in the Strand Gardens.
Exmouth mayor John Humphreys, councillors, and president of Exmouth rotary club unveiled the ten-metre high metasequoia glyptostroboides, a dawn redwood.
It follows the removal two years of some trees as part of the Strand Gardens refurbishment.
One of the trees that had to be removed was a red oak that had been planted there by Exmouth Rotary Club.
Now the club and Devon County Council have replaced it with an oak which has a strong link to the time when dinosaurs roamed the Earth.
The tree is of a species which dates back to the post-Jurassic Cretaceous period and which was thought to have become extinct.
Then botanists discovered a single example of the tree still surviving in China in 1944 and this led to a revival of the species.
The tree planted in Exmouth recently and celebrated on Monday is a descendant of that single Chinese survivor.
The tree was planted alongside two other smaller trees that were replacing earlier saplings that failed and was unveiled by the president of Exmouth Rotary Club, Keith Turner.
Mr Turner said: “The club originally planted a red oak in The Strand as a lasting gift to the town for the enjoyment of generations to come.
“This had to be removed to make way for the regeneration of The Strand and the club is now delighted to see that ‘The Great Tree’ has been planted in its place.
Exmouth’s mayor, Councillor John Humphreys, said: “This is a great addition to the heart of Exmouth from the rotary club, an organisation that has always been at the heart of Exmouth.
“The Strand redevelopment shows just how much can be achieved when local councils work together.
“With all this tree planting, we are responding to local people who have requested more greenery here.”