Historic Cubbington pear tree to the afterlife

A historic tree in Cubbington will live on through his offspring.

Despite the failure of efforts to save the Cubbington wild pear tree from the paths of HS2 bulldozers, grafted young plants ensure that the offspring in and around the village survive.

Graft of the original tree, which was voted English Tree of the Year in 2015, was made by Paul Labous, a lecturer in Bedfordshire, and his horticultural students at Shuttleworth College.

A single graft proved successful, and after further propagation, a number of sleeping young plants were returned to Cubbington last month.

Saplings of the tree, which has been in South Cubbington Wood for about 250 years, are currently planted on site.

Rosemary Guiot of the Cubbington Action Group against HS2, who has tried to save the tree, is coordinating the operation.

She said, "Our offer of a pear sieve for community groups and locations was received with great enthusiasm.

"The first priority is the plant in the village of Cubbington. Seedlings will find a home in the cemetery of St. Mary and on the grounds of our two elementary schools – the Cubbington CE School and the Our Lady and St. Teresa Schools.

"Later, after the growth, others are planted in the recreational areas of Cubbington."

Warwickshire Wildlife Trust and Guy's Cliff Walled Garden in Warwick both want a tree. Other potential locations in the area are also considered.

This week saw a ceremony commemorating the planting of the seedling at the Cubbington CE School.

Headmistress Juliet Jones said, "We hope to do our Welly Walk again in the spring by walking in South Cubbington Wood and seeing the ancient pear tree blossom. Last year, we photographed all 200 students in front of it. "