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Anne Frank's link with Batsford Arboretum

PUBLISHED: 19:08 31 August 2010 | UPDATED: 17:47 20 February 2013

Batsford Arboretum's Anne Frank horse chestnut tree.

Batsford Arboretum's Anne Frank horse chestnut tree.

Anne Frank's fallen chestnut tree is to live on in the Cotswolds

Anne Franks tree to live on in the Cotswolds

Recently Anne Franks Horse Chestnut tree was blown over during a storm, and so a team of foresters using chainsaws and cranes began to remove the remains of the tree from behind the house in Amsterdam where Anne Frank hid from the Nazis during the Second World War. From a small window in her attic hideout Anne was able to clearly see the tree it was her only connection with the outside world and she regularly wrote about it in her diary:

23rdFebruary 1944; we looked out at the blue sky, the bare chestnut tree glistening with dew...

18thApril 1944; Our chestnut tree is in leaf and here and there you can already see a few small blossoms.

13thMay 1944; Our chestnut tree is in full blossom. It is covered with leaves and is even more beautiful than last year.

Anne died at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in March 1945 but her tree lived on, becominga memorial to her bravery and suffering.

In recent years the tree had fallen into decline. Diseased and under attack from an insect known as the horse chestnut leaf miner, its crown was cut back in 2005 and a steel structure put in place to support it. However, the force 10 storm which hit Amsterdam proved too much for the tree and its structure, causing both to come crashing to the ground.

In anticipation of something like this happening, three years ago theAnne Frank Trustarranged for grafts to be taken from the tree and one of these grafts was put in the safe care ofBatsford Arboretumin Gloucestershire - one of Britains finest collections of trees and shrubs.

Batsford Arboretum is administered byThe Batsford Foundation a charitable trust and Batsford Trustee Tony Russell says,The demise of such an important and cherished tree is a very sad event indeed, but it is heartening to know that Anne Franks tree will live on through its young offspring. Stuart Priest, Batsfords Director of Operations and his team have been carefully looking after our young sapling in our nursery here at Batsford and it will be planted in the Batsford grounds on Saturday September 25th. We have planned for several young girls from theGirlguiding Associationto come and help with the planting and they will reflect the vibrancy and hope which Anne Frank would have had herself as a young girl before her terrible ordeal. It will also mark the centenary of The Girlguiding Association.

The Batsford Anne Frank Horse Chestnut tree is approximately 60cms (24 inches tall) and is currently in full leaf.

For further information on Batsford Arboretum please email mail@tony-russell.com or visit www.batsarb.co.uk

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