RHS Hampton by Charlie Noton

When the company receives a phone call to help at the largest annual flower show in the world, it was always going to be a yes.
Rose Mcmonigall received news that the trees she had requested were not possible any more so she rang us to help.
After a few phone calls  (and I am pleased to announce no last minutes drives to Tuscany for this one) and a few logistical emails we were well on the way to helping Rose fulfil her spec.


Michael Buck, General Manager

The trees arrived on time and it great condition. After 3 hours of manouvering from the ground staff at Hampton Court Flower Show, the trees were placed in situ. The construction team at Bowood were immediately set to task to secure these heavy specimens in the strengthening wind.

After several days of TLC as the build went on the trees settled and relaxed and became one of the main features of the garden.
Thankfully after the show was finished these magnificent trees were relocated to North Hampshire where they will be replanted with a beautiful Galician Garden to be built around them.

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The construction team at Bowood were immediately set to task to secure these heavy specimens in the strengthening wind.
After several days of TLC as the build went on the trees settled and relaxed and became one of the main features of the garden.

Thankfully after the show was finished these magnificent trees were relocated to North Hampshire where they will be replanted with a beautiful Galician Garden to be built around them.

It was a lot of fun to be involved with Hampton Court Flower show and something we would of course do again should we be asked.

Thanks Rose for giving us the opportunity.

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Westonbirt Training Day by Charlie Noton

Every day really is a school day in Horticulture. 
We held our most recent team training day at the amazing Westonbirt Arboretum in Gloucestershire. Fascinating forms, shapes with new Genus and species for us to all learn. With 15,000 specimens from around the world, it's a tree lovers paradise! A fabulous day for the team to learn and discover at a rare slow pace.
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Television Centre, White City, Soho House by Charlie Noton

Early February 2018 Charlie Noton, Director of Tree Research, received an email from Soho House regarding a very exciting project at The BBC Television Centre, Shepherds Bush.

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The Client brief was simple; ‘Produce a roof top garden and relaxation area across two floors to compliment the retro design of White City House. However, we have one month to complete before the launch date’ GULP!

After several emails too-ing and frow-ing, the design brief was set and we had the green light to start the design process.

Due to the incredibly tight time line on this project the budget needed to be approved, the pots and troughs sourced as well as the plants sourced, delivered and planted – this was a mammoth task!

We initially started with contacting some amazing pot and trough companies across the UK and Europe to discuss if a 4 week turn around was possible. All suppliers came back saying it was a tough ask but something that could be achievable if we moved fast. However, with several days of emails and budget changes this deadline was creeping ever closer. We finally had the budget accepted with 2 weeks to go before completion was due. So the process of buying the troughs, pots, compost etc had begun. We learned very quickly that the lead time for the pots we originally required to be made was physically impossible so we had to rethink. We contacted the same suppliers and went through their stock lists and had a slight redesign. A move that proved to be vital as well as perfect for the space.

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The plants were actually the easiest part to all of this process. Plant enthusiasts, Charlie, Michael Buck, Our General Manager and Piers Beeching, a long term friend of Charlie’s and top plantsman, sat down in a bar not far from White City House to discuss the plants well into the evening. A late finish that proved to be the norm for this project.

Once the pots and troughs had been arranged with a 5 day turnaround for delivery, a trip to Covent Garden Flower Market for inspiration was in order. Charlie and Michael met Piers, bleary eyed at 6.30am for a spot of shopping. Well worth the 4am alarm call!

Inducted, we started on site. A site which had plenty of challenges and obstacles for us. On the 9th floor paving slabs were not set, with painters painting the slabs in readiness for securing. We had Chris and his marvellous and very helpful team from Flybird Installations who were tasked with the job of erecting a retractable pergola over our heads.

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If this wasn’t enough to slow us down, we shared one lift with all the other trades, including the team who were installing all the furniture on the Soho Floors with wait times on the lift of up to 1 hour. A situation that even a Saint would have had their patience tested.

It took us 4 days to deliver the pots, troughs, compost and Leca to the 9th and 10th floors. A monumental effort by our team with all sorts of obstacles and slight set backs along the way.

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With everything delivered onto the 9th we could begin the process of filling the troughs and pots in readiness for planting. This process required team work not just with in the Tree Research gang but with Chris and his team, also. Working at height they skilfully installed a fantastic pergola around us and in return we had to be flexible with our trough and planter positioning to enable them to secure around us. The 10th floor upon arrival wasn’t tiled, so we concentrated our efforts on the 9th.

By this stage, our plants were on site and ready for planting – the most exciting part of any job we do. All the furniture was in its final positions so the lift was much easier to use.

The Tree Research team expertly and carefully navigated multistem trees of up to 300kg through the maze of furniture and bars to their final resting position. Once planted, the scheme really started to take shape and gain even more momentum.

3 full days of planting, including a double shift long meant we were planting long into the night on a roof top with the London Skyline lit up in the background – a job we are sure our team will not forget in a hurry.

Fast forward two weeks later and more plants and planters are required and some more finishing touches about to take place.

It has been an absolute pleasure working with Soho House on their White City House project and one we are very proud of.

Here are a few figures about the job:

·      398 Man Hours
·      3320 miles covered from Base to Site (A Distance equivalent to London to Boston, Massachusetts, USA )
·      9,308 litres of compost
·      2,500 litres of Hydroleca
·      3,500 kgs of Plant Material

Annabel's, Mayfair by Charlie Noton

Over the years, Tree Research has built up a varied client base from private gardens and parkland to exclusive hotels and members clubs – including Dyson, Bonham's and Annabel’s Mayfair.

At Annabel’s Mayfair, we were asked to source large-scale mature trees and in particular the central feature tree, which needed to be large enough for visuals to be projected onto it. The brief was to create a big impact and to give diners a sense of awe and of being sheltered under a forest canopy.

It has been a great privilege to provide such creative solutions without restriction. The brief was simple: the space must be like no other and blow the minds of all those who enter.

Charlie Noton, Director and Lead Consultant
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 Really proud of the team!

Really proud of the team!

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Royal Crescent Tree Planting Project - Bath by Charlie Noton

We worked with Johnny Wake from Landmark Gardens who came up with the overall scheme on this project. The work is comprised of an upper terrrace of box framing Osmanthus multi stem umbrellas; sometimes we have to work around the constraints of the site and The Royal Crescent, Bath is one such example, with the trees being brought in from above as the video shows! The lower section hosts white flowering plants and long borders framed with Box, with Pyrus Chanticleer trees under planted with Hydrangea. The upper terrace and lower terrace are separated by instant ready clipped Yew hedging. 

 A special day where my daughter came on site - a future Project Manager in the making!

A special day where my daughter came on site - a future Project Manager in the making!

 Getting started on the project - perfect alignment is the key

Getting started on the project - perfect alignment is the key

 Great to add the finishing touches to this fantastic design on the Royal Crescent in Bath. Pyrus ‘Chanticleer’ and Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ providing some loose forms to contrast the formality of the Buxus and Taxus lines. 

Great to add the finishing touches to this fantastic design on the Royal Crescent in Bath. Pyrus ‘Chanticleer’ and Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ providing some loose forms to contrast the formality of the Buxus and Taxus lines. 

Old Alresford Tree Planting Project by Charlie Noton

We began work in these extensive gardens in the Spring and it has been a real favourite of ours as we have returned and added to the garden over the year. We added two massive beech topiaries to the front of the property to act as Sentinels framing the staircase leading to the front door. We also created an outdoor dining area with a 12m long table lined with Mop Head Catalpa with walls of Hornbeam. We hope the photos do it justice!

Charlie Noton, Lead Consultant, Tree Research

  Mop Head Catalpa trees with walls of Hornbeam

Mop Head Catalpa trees with walls of Hornbeam

Material: Wood - Design and Inspiration by Charlie Noton

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I was delighted to have been asked to participate in the the MATERIAL: Wood – Design & Inspiration event in August 2017. The exhibition at the beautifully situated creative space that is Messums Wiltshire celebrated the designers, makers, artists and artisans working with wood and focussed on wood as a source of inspiration in art and design. 
I spoke with Caroline Donald, Gardening Editor of the Sunday Times about 'Working in the Company of Trees', looking at how I came to work with trees, my thoughts on sustainabillty and the holistic care of trees and my inspirations - Capability Brown, Leonardo da Vinci, Pauli the Bear, Prof. Dr. Claus Mattheck and Dr. Seuss!
We also discussed just a few of the older trees I find fascinating - both in form and history: the Tortworth Chesnut, Wistmans Wood, Avebury and Puzzlewood.


Charlie Noton, Founder and Lead Consultant, Tree Research
 Messums Wiltshire - Material: Wood - Design and Inspiration Exhibition

Messums Wiltshire - Material: Wood - Design and Inspiration Exhibition

 Above: my inspirations 

Above: my inspirations 

 Two of my favourite ancient trees discussed during my talk

Two of my favourite ancient trees discussed during my talk

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Planting a mature Prunus ‘Ukon’ by Charlie Noton

The Tree Research team were pleased to manage the planting of a mature Prunus ‘Ukon’ in a fantastic private garden in Norfolk for Arne Maynard. The best part is watching the tree canopy being opened with gradual care.
‘Ukon’ tolerates most soils and is one of several Japanese cherries with yellow or green flowers. It is commonly base grafted to reduce the risk of the trunk of top grafted trees being overpowered by the weight of the spreading, arching branches as the tree matures. A fantastic specimen!


Carl McClean, Project Manager, Tree Research

The time lapse video below shows the planting of the tree.