Rare Plymouth Pear tree to be planted at Buckingham Palace
A RARE Plymouth Pear tree, said to be one of only nine in the world, is to be planted in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.
Arthur Watson, from Estover, has a 20-year-old Plymouth Pear tree in his front garden and after offering The Queen a specimen as a gift he has got Royal approval.
Arthur offered the tree as a gift to mark Her Majesty's Diamond Jubilee and it will now be planted in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.
Arthur said: "The Plymouth Pear tree is very rare, there's only nine of them on the planet, so I thought it would make a good gift.
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"The tree is lovely to look at and I'm so happy it will now be in the gardens of Buckingham Palace.
"I wanted to think of something that would be suitable as a present, I didn't really think it would be accepted but I'm really pleased."
The Plymouth Pear is one of Britain's rarest native plants and can only be found in two places, in Plymouth and near Truro.
Arthur has had the special historical fruit tree in his garden for nearly 20 years and it is now 30ft tall.
"To be honest I didn't expect the tree to get as big as it has done, I may need to move it," Arthur added.
The 63-year-old originally wrote to MP Alison Seabeck about the gift and was surprised to receive a response from Sandringham House saying The Queen had accepted his offer.
The letter, written by Edward Young, the deputy private secretary to The Queen, said: "I have shown your letter to The Queen and can confirm that Her Majesty would be pleased to accept this thoughtful gift.
"It has been suggested that the specimen might be planted in the gardens of Buckingham Palace."
The tree was given to Arthur from his horticultural friend to look after two decades ago.
Now fully grown, the special tree has provided the keen gardener with the perfect specimen to be re-planted.
Arthur is now preparing to transport the four-foot specimen of the tree up to London in his car to ensure it reaches the palace safely.
The tree that will grow in the prestigious gardens will then be looked after by the gardens manager of Buckingham Palace.
Arthur added: "I've always been interested in the environment and I have a real interest in natural history, so this is a real privilege."
The Plymouth Pear, which is protected under Schedule 8 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act, can be found in Plymbridge Lane and Estover Road in Plymouth.
Plymouth City Council has also planted specimens in Forder Valley and Efford Marsh Local Nature Reserves in an attempt to secure the long-term survival of the species.