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Cherry blossom trees planted as ‘lasting legacy’ of Aberdeen-Japan links

Members of Cove In Bloom and Cove Woodland Trust are planting the trees to symbolise the relationship between the UK and Japan.
Members of Cove In Bloom and Cove Woodland Trust are planting the trees to symbolise the relationship between the UK and Japan.

Dozens of cherry blossom trees are being planted in an Aberdeen suburb to mark the city’s longstanding relationship with Japan.

Thirty saplings have been donated to gardening groups in Cove Bay as part of a nationwide project.

So far 15 have been planted at South Loirston Road, with the remainder earmarked for the Cove Community Woodland.

More than 6,500 cherry blossom trees are being given to towns and cities across the country in recognition of the Japan-UK Season Of Culture.

The link is even more poignant in the north-east, due to the historic role played by Fraserburgh-born Thomas Blake Glover.

Later known as the Scottish Samurai, he is credited with sparking Japan’s industrial age including with involvement in a shipping firm which later grew into Mitsubishi.

More than two million people take the trip to visit his former home in Nagasaki every year.

SNP MP for Aberdeen South, Stephen Flynn, said: “Cove will be a spectacular sight when the trees blossom and they’ll stand as a living testament to our Aberdeen’s connection with Japan – made famous by Thomas Blake Glover.

“Everyone involved at Cove In Bloom and the Cove Woodland Trust work incredibly hard to bring something special to the local area and it’s brilliant to see those involved making the most of these trees.”

Keisaku Sandy Sano, founder and joint chairman of the Sakura Cherry Tree Project team, said: “The response we have had from all across the UK, from Guernsey in the south to the Orkneys in the north, from parks and schools across the UK has been amazing.

“It is testament to the strong relationship between the two countries, and we hope the trees will be a lasting tribute to that.”

The new trees are not the only horticulture-themed tribute to the industrialist in the north-east.

Last week a £74,000 contract was awarded to turn The Glover Birthplace in Fraserburgh into a Japanese-themed courtyard.

Construction work is expected to last around 18 months.

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