The goal of this design was to draw attention to and honor a Champion tree Acer pseudoplatanus in Englands National Arboretum. The challenge was to make a simple gesture bring to light what is so often overlooked — the beauty and significance of an individual tree.
The design entailed a large, hollowed earthen mound that defined the space around the chosen tree. The sod covered form ramped up to create a miniature amphitheater. Seen from the outside, the earthwork was a sculpted object, which framed the tree and distinguished it from the surrounding grove. Inside the concave space, the form fell gently to an opening marked by the centerpiece tree.
Working closely with Englands National Arborist, every issue regarding the trees health was considered with extreme care. The entire earthform was built on platforms to disperse compression of the soil below, eliminating any potential damage to the root system. A ring of non-compactable gravel provided a clear path for walking, eliminating traffic on the existing soils within the dripline of the tree. With the Arborists blessing and enthusiasm for the project, there was certainty that negative impact to the tree could be and was avoided.