'I can think of no more fitting tribute': Why King Charles and Prince William planted this tree at Sandringham

Two years since Queen Elizabeth II planted a tree in Windsor – the King and Prince of Wales recognized her enduring legacy

King Charles
(Image credit: GettyImages)

King Charles and the Prince of Wales have marked the end of The Queen's Green Canopy project by planting an acer (or maple) in the gardens of Sandringham House, Norfolk. 

The tree was one of over 3 million planted around the United Kingdom since May 2021 – in honor of the late Queen's Platinum Jubilee (June 2022). The project aimed to increase and protect the native tree cover around the UK – as citizens were encouraged to plant a tree as a 'gift' for the Queen' who had spent 70 years on the throne.

The King and Prince William planted the tree on the royal residence grounds – recognizing the end of the second planting season – and the incentive.

King Charles and Prince William

(Image credit: GettyImages)

'It is hard to believe that two years have passed since my mother and I planted a tree in Windsor Great Park to mark the commencement of The Queen’s Green Canopy,' King Charles says in a statement. 

'As the second planting season draws to a close, and with it this vitally important initiative, I particularly wanted to express my heartfelt thanks to everyone from across the United Kingdom who has helped to plant over three million trees to create an enduring legacy in Queen Elizabeth’s name.

'This project has shown how simple, practical, and positive gestures can make a big difference, and I can think of no more fitting tribute to Her late Majesty’s seventy-year reign.'

Queen Elizabeth and King Charles

(Image credit: GettyImages)

King Charles' garden at the Sandringham estate offers much to be admired – from the thousands of acres of woodland and parks – to the array of flowers, shrubbery, and wildlife around the estate. This acer tree, however, is perhaps the most meaningful of all – and arguably, the most replicable in gardens on either side of the Atlantic.

'Acers are amongst the best trees for small gardens and offer a beautiful range of foliage colors – from dark purples to bright reds or yellow leaves – to grace any backyard,' says H&G's garden expert, Drew Swainston. 'They are slower-growing trees compact enough to make them perfect for growing in containers, too.'

Drew Swainston
Drew Swainston

Homes & Gardens' resident garden expert Drew Swainston is passionate about walled gardens and has always enjoyed propagating, growing, and harvesting edibles and producing cut flowers throughout the year. Throughout his time working outdoors, he has continued to write and is a member of the Garden Media Guild alongside H&G. Drew has also managed a blog called Perennial Nerd for many years, talking about his life working in and managing walled gardens, the gardens he has visited, his allotment, and projects at home. 

Though the Queen's Green Canopy project may have come to an end, the King, who is known for his dedication to sustainable gardens, would still likely encourage tree planting worldwide. And an acer is a great place to begin.

'Acers like a cool and dappled shade; it is best to keep them out of the brightest sun as it can scorch their leaves,' Drew says.

'They are simple trees to maintain as they usually need very little in the form of pruning other than to smarten up their shape over the course of their long lifespan. The trees will benefit from a good mulch of compost or well-rotted organic matter each year and watering during particularly hot spells.'

Red Maple Tree In Pot – $59.98 from Lowe's

Red Maple Tree In Pot – $59.98 from Lowe's

Described as one of the best Japanese Maples, this award-winning Acer palmatum tree is perfect for gardens of all sizes – and it will look beautiful in all seasons.

We're spending this Easter weekend following in royal footsteps...

Megan Slack
Head of Celebrity Style News

Megan is the Head of Celebrity Style News at Homes & Gardens. She first joined Future Plc as a News Writer across their interiors titles, including Livingetc and Real Homes, before becoming H&G's News Editor in April 2022. She now leads the Celebrity/ News team. Before joining Future, Megan worked as a News Explainer at The Telegraph, following her MA in International Journalism at the University of Leeds. During her BA in English Literature and Creative Writing, she gained writing experience in the US while studying in New York. Megan also focused on travel writing during her time living in Paris, where she produced content for a French travel site. She currently lives in London with her antique typewriter and an expansive collection of houseplants.