Tree planting celebrates start of Spring for Jewish community

27 March 2018

The local community helped the new almond tree take root in Prestwich, Bury signifying the start of the Spring season.

The tree was planted on the garden in front of the site of the former Jewish cemetery adjacent to Prestwich High Street in Bury, Greater Manchester with the help of City of Trees, the local community including Stenecourt Synagogue and pupils from local school Bury & Whitefield Jewish Primary School.

In the Jewish scheme of the world, trees have always occupied a key and revered role - The Tree of Life at the heart of the Garden of Eden, became a symbol of Jewish existence.

Rosh Chodesh Nissan (the beginning of the new Hebrew month of Nissan) is said to officially usher in the Spring season, and blessings are said over trees in bloom.

An almond tree was chosen to be planted because of its symbolism as it is one of the first trees to flower in Spring and is therefore a sign of the rebirth of nature. In addition the almond tree is native to the Middle East and often appears in the Old Testament.

The tree planting took place on the 22 March, the day after the Green Summit which was hosted by Mayor Andy Burnham and brought together environmental experts, academics and other interested parties to advance green ambitions for Greater Manchester.

The almond tree planting follows on from new street tree planting on Prestwich High Street which saw 19 trees including cherry, field maple and sweetgum planted as part of the £2 million Bury New Road regeneration programme.

Jane Black St. Mary’s Ward councillor comments: “I am thrilled to see this almond tree take root and hope it will flourish for the benefit of future generations. Together with the other trees planted along Prestwich High Street, it will improve the environment and play an important role in the drainage of the new road”.

Rabbi Benjamin Simmonds, Stenecourt Synagogue, comments: “Using trees in proximity to an historic Jewish cemetery, which has been extensively restored, demonstrates the commitment that our community and the local authority has to ensure that those who come before us are honoured, and those come in the future will benefit from the vision of the present.”

Pete Stringer, City of Trees says; “Trees can help transform our cities and towns, and bring a wealth of benefits for both people and the environment, so we were happy to see these new trees bring a touch of green to Prestwich ”.