Tree box

Contributed by Cornwall Museums

THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.

CAERHAYS CASTLE. Cornwall would be a temperate rain forest if there were more trees and it has been dubbed the ' Himalayas-on-sea '. As a result many new species were first introduced here from all over the world. Two Cornishmen, William and Thomas Lobb, were among the early plant hunters.

This wooden crate and wicker basket with sacking cover were used to transport trees and plants in the early 20th century. The instructions on the crate simply say 'Trees keep from the frost'. This was when Ernest Henry Wilson and George Forrest were collecting plants for J.C. Williams of Caerhays. Plant collecting could be a dangerous pursuit. On Forrest's first trip to China in 1905 he was hunted like an animal by armed Tibetan priests who had massacred his friends. Forrest made a total of seven expeditions to the Himalayas and discovered new rhododendrons, magnolias and camellias.

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