Every year Cornwall Hospice Care erect Christmas trees outside both of the charity’s hospices. At Mount Edgcumbe Hospice a plan was hatched in the summer to find a tree that could be planted, rather than cut down and erected just for the festive season. The mission was successful but with Christmas approaching there wasn’t time to transplant the new tree and the Monkey Puzzle was called in to action as David Johns, Maintenance Manager at the hospice explains; 

“We always have a tree and the lights on it are traditionally turned on at our Light up a Life event in early December. With the clock ticking we had to find an alternative and that’s when the Monkey Puzzle was suggested. I laughed at first because it’s extremely high and very prickly of course. But where there’s a will there’s a way and with the help of A1 Tree Surgery and Grounds Maintenance we used a cherry picker platform to reach to the top of the tree with the lights. We attached the light strings to slices of drain pipe that we could just slot over the branches. I have to say it looks incredible.” 

Clare Bray organises the charity’s Light up a Life events and says the tree was the focal point of this years’ service on Sunday 4th December;

“We held the service outside this year and were gathered round the Monkey Puzzle tree. The lights were switched on as Loveny Male Voice Choir performed a traditional New Zealand Carol. The delight was visible on the faces of those gathered as well as a few tears as the lights represent the lives of those being remembered. We’re delighted that we have also been donated a proper Christmas tree that will be transplanted from where it is in Carlyon Bay to our grounds early next year.” 

The Monkey Puzzle tree is lit up every evening with thanks to the Trelawney Garden Centre at Sladesbridge where their ‘light expert’ Nigel Williams was extremely helpful and very generous when it came to selecting the right decorations.