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New planting scheme for Market Place

24 April 2024

Diss Town Council will soon be removing the barriers around the alder tree on the Market Place outside the Museum to make way for a new more suitable, safe and cost effective planting scheme.

In the summer, a new large recycled plastic container will be home to a tree specimen that will be appropriate for its position and surrounded by a colourful floral display. More seating will be incorporated around all four sides of the planter to ensure that members of the public can continue to enjoy this position.

Cuttings from the alder trees have already been taken and are being nurtured by former councillor Waterman and horticulturalist by profession for future planting on one of our sites, suitable for the species.

Planning consent has been granted and works to remove the two alder trees will start at the end of April. Council appreciates the significance of all trees and their value to the public and explored all options to retain the trees before agreeing to this scheme. This included the maintenance of the tree canopy, which would likely encourage further root growth, moving the trees to a better location but the roots are so far spread that they wouldn’t survive the move, and the installation of a root barrier between the tree and the museum. Unfortunately, this wasn’t a practical nor a cost-effective option as it would involve root barrier protecting the roots to the Museum building as well as to the surface to prevent it from lifting the slabs estimated to cost in the region £30k for both trees.

Unfortunately, alders were never going to be a suitable species for this area due to their eventual height and spread. As the trees have grown over many years, the roots have pushed up the paving slabs making it an unsafe area and threatening the integrity of the Diss Museum building. Regular repairs have been undertaken but this is no longer practical due to the extent of root growth. This will also reduce the longer-term financial burden of regular repairs.

The new 1.25m2recycled plastic container and integrated seating, expected to provide a minimum of 25 years use, is scheduled for delivery at the end of May before which the surface area next to the Museum will be repaired to allow for its installation. Much thought will go into selecting a new tree specimen for this location. We are looking for a mature tree for instant impact, slow growing to a maximum height and spread, that can withstand weather conditions. It should also have seasonal interest throughout the year and a canopy to create shade over the seating.  A floral display around the base of the tree, overseen by Floral Diss Coordinator, councillor Doreen Collins, will complete the scheme.

In line with the Council’s recently adopted biodiversity policy and in support of enhancing the green corridor network between habitats so that the town becomes a safer and suitable place for wildlife to live, additional new trees are also being planted around the town.

Find out more about the Council’s biodiversity policy at

If you are interested in getting involved in linking nature together through the Green Corridor Network Group, please contact us at or 01379 643848.

New planting scheme for Market Place
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