The Memorial Committee had taken the decision to plant ornamental trees along the avenue from the gates up to the new Ulster Memorial Tower. The records show that enquires had been made to obtain the trees from Dickson & Sons Nursery, Newtownards. The nursery had been founded by Alexander Dickson in 1836 and was well known for breeding prize winning roses.
The tree planting would be part of the opening ceremony and each tree would have a plaque with the details of the person or organisation who planted it. 46 trees in total were planted on the 19th November 1921.
Sadly, the trees did not survive very long due to a number of reasons. The chalky soil did not suit and they were poorly nourished. They required tending too and the caretakers did not have the expertise. In the 1930’s the trees were replaced by smaller trees and shrubs that could with stand the chalk soil.
During the Second World War the trees could not be tended too and disease destroyed them. At the end of 1945 purple plum trees were planted and sadly the plaques were removed from the base of each tree.
In 1946 for the 30th anniversary of The Battle of the Somme a framed scroll was produced that recorded the names of all those associated with the original tree planting but a mistake was made and the 14th November was recorded as the date of the dedication of the Ulster Tower. The scroll is currently being restored.
Today the avenue of the Ulster Tower is planted with Irish Yew tree (Taxus baccata ‘Fastigiata’).