Dr John Grimshaw FLS has been presented with the Northern Branch Commendation in recognition of his horticultural achievements. The presentation was made by Branch Chair Mike Hirst FCIHort and CIH Honorary Secretary Jason Daff MCIHort.  

John will be familiar to many as an authority on tree cultivation; as lead author of New Trees: Recent Introductions to Cultivation as Editor-in-Chief of the International Dendrology Society’s Trees and Shrubs Online and through his work with the RHS’s Woody Plant and Gardens Committees and Nomenclature and Taxonomy Advisory Group.

John began his career after graduating with a BA in Botany from Magdalen College, Oxford University. His doctoral research focussed on Afromontane Forest Ecology on Mount Kilimanjaro; a project that saw him undertake extensive field work on the northern slope of the mountain.

He has enjoyed a diverse career, including a spell developing perennial seed crops with a Dutch seed house and period as Garden Manager of the renowned snowdrop garden Colesbourne Park in Gloucestershire.

In 2012 John joined The Yorkshire Arboretum as Director and Curator where he has been responsible for the management and operation of the 128-acre Arboretum with a diverse collection of woody plants including important collections of Rhododendron and National Plant Collections of Abies and Picea.

John has had active involvement in the development and delivery of courses at the Tree Health Centre. Opened in 2021, the Tree Health Centre is a pioneering initiative that aims to make people more aware of the importance of a healthy treescape and the problems caused by tree pests and diseases.

John has been a lifelong keen gardener, growing a very wide range of plants. This has informed his professional career and supplied inspiration for his horticultural journalism and public speaking.

Photograph Credit: Matthew Harrison, Yorkshire Arboretum. Dr John Grimshaw (centre) being presented with the CIH Northern Branch Commendation by Branch Chair Mike Hirst (Right) and Honorary Secretary Jason Daff (left) in front of the Tree Health Centre at Yorkshire Arboretum.