THE MILLENNIUM TREE
The President of the Club, Lady Sutherland, suggested at the May 1999 AGM that the Club should mark the new millennium by planting a tree within the university
grounds. The suggestion was warmly welcomed, and the idea put into action in July after consultation with Mr Watson, the University Landscape Maintenance Officer at the University.
A sheltered site in the north-east quarter of George Square was selected. The tree chosen was Cercidiphyllum japonica (Katsura tree),
a graceful tree with heart shaped leaves that are a spectacular colour, both in early spring and in the autumn with the bonus that the autumn leaves are reputed to smell temptingly of
burnt toffee. This tree, despite its Japanese origin, fulfilled the criterion for any tree to be planted in George Square, i.e. that it should have been available for planting in this
country at the time that George Square was being developed in the late eighteenth century.
The tree was officially planted by Lady Sutherland and members of the Women's Club. At its base is a plaque stating
"Cercidiphyllum japonica planted by the University of Edinburgh Women's Club on 9th December 1999 to mark the Millennium".