There is an old proverb, supposedly Chinese, that says: "The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago". It was, and I have this on good authority from James Godfrey, CEO of the RJA&HS, actually in 1924 that the 12 Parish Connétables planted 12 poplar saplings at Springfield, the year in which Springfield Hall was opened... and four or five of the trees are still there. On Sunday, 12th October this year, the 12 Connétables were invited to record the 175th anniversary of the society by each planting a tree at the RJA&HS headquarters and showground. This time native species were chosen: mine was a sturdy young chestnut and I shall watch its development with interest. It is a great privilege to plant a tree, whether in our own garden or for an official occasion to mark a special moment for, as the old saying makes it clear, we may not be around when it reaches the beauty of its maturity. However, I willingly planted my tree and take heart from the end of the proverb which continues: “...and the second best time is now”.