His 102nd growth ring

MIGHTY OAK: Hackfalls Arboretum founder Bob Berry celebrates his 102nd birthday with his wife Lady Anne Berry, family and friends at the Kiri Te Kanawa retirement village. Picture by Liam Clayton

Friends and family helped Hackfalls Arboretum founder Bob Berry and wife Lady Anne Berry celebrate his 102nd birthday yesterday with cake, balloons and refreshments.

Mr Berry’s hearing is not what it used to be but his sense of humour is undiminished.

Asked about the secret of his longevity he said, “They’ve probably forgotten about me”.

“They can’t make up their minds what to do with me.”

But people had told him his healthy lifestyle planting trees had contributed to his wellbeing, said the award-winning dendrologist (tree botanist).

Mr Berry established Hackfalls Arboretum on family land he inherited in the 1950s.

He developed the 110-acre arboretum with the help of his wife.

The arboretum now has a collection of around 3500 rare exotic species of trees and shrubs spread over 50 hectares, and one of the largest private collections of Mexican oaks in the world.

There was no particular reason Mr Berry became interested in trees.

“I was brought up with too many animals,” he said.

“So I turned to trees.”

Friends and family helped Hackfalls Arboretum founder Bob Berry and wife Lady Anne Berry celebrate his 102nd birthday yesterday with cake, balloons and refreshments.

Mr Berry’s hearing is not what it used to be but his sense of humour is undiminished.

Asked about the secret of his longevity he said, “They’ve probably forgotten about me”.

“They can’t make up their minds what to do with me.”

But people had told him his healthy lifestyle planting trees had contributed to his wellbeing, said the award-winning dendrologist (tree botanist).

Mr Berry established Hackfalls Arboretum on family land he inherited in the 1950s.

He developed the 110-acre arboretum with the help of his wife.

The arboretum now has a collection of around 3500 rare exotic species of trees and shrubs spread over 50 hectares, and one of the largest private collections of Mexican oaks in the world.

There was no particular reason Mr Berry became interested in trees.

“I was brought up with too many animals,” he said.

“So I turned to trees.”

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