AT A TIME when the future of the ash tree is under threat, an exhibition of paintings celebrating British trees opens tomorrow (Friday).

Alan Burgess brings his Trees In The Landscape exhibition to the Boxfield Gallery at Stevenage Arts and Leisure Centre as concerns grow over the spread of the ash dieback disease across the UK and Europe.

The artist’s paintings convey his respect and admiration for the unique identity of each tree, in a collection which depicts many different species.

A major part of the exhibition is recent paintings of the veteran oaks at Hatfield House which demonstrate a range of different forms individual oak trees have taken despite growing in the same environment.

There are also paintings of the Fifty Great British Trees chosen by The Tree Council in 2002 to celebrate the Queen’s Golden Jubilee.

Burgess travelled throughout Britain to track down the chosen trees as varied as the Fortingall yew said to be 5,000-years-old, a sweet chestnut which covers a quarter of an acre, the original Bramley apple tree and a hollow oak capable of seating 20 people.

The exhibition at the centre off Lytton Way runs until January 6. Admission is free and the gallery is open from 9am until 10pm every day.