On the croquet green, the lawn adjacent to the terrace, stands this Canadian maple. If you have enjoyed a moment of relaxation near restaurant Balzaal , you will certainly have seen this beautiful tree. It is not just any tree; it is a tree with an exceptional history. Although the tree has been attacked by a fungus and has grown weak, we still hope to enjoy it for several years to come.
The Canadian maple, the national symbol of Canada, the ‘Maple Leaf’ on the croquet green is one of a set of 12. The tree has a striking, bright red colour in autumn, a colour that is incorporated in the Canadian flag.
Princess Juliana gave the maples to her mother Queen Wilhelmina in memory of the period the family spent in Canada during the Second World War. The trees are planted in various places in the palace park. The most striking is the one on the croquet green, adjacent to the terrace of restaurant Balzaal.
The west pavilion, which is built onto the left side of the palace was, at the time, the home of Queen Wilhelmina. From her home, she had an excellent view of the special tree. The Canadian maple is also a reminder of this situation that has since disappeared.
When the tree was planted in March 1947, it was no taller than an average person. As the years passed, the tree grew to an impressive size. Unfortunately, it was discovered several years ago that the tree has been attacked by the tinder fungus. The fungus has considerably weakened the tree. To prevent it losing branches, a decision was taken in 2012 to prune the tree quite drastically. Fortunately this will allow us to enjoy the tree for several more years.
Cuttings have been taken from the tree and grown into several young trees. These saplings will be nurtured for several years in the nursery of the palace and then planted around the grounds.