Cardwell can really make money grow on trees!
A TOP-SECRET experiment at a Scots garden centre has proven that money does grow on trees.
Horticulturists at Cardwell Garden Centre, near Gourock have been asked to help develop a tree that produces leaves that can be used to make banknotes instead of plastic, or the old-fashioned mix of cotton and linen.
The unusual move comes after Governments across Europe are abandoning the use of plastic polymers to make banknotes – like the new £5 and £10 notes in the UK – after concerns over the environmental damage caused by plastics.
Cardwell has won a multi-million pound contract to work with the Italian Ministero Delle Politiche Agricole, Alimentari e Forestali (Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Forestry) to cross-pollinate different species of trees that will produce broad leaves suitable for printing.
When harvested, the leaves from the hybrid of the Albero Di Denaro and Pesce D’Aprile species of trees – currently being grown by Cardwell on a secure part of the garden centre – will then be used as the material for new environmentally-friendly bank notes to be printed on.
Italian scientist, Olly Di Farsapo explained: “This experiment with the Pesce D’Aprile tree has been going on for months at Cardwell and we’ve successfully made banknotes from the leaves of the tree.
“We chose the garden centre to work with my country’s forestry ministry on this important project as Cardwell staff’s horticultural expertise is well known throughout Europe. And the hillside behind the main garden centre was ideal for the covert planting of trees.
“We are very concerned with the effect plastics have on the environment and throughout Europe there are plans to cease production of the plastic polymer banknotes. That’s why we have to find an alternative.
”We have been looking for a more natural source of material on which to print banknotes and we now believe Cardwell has found the answer. Tree planting on an industrial scale will start as soon as possible.”
Paul Carmichael, retail general manager at Cardwell said: “We’d been told to keep very quiet about these experiments with various trees, but now it seems everything is out in the open after someone twigged what we were up to.
“It sounds strange to disprove the old adage, but at Cardwell money does grow on trees.”
Members of the public can see the Pesce D’Aprile tree and some of the banknotes made from its leaves at a special exhibition in the garden centre up until noon today, April 1.