Books Research Urban landscape

Great Urban Trees of Britain and Ireland – A Milestone 

Over the last two years, I’ve been researching, and writing up, accounts of great trees in Britain and Ireland. I’m very relieved to say that I’ve finally completed this task, and the manuscript is now with the publishers.

Although my research is now complete, don’t expect the finished tome to appear any time soon, I’m told it will take another year before editing, design, printing and marketing is complete.

But I can reveal a little more about the book. It will feature no less than 1,000 remarkable trees that grow in towns, cities, villages and on roadsides across these islands. 

It’s been an epic undertaking. I’ve travelled tens of thousands of miles on foot and by bus, train, boat and car, and have visited every corner of Scotland, England, Wales and the island of Ireland. I’ve seen thousands of noteworthy trees, I’ve explored dozens of towns and cities for the first time, and I’ve seen places I thought I knew in a new light. A few cities have particularly impressed me: 

  • Cardiff – an arboretum city if ever there was one
  • Liverpool whose historic parks are filled with remarkable trees
  • Dundee is a city of arboreal surprises
  • Cork’s mild maritime climate means tender trees thrive here

Here’s a taster from the market town of Dingwall in Ross and Cromarty:

The Dingwall Weeping Ash
Braveheart: Despite growing in a carpark, the Dingwall Weeping Ash is a particularly thriving example of weeping ash

Weeping Ash
Fraxinus excelsior ‘Pendula’

One of the most impressive weeping ash trees in Scotland is marooned on a patch of lawn between a car park and the backs of the High Street shops at Dingwall. It has a fine shape, and in 2021 it was in excellent condition, something that cannot be said for many of its clonal siblings which are often among the first to show symptoms of Ash Dieback.

Where to find it

Joe Yates Court, Dingwall IV15 9HP
///deprives.tend.breathy | 57.594478, -4.4275110

If you’d like to discover more trees of note, I’ll be posting regular accounts on my Substack similar to this example.

If you’ve not come across Substack before, it’s worth checking out. It’s part blog and part social media platform with an email newsletter thrown in. If you subscribe, you get posts sent to your inbox, or you can browse them through the Substack app, or on the dedicated substack website, in my case

I’ll be posting updates regularly for the coming months, hopefully two a week, and during the Urban Tree Festival in May, I’ll be posting one every day for nine days.

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