Stumped: unidentified street tree

On Curlew Street, in that late eighties enclave of converted spice warehouses just east of Tower Bridge on the south bank of the Thames, I have noticed a curious tree. Planted, I imagine, when the area was being cleaned up, they look to me like Giraffe fodder: tall trees with long branches, each bearing a... Continue Reading →

Red Oak lives up to its name

In a post about the North American Red Oak (Quercus rubra) I wrote in the balmy days of August, I rather flippantly stated that ”... the beauty of this tree in its native New World is surely its fiery autumn colours which in our damper and milder oceanic climate is watered down from a rich... Continue Reading →

Strawberry trees in Southwark

I was surprised and excited to bump into a row of newly planted Strawberry Trees (Arbutus unedo) in a Southwark street recently. As a child with an interest in native trees, I was fascinated to read about this mysterious tree with a compelling name in my botanical guidebooks. It was described as very rare and... Continue Reading →

Trees of Heaven

That tenacious suckerer, the Tree of Heaven (Ailanthus altissima) has been at it all over London. Since my last post on the Tree of Heaven, I have been seeing them everywhere. They are invasive and potentially damaging, but they appear to be tolerated, even encouraged by Londoners. It's not just in the privacy of domestic... Continue Reading →

Sycamores in the British landscape

Soon after I first became interested in plants and conservation I became aware of the concept of native and non-native species. I grew up in Dover, a port town where xenophobic attitudes are paradoxically ingrained in a population who perceive themselves to be on the frontline of an unfinished European war and are ever ready... Continue Reading →

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