This post was originally published in March 2018, towards the end of the harshest winter in London for years. You may have noticed – possibly with some alarm – the delicate, yet persistent blooms of the winter-flowering cherry which have been flowering for months now. The snow and ice of last week hasn’t been kind... Continue Reading →
Have you noticed how rare coniferous street trees are in London? Take it from me, there are very few of them. Evergreens seem outnumbered by deciduous species, although more do seem to be appearing (such as the Strawberry Tree). So what are the reasons for this coniferist state of affairs; are pine needles seen as... Continue Reading →
I wonder what they were thinking, planting Olive trees on the streets of de Beauvoir Town and Pentonville? I like to think it is a nod to the glory days of 1980s Islington when media types slurped their way through tankers of new world Chardonnay accompanied by mountains of juicy olives. Famed in tabloid imaginations... Continue Reading →
Meet the ‘Bragania’ or Eriolobus trilobatus, a somewhat schizophrenic small tree found in the Levant, Anatolia and Thrace. The name Bragania hails from the Evros region of north east Greece, it’s more literal English names include Lebanese wild apple, erect crab apple or three-lobed apple tree. In Hebrew it’s called חֻזְרַר הַחֹרֶשׁ. This refugee from troubled... Continue Reading →
On the borough watershed between Islington and Haringey I encountered a forlorn pair of street trees which had me scratching my head for weeks...
Our mystery South London street tree has been identified thanks to a correspondent who was able to recognise a fine avenue of Hippophae salicifolia. Several others suggested sea buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) which, as it turns out, was close but discounted due to size (tree rather than a bush), evergreen foliage and few berries. My own guess... Continue Reading →
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 →