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 →

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 →

On another Plane

I've been working up to the inevitable London Plane (Platanus x acerifolia) post for some time but this, you may be pleased to know, is not it. Instead I'd like to compare notes on one of it's parents, the Oriental Plane (Platanus orientalis). Two examples of these relatives of the acerifolia (Maple-leaved) tree inhabit Brunswick... Continue Reading →

Berried Treasure: the Wild Service Tree

Around my neck of the woods there are many fine Rowan (Sorbus aucuparia) and Whitebeam (Sorbus aria) street trees now super-abundantly laden with ripe, red berries and leaves beginning to take on autumnal hues. With these local fruity indicators appearing, it was time, I thought, to go on my annual quest for chequers, the semi-mythical... Continue Reading →

Open House exposes rare London

London Open House is a much anticipated annual opportunity for the nosey, the obsessive and the interested to experience good quality buildings. Every year I make notes to self that I will book a look at the Foreign Office or snoop round a City bank vault, but every year I leave it too late. This... Continue Reading →

Persian Silk in Globe Street

I was transfixed by the charms of a Persian Silk Tree (Albizia julibrissin) in Southwark today. A most majestic and unusual (for England) street tree, in fact a rarely-planted tree anywhere in the UK, street or otherwise. This is perhaps a cautious test planting to see what happens - the tree has a reputation for... Continue Reading →

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