Tree Trail

The aim of this tree trail is to provide a relaxing, as well as educational, experience for all ages to enjoy. It consists of both native and exotic species which are known to grow and thrive in the British Isles. It comprises both newly-planted and established trees.

The trees are numbered from 1 to 25, and can all be found in woodlands, parks, streets and botanical gardens throughout the United Kingdom. We have used both the common and Latin names of the trees. This is because common names of trees and plants can vary around the world. The trail is just over three quarters of a kilometre, and normally takes around an hour to complete.

Map of the Tree Trail

English Oak leaf

1 - English Oak Quercus robur

The English Oak is native to the British Isles and can be found all over the United Kingdom. Some very old specimens - aged up to and over 1,000 years - still exist today. The Oak has a well-earned place in British history and is home to many different species of mammals and insects.

Tree of Heaven leaf

2 - Tree of Heaven Ailanthus altissima

Native to South East Asia and Australasia, this fine tree can be found in abundance in England's parks and gardens. When given room to mature, the Tree of Heaven is ideal for providing shade with its large, pinnate leaves which grow up to 50 cm in length. A pinnate leaf consists of a stem of several small leaves.

Red Oak leaf

3 - Red Oak Quercus rubra

This large, maturing tree is one of many in the Oak family. It is native to North America and has a fiery red autumnal colour. The Red Oak is now a common feature in Britain's landscape.

4 - Himalayan Birch Betula utilis jacquemontii

This relatively small, maturing tree is native to the Western Himalayas and was first introduced into Britain in about 1880. It is often planted for its bright, white bark which can provide much- needed colour in the dark days of winter.

Deodar Cedar leaf

5 - Deodar Cedar Cedrus deodara

The Deodar Cedar is native to the Western Himalayas and Afghanistan and was introduced into Europe in 1831. It is very common throughout the British Isles and can be found in large gardens, parks and arboretums.

Walnut leaf

6 - Walnut Juglans regia

Native to South Eastern Europe and China, the Walnut is prized for its fruits and timber. The timber is of real value to cabinet makers but has been so popular that it can now only be found as veneer on expensive furniture, or on the dashboards of luxurious cars.

Silver Maple leaf

7 - Silver Maple Acer saccarinum

The Silver Maple is native to North America where it is a popular street tree. As it matures, it will easily reach twenty metres and makes a graceful feature in any park or large garden.

Hornbeam leaf

8 - Hornbeam Carpinus betulus

Although native to the South East of England, the Hornbeam can be found in parks and large gardens throughout the country. It has a silvery-grey, striped bark and is popular as a specimen, woodland and hedging tree.

London Plane leaf

9 - London Plane Platanus x hispanica

London Plane trees can be found in abundance in streets, squares, parks and gardens - from the smallest towns to the largest cities of Great Britain. They were first planted in England in 1680, and have become one of the most popular street trees of the last 200 years because of their ability to survive in very harsh conditions - including The Blitz. Shrapnel can still be found in some tree trunks.

Tulip tree leaf

10 - Tulip Tree Liriodendron tulipiferaa

The Tulip Tree, native to North America, was first introduced in the late 1600s. Its unique leaf shape - like a Maple leaf with the top cut off - makes it one of the more unusual trees on the trail. It has a tulip-shaped, white flower which usually only blooms in June or July during hot summers.

11 - Cypress Oak Quercus robur 'Fastigiata'

A cultivar of the English Oak, the Cypress Oak is becoming more popular with landscape architects. Its upright form makes it an ideal choice for locations where the Common Oak would not have room to grow.

Weeping Ash leaf

12 - Weeping Ash Fraxinus excelsior 'Pendula'

The Weeping Ash is a cultivar of the native Ash tree, and has been popular for many years. Frequently found in parks, gardens and churchyards, this most unusual tree has unique drooping and twisting branches.

Dawyck leaf

13 - Dawyck Fagus sylvatica 'Fastigiata'

This cultivar of the common Beech is, along with the Cypress Oak (see tree number 11), becoming more popular. It has an impressive, columnar form with striking, glossy green leaves.

Honey Locust leaf

14 - Honey Locust Gleditsia triacanthos

The Honey Locust is native to the mid-Western United States. It is not a common species, but is becoming more frequent in towns and cities because of its light leaves and open crown. It was introduced into England in the 1700s, and is making a slow but invaluable impact on Britain's urban landscape.

Field Maple leaf

15 - Field Maple Acer campestre

The Field Maple is the only maple which is native to the British Isles. Its golden, autumnal colour and corky bark make it popular with landscape designers. It is a relatively small tree when it matures, and this makes it ideal where space is limited.

Dawn Redwood leaf

16 - Dawn Redwood Metasequoia glyptostroboides

The Dawn Redwood is unusual because it is a deciduous conifer - this means that it loses its needles in the Autumn. It grows well in wet areas and is prized for its pinkish-red and yellow autumnal colour, hence its name - Dawn Redwood. Only discovered in 1941 by Western plant hunters, this magnificent tree is surprisingly common in the British Isles.

Sweet Chestnut leaf

17 - Sweet Chestnut Castanea sativa

Introduced from Southern Europe, probably by the Romans, this fine tree is prized for its edible fruits - chestnuts. The Sweet Chestnut is sometimes still used for coppicing to produce fencing, fuel, cattle food and, on occasions, walking sticks.

Small Leaved Lime leaf

18 - Small Leafed Lime Tilia cordata

This tree is probably native to the limestone soils of the Wye Valley and Southern Yorkshire, although some believe it was introduced into Britain by the Romans. It can be found in most towns and cities in the British Isles, and is a popular street tree.

Onamental Pear leaf

19 - Ornamental Pear Pyrus calleryana 'Chanticleer'

With its hardy nature and upright form, this tree is ideal for street planting. It has brilliant white blossom and glossy, green leaves which turn pinkish-red in the Autumn.

Manna Ash leaf

20 - Manna Ash Fraxinus ornus

Native to Southern Europe and Western Asia, this popular tree is planted in abundance in parks, gardens and streets throughout the British Isles. Relatively small when mature, this tree is ideal where space is limited.

Giant Redwood leaf

21 - Giant Redwood, Giant Sequoia or Wellingtonia Sequoiadendron gigantium

The Giant Redwood is the largest tree in the world. In its native lands it can reach a height of 80 metres, and have a trunk diameter of 9 metres. This wonderful tree was discovered in 1841 in California. Seeds were sent to Britain in 1853, the year the Duke of Wellington died, hence the name - Wellingtonia. The other common name comes from the Cherokee Indian Chief Sequoia who invented the Cherokee alphabet.

Common Beech leaf

22 - Common Beech Fagus sylvatica

Native to the South East of England and the Midlands, this giant of the forest can be found throughout the British Isles. Thriving on chalk and well-drained, sandy soils, the Beech is popular in parks, gardens and woodlands. As with the Oak, some old Beech trees are estimated to be up to, or over, 1000 years old.

Pillar Apple leaf

23 - Pillar Apple Malus tschonoskii

This small, maturing tree is native to Japan. It is ideal for planting in small gardens and can be found in streets and parks across the country. It has a narrow, upright crown and a brilliant, golden- orange autumnal colour.

Sweet Gum leaf

24 - Sweet Gum Liquidambar styracif lua

The Sweet Gum is native to the Eastern and Southern United States and was first introduced into the British Isles in the late 1600s. Prized for its outstanding autumnal colour, it is frequently found in parks, gardens and roadsides.

Red Maple leaf

25 - Red Maple Acer rubrum

The Red Maple is a fast growing and popular street tree. It is native to North America, and has a brilliant scarlet, golden autumnal colour.

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