The park trees

The information that we have about the park trees came from the council workers in the white house, in the park. They gave us a list of trees with their numbers, species and some comments about their condition as of 2006. The information was not complete and when we started checking the trees at the beginning of 2022 we could not always find the tree tags that corresponded with the numbers in the list – they had either fallen off or had been grown over. Anyway, we had a very good starting point.

We also found some trees with tags that had numbers that were not on the list. Some we could identify easily such as the Scots pines at the bottom of the park, others will have to wait – for leaves to appear or for judicial help.

According to the list there are well over 600 trees in the park; more like 800+ but as of 17/2/22 there is one less Silver birch which was blown over in high winds. This was a sizeable tree located in the pond area not far from the white house.

There are getting on for 130 distinct species of tree within the park. Some of them are unique examples – there is only one Niedzwetzky’s apple (Malus niedzwetzkyana), only one Campbell’s magnolia (Magnolia campbellii) and only one English walnut (Juglans regia). The sole example of Evergreen oak or Holly oak (Quercus ilex) is not in a visible public space but is still within the park confines. Together these unique individuals make up a sizeable group of around 50 trees.

Of the remaining 80 species the most common tree in the park is the English oak, Quercus robur, but oaks aren’t the most common type of tree in the park altogether. That would be the maples or Acers; there are at least 113 of those and the most common maple is the sycamore, Acer pseudoplatanus, the third most common tree in the park, by species. According to our information, there are 60 English oaks and 45 Sycamores in the park. Our information may not be exact, based on a 2006 survey, but it can’t be too far off the mark.

Surprisingly, the second most common species is the Scots pine, Pinus sylestris. This is largely down to a group of around 42 trees at the bottom end of the park.

The Common Beech, Fagus sylvatica, comes in fourth with about 39 trees and then another maple, Acer platanoides, the Norway maple with 30 trees just beating the Ash, Fraxinus excelsior, with 29 trees.

The common Hornbeam, Carpinus betulus, and common Lime, Tilia europaea, are seventh equal with 27 trees apiece.

There are a lot of Prunus species trees around the park such as P. kanzan (Japanese flowering cherry), P. avium (wild cherry) and P. padus (bird cherry). Some of these trees, 24 of them, have not been completely identified down to the individual species and thus far forms the ninth largest group of trees. They are equalled by the Rowan trees, Sorbus aucuparia.

In eleventh place, with 19 trees, is the Silver birch, Betula pendula. Again, a large number of these are at the bottom end of the park, grouped together.

The Excel file containing the data on the trees can be downloaded from here. As of 19/2/22 there are a considerable number of gaps in it but I will update it as and when information becomes available.