Section 3 – Bristol’s remarkable trees

20 Remarkable trees that are not champions, but are worth a visit

The eight-figure ST Grid References should enable each tree to be found individually. For example, on the web, go to UK Grid Reference Finder and enter the ST reference, and a map of the site comes up. Alternatively, you can see details and tree locations at Trees of Bristol.

  1. Cedar of Lebanon, Cedrus libani. ST5686 7399. In the Zoo. This was an original planting in 1840, and before it was felled had a girth of 570cm. The massive stump was brilliantly sculpted in the form of an elephant with a series of animals on its back, diminishing in size upwards. Tree sculptures do not last forever but are an effective and imaginative solution which is expensive but should be tried more often.
  1. Horse Chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum. ST5811 7779. Badocks Wood in Westbury on Trym. This is a remarkable tree, close to the path up the stream, which has five separate trunks, and a total girth of 550cm.
  1. Horse Chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum. ST5606 7874. This is an unusual tree, hanging over the river Frome in Snuff Mills Park, whose branches are weeping. Its girth is 290cm. and I suspect the branches grow towards the light reflected from the river, as they are shaded by other trees higher up the cliff face.
  1. 185-1. Horse Chestnut, Aesculus hippocastanum. ST6073 7163. This Weeping Horse Chestnut is an unusual tree growing in Arnos Vale cemetery.
  1. Sweet Chestnut, Castanea sativa. ST5521 7559. Along one edge of Cavendish Gardens in Stoke Bishop. There is a line of seven Sweet Chestnuts all with similar girths of about 350cm. One however, perhaps because it lost its top in a storm, has been sculpted into the form of a Barn Owl, and it has been varnished to protect it.
  1. Deodar, Cedrus deodara. ST5423 7741. The tree beside Kings Weston House has a girth of 430cm. It is most notable for a huge branch coming off the trunk very close to the ground, which all children love to climb.
  1. Fig, Ficus carica. ST5910 7303. A huge fig tree grows in the vertical wall of Bristol Docks just east of Bristol Bridge. This wall, thirty feet high, was part of the defences of the ancient castle. How the Fig managed to establish itself, and how long ago is a mystery. Every so often it is heavily reduced so that it does not create problems for the river traffic.
  1. Fig, Ficus carica. ST5961 7215. Another sprawling fig that sprawls along the bank of the new cut, close by the Bath Bridge roundabout.
  1. Maidenhair Tree, Ginkgo biloba. ST5614 7627. A Ginkgo at The Grove, Stoke Bishop has three trunks, though its girth is only 150cm.
  1. Common Lime, Tilia x europaea. In the meadow at Blaise, off Henbury Lane is a huge rotting stump surrounded by a mass of thin tall trunks, an example of how easily Limes coppice.
  1. Small leaved Lime, Tilia cordata. ST6316 7675. This tree is on the banks of the Frome in Snuff Mills Park and its branches weep down towards the light reflected from the river.
  1. Common Oak, Quercus robur. ST6261 7657. This tree defies gravity, as it grows immediately above a vertical former quarry cliff on the edge of Snuff Mills park. It is a very ancient, squat tree, on the very edge of the path and in winter visible from the lower path.
  1. Holm Oak, Quercus ilex. ST5728 7377. Holm Oaks are common in Clifton, and a tree on the edge of a garden in Pembroke Road has caused the owners to take the wall down and revealed a marvellously gnarled and convoluted trunk.
  1. Sessile Oak, Quercus petraea. ST5636 7389. This tree is at least a century old, but, is it grows on the lip of the Gorge on the path around Fairyland it can’t be measured. It stands out boldly when seen from the path down Bridge Valley Road.
  1. Black Pine, Pinus nigra. ST5621 7444. This is a tiny tree growing out of a small fissure in the vertical cliff at the bottom of the Gully. It is a natural Bonsai, and could be any Age.
  1. Black Pine, Pinus nigra. ST5440 7726. A towering pine in the Kings Weston estate has a girth of 320cm. but most unusually splits into two main trunks, both growing vertically at about 20 metres up. It may have suffered a lightning strike.
  1. Sycamore, Acer pseudoplatanus. ST5953 7064. This tree on the Northern Slopes has no fewer than eight trunks emerging from its base, each 80cm in girth.
  1. Sycamore, Acer pseudoplatanus. ST5635 7855. This tree in the Blaise meadows off Henbury Lane has five trunks, each with a girth of 280cm. and the whole is 700cm in circumference.
  1. Sycamore, Acer pseudoplatanus. ST5655 7391. A twin trunked tree with a total girth at the base of 600cm. each trunk 350cm. It looks as if these are two trees growing from two original conjoined seeds. It is at the top of Bridge Valley Road and totally dominates the road.
  1. Wellingtonia, Sequoiadendron giganteum. ST5787 7286. This small tree grows on the slope of Brandon Hill. It was planted in 1973 as part of plant a tree year, and already has a girth of 300cm. a growth rate of almost 8 cm a year, three times that of most trees. It shows what the huge trees that dominate Bristol’s skyline today would have looked like in around 1900 to their proud owners.
  1. Wellingtonia, Sequoiadendron giganteum. ST5709 7169. This tree grows in Greville Smythe Park and has a girth of 400cm. so was probably planted around 1950. At about 20 metres it, most unusually splits into three separate trunks.

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