Trees of interest in and around SE23

I was listening to the radio the other day about the Ginkgo trees in Hiroshima that survived the nuclear blast and started to regrow years after in some cases. Now some of these seeds have been sent around the world from these very same trees to be planted for the purposes of education, hope and I’m sure many other things. I’m sure they know already, but I’m going to write to the Horniman Museum to see if they could grow a seed and plant one (if they have not already) - seems like the perfect place locally.

It got me thinking do we have any special trees in and around SE23? I know we have the Oak on One Tree Hill, though I don’t be believe that’s the original.

Are there any ‘special’ trees due to age, size, history, association etc in our area?


There’s the large and beautiful Cedar of Lebanon in Sydenham Hill Woods. Planted some 150 yrs ago in one of the huge Victorian gardens that used to run down the hill to the old Crystal Palace High Level railway line.


And another Victorian Cedar of Lebanon, planted in Robert Harrild’s garden at his house on Round Hill. By the 1830s Harrild had become very wealthy by manufacturing and supplying printing machinery to London and the world. He is buried by the main entrance of St Bartholomews in Sydenham.

The tree stands next to the church spire from the city church St Antholins which Harrild also had in his garden. The house would have looked over the rural Sydenham Common and the reservoir for the Croydon Canal.


The Oak of Honor on One Tree Hill that you mentioned… it’s not the original one, no, I think the plaque says mid 19th century.


Visited (for the first time) last weekend - IIRC the plaque says it was planted in 1905.


Great topic, and good idea @oakr.

Friends of Mayow Park have a write up from 2018 when they gave a walking tour around some of their trees. Perhaps not as aged or notable as the examples above, it’s still quite interesting and gives some things to look out for on my next trip to the park:

Lots more info in the article, but I found the ‘binary oaks’ interesting:

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A bit off our patch, but this Dutch Elm in Ladywell Fields is notable.

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