Nov 2018. We have been concerned about the Pinus trees in the park. BCC trees officer sent us this respose: 

BCC has been aware of the issue with the Pinus nigra in St Andrews Park for some years. This is an issue for many pines in the Bristol parks and more extensively throughout the south west.
 At the moment it is only the leaves that are affected. If the dieback extends too far they will need to remove the dead wood in the canopy. BCC is monitoring the larger pines to see if they are able to produce more leaves in spring.


There is a Bristol City Council site called  Pinpoint where you can find lots of interesting stuff about the area. Including Trees.

Under the title Explore scroll down to Environment and Planning.

Choose Trees, and then tick both boxes, maps and search.

A map appears. Under the map is a Search option. new search option called Trees appears at the bottom of the page.

Enter St Andrews Park to see a list of trees in the park. It takes a few minutes to load.


Sponsor a Tree in Bristol. This site explains how to sponsor a tree.


Trees of Bristol

This site provides an interactive guide to the trees in Bristol. Currently there are 66,166 live trees in the database and  69,661 including stumps, covering 1124 species, varieties and cultivars in 2400 locations.

Data has been gathered from multiple sources, including:


Read about the 200 largest, oldest and rarest trees in Bristol

 Bristol Remarkable Trees

Find out more about Bristol's Veteran, Champion and other remarkable trees here.


To view the booklet which gives the identification and position of each tree in the park: 'Guide to the Trees of the St Andrews Park' please click on the link below: (it's a word document)
Trees park map.doc


Corrections to the Guide: Tree 48 is a Walnut not an ash.  Trees 2 and 3, a cherry and a pine, are no more - just the stumps are visible.  The new tree (32) that has replaced the dead Himalayan Cedar (Cedrus deodara) is a Blue cedar (Cedrus atlantica glauca. Trees 22 and 80, a cherry and ash, were felled September 2011.

The sycamore #127 was found to be diseased and felled in 2011.

Two memorial trees were planted in Dec 2011.; a Scots pine, Pinus sylvestris, near the lower end on the Leopold Road side, and a Katsura, Cercidiphyllum japonicum, near the depot.

Tree 19, a Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum) was felled for safety reasons in Dec 2012.

Tree Survey 2012. You can read the Tree Survey (excel file) and you can follow developments here

Tree Planting plan 2013 You can read about the proposed Tree Planting plan for the park here.

TreeBristol (12.2.13) have provided  this document for wider circulation. The pdf with the locations is  here.  The additonal notes are here.

Tree Plan March 2013. Caroline Hollies (TreeBristol) presentation to FoSAP is here. If you have been to the park recently you will have seen the new trees. More photos on this website.


The Trees of St Andrews Park

A full list of all species (including hedge specimens):

European (Austrian) Black Pine – Pinus nigra var nigra

Scots Pine – Pinus sylvestris

Blue Atlas Cedar - Cedrus atlantica var glauca

Cedar of Lebanon – Cedrus libani

Lawson Cypress – Chaemaecyparis lawsoniana

Western Red Cedar – Thuja plicata

Yew – Taxus baccata

Flowering (Japanese) Cherry (various Prunus varieties)

Wild Cherry – Prunus avium

Bird Cherry – Prunus pardus Watereri

Cherry-plum or Myrobalan – Prunus cerasifera

Norway Maple – Acer platanoides

Field |Maple – Acer campestre

Sycamore – Acer pseudoplatanus

London Plane – Platanus x acerifolia

Horse Chestnut – Aesculus hippocastanum

Small-leafed Lime – Tilia cordata

Hornbeam – Carpinus betulus

Silver Birch – Betula pendula

West Himalayan  or Jacquemont’s Birch – Betula jacquemontii

Katsura – Cercidiphyllum japonicum

Holly – Ilex aquifolium

Beech – Fagus sylvatica

Ash – Fraxinus excelsior

Black Poplar – Populus nigra PLANTIERENSIS

Rowan or Mountain Ash – Sorbus aucuparia

Chinese Mountain Ash – Sorbus hupehensis

Bristol Whitebeam – Sorbus bristoliensis

Maidenhair tree or Ginkgo – Ginkgo biloba

Walnut – Juglans regia

Walnut sp? Juglans sp?

Holm Oak – Quercus ilex

English Oak – Quercus robur

Goat (‘Pussy’) Willow or Sallow - Salix caprea

Hawthorn – Crataegus monogyna

Bullace – Prunus domestica subsp. institia

Spindle – Euonymus europaeus

Hazel – Corylus avellana

Black Walnut - Juglans nigra


What follows below is an ongoing guide to the tree species in St Andrews Park. It should allow identification of any tree and will give some basic information about each species.  All photos are of trees in St Andrews Park.

Any questions or comments relating to this St Andrews Park Tree section can be sent to:

Trees with photos and information about them, so far covered are:

1. European or Austrian Black Pine (Pinus nigra)

2. Bird Cherry (Prunus pardus)

3. Cherry-Plum or Myrobalan (Prunus cerasifera 'Atropurpurea')

4. Horse Chestnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)

5. Walnut - (Juglans regia)

6. Black Poplar (Populus nigra PLANTIERENSIS)

7. London Plane (Platanus x hispanica 'Acerifolia')

8. Small-leafed Lime (Tilia cordata)

9. West Himalayan Birch (Betula utilis jaquemontii)

10. Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica 'PURPUREA')

11. Maidenhair Tree (Ginkgo biloba)

12. Katsura (Cercidophyllum japonicum)

13. Ash ( Fraxinus excelsior)

14. Bristol Whitebeam (Sorbus bristoliensis)  

15. Blue Atlas Cedar (Cedrus atlantica var glauca)


1. European or Austrian Black Pine (Pinus nigra).

This is represented by 35 specimens in our park. It is a native of South-eastern Europe and commonly occurs on limestone. The needles occur in pairs and although it is an evergreen species, the ground under the trees is covered with shed needles in November. Its cones, which contain the seeds, can be found on the ground at almost any time of the year.

This is the European Pine

# 173, alongside Sommerville Road, photographed in Feb 2009 by Phil


..The above photo (taken on May 13th 2010) shows the newly opened buds revealing the young needles which at this stage are bunched together to resemble 'candles'. ....................................................................................................................................

.Closeup of an open bud surrounded by last season's needles...............................................................................................




2. Bird Cherry (Prunus pardus)

There are 6 specimens of this tree in the park. Bird Cherry is a native species but is only found in the wild in the Scottish glens where it is common and by streams in limestone areas in North West Yorkshire and in mid Wales. The specimens we have are a cultivar, P. pardus Watereri which flowers more profusely than the wild form of the tree.

The flower spikes (racemes) are particularly long in 'Watereri' and the park trees come into spectacular flowering in late April, early May. These three photos were all taken on April 27th 2009.



The flowers are heavily scented.  A trip to the park when the trees are in full flower is strongly recommended as the air around the trees is fragrant with their perfume.


The name, Bird Cherry derives from the small fruits that ripen in August into bitter tasting 'cherries' which are only attractive to birds.  However, the park trees seem to develop very few fruits, and this may be a side effect of the development of this cultivated form of the tree.



3. Cherry-Plum or Myrobalan (Prunus cerasifera 'Atropurpurea')

We have two of these trees in the park. The English name indicates the tree bears plum fruits, though they are small and resemble cherries in both shape and colour.  The fruit was once used in making ointments and the alternative name of 'Myrobalan' comes from two Greek words, myron meaning sweet-scented ointment and balanos, a fruit. 


The picture below shows the tree (at the corner of Effingham and Leopold Road) in full flower.  Photo was taken on 15/3/2011.  Unfortunately, the January 2012 tree survey discovered this tree had been infected with a polypore fungus near its base and has had to be felled (see photo below).  Cherry-Plum 'Atropurpurea' is the earliest of the cherries to come into flower, often as early as mid to late February.  When the leaves first open they are red, but later darken to a dark purplish-red.




The photo below was taken in winter when the trunk develops a bright green coating of algae.



Close up of the flowers of the Cherry Plum:



The myrobalan near the top of Melita Road on 15/3/2011.



This photo below, taken on April 7th 2011 shows the young 'cherry' fruits already developing


The polypore fungus, probably a Ganoderma species that was killing the tree. Photo taken Jan 27th 2012.


 The new Myrobalan  - a 'memorial' tree planted on March 13th 2013 to replace the diseased specimen (see above).

4. Horse Chesnut (Aesculus hippocastanum)

There are 6 Horse Chestnut trees in the park. The tree is not native to this country. It originates from Greece.

The photo below is of the trio of Horse Chestnuts (though there was a fourth specimen in this group which died around 2004.  Its stump can be clearly seen.) The photo was taken on 16/11/2005, showing quite a few leaves are still to fall.



The grey squirrels in the park have conkers on the menu. This one is clasping a conker in its paws.

Photo taken on 10/10/2008.




Autumn foliage, 27/10/08





The attractive autumn colouring of Horse Chestnut leaves. Photo taken on 21/10/08





The 'sticky' buds of the Horse Chestnut. Here they are just beginning to open. (photo taken on 14/3/09).



Buds have opened to reveal leaves and flower buds, 26/3/09.

 New leaves, May 1st, 2013




Horse Chestnut in full flower, 23/4/2009



The inflorescence fully opened, 27/4/11.

Conker released from its spiny green casing, September 26th '11

There are two Horse Chestnuts in the upper corner of the park alongside Leopold Road which have many growths and swellings on their trunks and branches (see below).  They are almost certainly caused by a bacterium, Agrobacterium tumefaciens which infects the tree to produce these crown galls.  The bacteria live naturally in the soil and gain access to the tree through a wound, often at soil surface level. The bacteria congregate in large colonies causing these substantial growths. Although the galls look as if they could be seriously affecting the health of the tree, they do no real damage as the bacteria are dependent on the host tree remaining healthy in order to complete their development. Agrobacterium tumefaciens is known to use more than 600 other plant species, on all of which it will produce some form of crown gall.

N.B. One of these trees was felled at the end of 2012, as it dropped a sizeable limb and was considered a potential Health and Safety hazard.





                     5.  Walnut - Juglans regia

There are three walnut trees in our park.  They are European walnuts, Juglans regia, a native of Asia from the Caucasus to Japan, valuable for their timber and for the excellent nuts.

This picture is of  Baby walnuts developing from the walnut tree's female flowers, May 2nd '11

The ancient Greeks and Romans had walnut orchards, and it has been widely cultivated in Northern Europe since 1500.  Its timber became a favourite for quality furniture from 1600 until it was replaced by mahogany.

The English have long grown walnuts with optimism if not always with success, but ours seem to be flourishing. Sometimes it is called the English walnut, even though it is not a native tree and does not grow wild in Britain. It is at the northern edge of its range in Britain.  With an increasingly warmer climate however, growing conditions are improving.  Some nurseries are offering up to 30 different varieties of walnut, some chosen for their nuts, others give a better quality wood. Walnut wood is four times the value of oak wood.


Des Bowring commented "My view of Walnut has recently been transformed by reading Roger Deakin's wonderful 'Wildwood: A Journey through Trees'. The process of preparing the sought-after walnut veneer for Jaguar cars is described in fascinating detail!


Walnuts growing steadily, May 19th, 2011.  You can see the leaf is made up of several leaflets.


These are the male catkins.  The small dark structures are the stamens. Photo taken: 18/4/2011


                           The walnut tree in full leaf April 28th 2011


On the ground below the common walnut tree you can see the outer green cover of the walnut fruit, which contains the walnut.  Inside the hard shell is the edible nut.



The resident grey squirrels find the walnut tree particularly attractive in late September/early October as the walnuts ripen. Photo: 26/10/11


Squirrel damage to a walnut fruit outer casing, opened to get out the walnut inside. Photo: 26/9/11

In the Park, the walnut's leaves are regularly attacked by eriophyoid mites - Acaria erinea, which induce erinia galls (dense patches of glandular hairs) in which the mites can feed safely.  The mites only leave an erinium when the hairs collapse and the leaves dry out at the end of the summer.

Photo: May 19th 2011


  6. Black Poplar (Populus nigra PLANTIERENSIS)


We have a single specimen, which is an impressively large tree towards the centre of the Park. Its massive buttressed trunk would not look out of place in a tropical rain forest! In David Cemlyn's Guide to the Trees of St Andrews Park, this tree is identified as a Black Poplar (Populus nigra 'ITALICA'). The common name for this form of the Black Poplar is the Lombardy Poplar. However, our local tree expert, Tony Tichen has corrected this identification. What we have is Populus nigra 'PLANTIERENSIS'. 


The following information is taken verbatim from the entry on Black Poplar in Wikipedia:

The Plantierensis group consists of clones derived by crossing 'Italica' with P. nigra ssp betulifolia at the Plantières Nursery near Metz in France in 1884; they are similar to 'Italica' (and often mistaken for it) but with a slightly broader crown, and better adapted to the cool, humid climate of northwest Europe, where the true Lombardy poplar does not grow well. Both male and female clones are grown. This is the tree most commonly grown in Great Britain and Ireland as "Lombardy poplar".

So, if you are not even more confused than you were, our tree is not a true Lombardy Poplar (P. nigra ' ITALICA') but P. nigra PLANTIERENSIS which is still (mistakenly) referred to as the 'Lombardy' Poplar!!



                                   The buttressed trunk:


The girth of the tree, measured at 1.5 metres above the ground, on January 10th 2012, was 517 cm. There is a rule of thumb that can be applied to several trees like oak, that the age of the tree can be approximately determined by dividing the girth (in cm.) at 1.5 m. above the ground, by 2.5.  This would give this Black poplar hybrid an age of 207 years.  However, the rule does not apply to  Black poplar hybrids or Sequoias which have a much faster growth rate.  So although it had been thought this tree might have been already growing on the farmland before the park was constructed, it now seems likely that it is no older than the park.  This view is supported by the fact that Black Poplars were commonly planted in parks in Victorian times.



             Photo: 25/11/08




Photo: 28/11/2010 _ late evening sun painting the tree in an orange glow.


The Black Poplar soon after its partial pollarding. Photo taken: March 21st 2012




7. London Plane (Platanus x hispanica)

There are 15 specimens of London Plane in the park. London Plane is 'allegedly' a cross between the Oriental Plane and the American Plane.  The hybrid probably arose in Southern France, and seed sent from Montpelier was first raised at Oxford Botanic Garden around 1670. 

It is a much more adaptable and frost-resistant tree than the parental species and has, as a consequence, become widely distributed throughout much of central Europe.




The London Planes can be easily identified by the mosaic-like appearance of their bark, which develops as the bark peels off in large flakes to leave, initially, pale yellow patches of the inner bark below.


London Planes are particularly tolerant of smoke and dust laden air of cities.  This is doubtless why so many London Planes  were planted in our park.  The Victorian air in St Andrews must have been quite noxious from all the domestic coal fires emitting copious quantities of smoke and fumes.


In autumn and winter, when the leaves have dropped, the globose clusters of fruits are clearly visible, hanging from long stalks in clusters of two or three.  In winter, these provide a valuable food source for goldfinches and greenfinches which can commonly be seen feeding on them.


In spring,the globose female catkins appear, their tips a pinkish red. Photo: 18/4/2011.





         8. Small-leafed Lime (Tilia cordata)


There are around 26 Small-leafed Limes in the park. They are perhaps the tree species that most distinguish St Andrews Park, their pollarded trunks giving rise to sweeping arches of branches forming a curving, green canopied avenue running north and south from the central cafe area.

This species is native to England and Wales,

Photo: 11/11/2008



Photo: 18/11/2011


Developing flower buds on Small leaved Lime.  The leaf-like winged bracts can be seen which are later used to help disperse the seeds.





A tree in full flower, 20/6/2011.




Flowers in more detail, 20/6/2011




9. West Himalayan or Jaquemont's Birch - Betula jaquemontii


There is a single specimen of this tree located in the meadow area near the pond. It is named after the French botanist, Victor Jaquemont who worked in India.  The tree occurs in the wild from Kashmir eastwards to Nepal, but crosses with the Himalayan Birch (Betula edulis) to produce intermeriate forms, where the bark becomes progressively less white as you move eastwards.


Photo: 21/10/2008

The bark of Himalayan Birch was used centuries ago in India as paper for writing lengthy scriptures and texts in Sanskrit and other scripts, particularly in historical Kashmir. Its use as paper for books is mentioned by early Sanskrit writers. In the late 19th century.

Kashmiri manuscript on birch bark (c. 17th century)

.The bark is still used for writing sacred mantras, which are placed in an amulet and worn around the neck for protection or blessing. The bark is widely used for packaging material (particularly butter), roof construction, umbrella covers, bandages, and more. The wood is used for bridge construction, and the foliage for fodder. The most widespread use is for firewood, which has caused large areas of habitat to be eliminated or reduced. 


Male catkins of West Himalayan Birch, 26/3/2009

The larger male catkins, and female (lower right) catkins, April 12th '09

Male catkins and newly emerging leaves, photographed on April 2nd '12




10. Copper Beech (Fagus sylvatica 'PURPUREA')

There are 4 large specimens of copper beech, all at the bottom end of the park, around the main Effingham Road entrance and the depot area.


In the photo below, the newly opened leaves have still to fully develop the 'copper' pigments that mask the normal green colour of beech trees.

Photo: 18/4/2011



Here you can see the male and female flowers of the beech, arranged in catkins.  The male ones are hanging down in the lower part of the picture, while the reddish hairy female catkins stand upright. The beech nuts develop from these female flowers. Good seed (nut) crops -  called 'masts' only occur every four or five years. 


Sunlight through the leaves, 19/4/2011


Autumn beech leaves, Nov 8th '08


11. Maidenhair Tree - Ginkgo biloba

We have two young specimens of this tree, one (# 106 in the tree guide) is behind the depot area while the other (# 155) is just to the right of the central gate leading into the dog-free zone.

The Maidenhair Tree was called a living fossil by Darwin as it is the only existing species of a group of primitive trees that originated in, and was dominant in the Jurassic era, 200 million years ago. Fossils of the Jurassic trees are virtually identical to those of present day trees. Ginkgo biloba is the scientific name, 'Ginkgo' deriving from a Japanese word meaning 'silver plum' which refers to its fruits; 'biloba' describing the characteristically two lobed shape of the leaves.
The tree is uncommon outside southern England and is most frequent around London and in the Bristol-Bath-Yeovil area.


This photo was taken on Nov 28th 2011 and shows the yellow autumnal colouration of the leaves which, in most years are still on the tree when all the other deciduous park trees have become virtually leafless.

The Maidenhair Tree is probably a native of eastern Asia and the first specimen planted in this country is still at Kew, where it was brought from China in 1754. A relic population occurs in China, believed to be wild, though studies have shown little genetic variation in this population and it may be that these trees result from original plantings by local monks, taken from temple specimens. Nevertheless, some individuals in wild hill populations are believed to be up to 3000 years old.

Trees are either male or female. Females bear fruits that when shed and begin to rot, produce a putrid smell. It has been postulated that this might have been an adaptation to attract carrion-feeding dinosaurs who would then aid dispersal via their digestive system. The fruits produce an oil source  containing compounds with  insecticidal properties.

More than 40 components from the ginkgo tree have been identified, but only two are believed to act as medicine: flavonoids and terpenoids. Flavonoids are plant-based antioxidants. Laboratory and animal studies have shown that flavonoids protect the nerves, heart muscle, blood vessels, and retina from damage. Terpenoids (such as ginkgoilides) improve blood flow by dilating blood vessels and reducing the stickiness of platelets and ginkgoilides is also used in treating Parkinson's Disease.

It had been thought that Ginkgo compounds extracted from the leaves could improve memory  in older people but one of the longest and best-designed studies found ginkgo was no better than a placebo in reducing Alzheimer's symptoms. In a 2008 study, 176 people in the United Kingdom with Alzheimer's took either ginkgo or placebo for 6 months. At the end of the study there was no difference in mental function or quality of life between the groups.  Another well-designed study in 2008  with more than 3,000 elderly participants also found the ginkgo was no better than placebo in preventing dementia or Alzheimer's.

The acid green newly emerged leaves.  Photo taken May 16th '12



12. Katsura
Cercidiphyllum japonicum

This tree is native to China and Japan and in favourable circumstances can grow to 45 metres.
It is a very primitive hardwood species, closely related to the Magnolias and is unusual in having some features of a conifer or softwood . Each tree is a separate male or female one. The family is a very primitive one and may even pre-date the Ginkgo - so a living fossil!

Photo: April 13th 2012

This 'memorial' tree was planted in autumn 2011.  This is its first spring in the park. Trees are either male or female.  The sex of this tree is yet to be established, but when it comes into flower, the sex should be easy to determine.

Newly emerged leaves. Photo: April  13th 2012

13. Ash - Fraxinus excelsior

There are 7 ash trees in the park. But how long before 'Ash dieback' disease - Chalaria fraxina is found in our park? (Dec. 2012). It could perhaps be identified as soon as the leaves emerge in spring 2013. Note (Sept '13): no sign of dieback this year.

Sept 2013: You may have heard that a new 'wider environment' case of Chalara fraxinea infection (causing Chalara dieback of ash) has been confirmed in mid-Devon. Some of the trees affected were planted up to 16 years ago and it is likely that the disease has been present at this site for some years. Please therefore continue to be vigilant and check any ash trees and ash woodland which you manage for signs of this disease, especially trees planted within the past 20 years. Refer to the video and pictorial guides on our website for help to recognise the symptoms ( If you have concerns, please report them through the Tree Alert app or online form available at, preferably including photos, so that the report can be assessed and followed up if necessary. An advisory note is attached which gives further information.

This is a native species and common to abundant in much of Britain. In 'A Field Guide to the Trees in Britain and Northern Europe' by Alan Mitchell, he describes the 'total sexual confusion' shown by this species. 'Some trees are all male, some all female, some male with one or more female branches, some vice versa, some branches male one year and female the next.

Male catkins, April 8th '09

These are common and widespread galls found on common ash trees, Fraxinus excelsior. They are caused by Aceria fraxinivorus mites which attack the flowers soon after they open.  At first the galls are green, but they soon turn brown. They can stay on the tree through the winter.  The mites pass the winter in the galls or in crevices in the bark.

Lichens growing on an ash tree trunk near the depot. 536 species of lichen have been recorded growing on Ash trees in Britain!  It is thought that Ash bark is particularly conducive to lichen colonisation because of its high pH - between 5.5 and 6.5 and its relatively open canopy which lets more light through to lower branches and trunk, which helps the lichens to photosynthesise more efficiently.


                        14. Bristol Whitebeam - Sorbus bristoliensis

This photo was taken on the day of planting - March 13th 2013.

The Bristol Whitebeam (Sorbus bristoliensis) is an endemic species of Whitebeam, unique to the Avon Gorge and there are estimated to be about 300 of them growing there. The tree is therefore a most unusual one, and ours is probably the only specimen growing in a Bristol park or indeed in any other park in the country.
An unusual feature of this tree is that it quite often divides into two main trunks as it develops. Although that doesn't always happen, the development of a forked trunk is common. It will be interesting to see if our tree does this as it matures.
Trying to identify the Bristol Whitebeam from other Sorbus species in the Avon Gorge woodlands is not easy. Examining and comparing the particular shape of its fruits - orange berries - is the most reliable way an experienced botanist can recognise and differentiate the Bristol Whitebeam from other Sorbus.

Blue Atlas Cedar - Cedrus atlantica var glauca

Originates from the Atlas mountains in Algeria and Morocco. This blue form is the most common variety planted in many parks in Britain. It is a fast growing tree, the girth can reach 2.5 metres in just 50 years. It can reach a height of 40 metres in this country.

The photo below, taken on April 12th 2009, shows this tree shortly after planting.

Cones, first developed by September 2009:

Black Walnut - Juglans nigra

This tree is growing in the medow area opposite the pond. It is named as a Caucasian Wingnut in the Park Tree Guide, but is clearly a Walnut species, the walnut-like fruits bearing no resemblence to the fruits of Wingnuts.

 This photo shows the brilliant yellow colouring of the leaves in autumn (Oct 22nd '08)

Here the tree is in full summer leaf (June 6th '2010)

The tree is a native of eastern and central North America. It was introduced to Britain by John Tradescant before 1656.

Here are the male catkins (June 11th 2010)

This shows the fruits (which don't appear every year). Photo: 20th Sept 2009


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