There are 239 trees in the park of which oaks (24) and maples (21) are the most prevalent, followed by beech (19) and horse chestnuts (15).
There are 46 different types of tree in total. Two planes trees and a poplar lead the height contest at 30m while one of the planes near the tunnel entrance has the biggest spread reaching out almost 12m in each direction. Incredibly it may have taken this tree over 200 years to grow to this size.
However, it is not the oldest tree in the park, that honour goes to a holm oak which we can verify as 360 years old! When our holm oak was a sapling the monarchy was restored and Charles II become King of England in 1660.
A number of trees along with the oak were already firmly established in the farmland prior to the opening of the park in 1878 and were incorporated in to the design. The ten oldest trees have a massive 2000 years of growing between them!
Some of the more unusual trees in the park are indian bean, maidenhair tree, snowy mespil and four trees of heaven. Many have been added to McKenzie’s original design, but built on the Victorian tradition of bringing home samples gathered in scientific exploration and colonial expansion to adorn the parks and estates of Britain.
Tree species introduced to the UK can be unpalatable to native insects. While a native oak might host 284 different insects, an introduced tree, such as a horse chestnut which have been widely planted in UK parks since the 16th century, might be home to only four species. Horse chestnuts are in fact native to the Balkan Peninsula and are rarely found in natural British landscapes or woodland.
A tree survey was carried out as part of the conservation examinations of the project.