Monday, 9 May 2016

Great trees in Glasgow (Part I) The Arboretum

Wander along the fantastic tranquil river glen that is the Kelvin Way and you will at some point find yourself among an intriguing collection of special trees. This is the Arboretum! The Glasgow Botanic Garden's Arboretum has rare specimens from many parts of the globe, and while admittedly some have quite a bit of growing to do, there are some treats for you there. I like gazing at the redwoods, something mesmerizing about them, I think I am partly in awe at the trees themselves and partly dreaming of the giants way out West. The giant redwood Sequoiadendron giganteum everyone knows as the Wellingtonia is now found growing in the wild only the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. Here on the Kelvin 003-164-93 is a fine, young specimen of planted 23 years ago. It does have some growing to do right enough as one specimen at Benmore stands 50 metres tall!

Further up the river is amazing tree with the richly poetic name of Metasequoia glyptostroboides. The Dawn redwood as it is also know is a native of the Lichuan county in the Hubei province of China. Unlike the other redwoods, the Dawn redwood is deciduous and these pics form last week show her just coming into leaf, looking quite gossamer like. The leaves are more like larch needles and so different to the other redwoods. I found a pic of the same tree in full leaf on the great redwood tree info website. This tree is included in Glasgow's Commonwealth 60 Trees and there are also seven more at Kelvingrove Art Galley and Museum.

Here is the same tree back in early march before it began to stir. There is something magical about the stark branches though with a beautiful energy and form to it.

Last and not least are the two Coast redwoods. Sequoia sempervirens is well known as the tallest living tree on Earth reaching up to 115m so these ones are definitely just very bonny saplings! Check out the colour and texture of the bark.

Great trees are to be found in the Glasgow Botanic Gardens Arboretum quietly awaiting your discovery. And if you time it right, you can join the Guided Health Walks every Thursday starting at 1pm outside the Kibble Palace. Not only are they free but they "conclude with tea and biscuits in the Botanic Gardens library !"