Friday, 22 May 2020

Urban trees

With more time than ever to 'stop and stare', I've been really noticing how the colours of spring trees are as varied as their autumn foliage. I'm lucky to live in an area with lots of woodland to explore but often it's the urban trees that stand out as singletons. Their different shapes and leaf colour can truly stop you in your tracks. Here's a few I've particularly noticed recently.

There are several pairings of maples in the locality, one with slightly variegated pistachio green leaves set against another whose colour reminds me of chocolate. These two are on the edge of the Wycliffe estate and there are some around Saltaire's Exhibition Building that are similar in colour.

I was excited to realise that this tall specimen is an elm. It has distinctive asymmetrical leaves and a forked trunk with deeply fissured bark. English elms all but died out in the last century due to Dutch Elm Disease. This one is either a slightly different variety or a very hardy old soul.

Behind St Paul's Church and bordering Crowgill Park there's a line of lovely mature trees - sycamore, I think, though I didn't walk up close to inspect them.

Along the Coach Road there are some pretty old hawthorns with their craggy bark and lovely blossom and a little further down there's a superb copper beech. Its spring leaves are a really wonderful shade of purpley-red.


  1. Thanks for those. I'm rather missing my visits to the Botanic Garden this year; they have some great contrasting plantings and it's interesting to see just which tree "leaps out" visually from its fellows - there are always one or two that look particularly splendid and always different ones.

  2. Each tree is simply lovely in its own right. The copper beech is gorgeous, but then so is the hawthorn! I used to climb trees as a boy. I think the one with the splendidly forked branches, good for climbing, is indeed a sycamore. At the top, swaying with the wind I felt really happy.

  3. Beautiful examples of all the changing colors in trees.

  4. Your trees are much more leafed out than ours! A lovely post, Jenny!

  5. Gosh you do have some beautiful trees in your area and so varied in colour. Very beautiful. I love trees.

  6. Thank you. As someone who lives on another continent, but has been a reader of English literature, NOW I see what's going on with a copper beech!