Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Acer campestre

Trees, as all wise people know, are better than flowers.

They are more beautiful, more lasting, and they have better names: Common ash, Bird cherry, Cedar of Lebanon, Douglas fir, Elder, Field maple, Grey willow, Holly, Irish yew, Juniper, London plane, Monkey Puzzle, Norway spruce, Common oak, Purging buckthorn, Rowan, Sycamore, Tulip tree, Variegated sycamore, Western Hemlock.

Paul Wood at the Street Tree has kindly let me share his photograph of a Field maple (Acer campestre) 'a plucky, messy and often overlooked tree' dealing insouciantly with the Hornsey Road.


Go look at his blog. He does orchids and the countryside too, which is all very well if you like that kind of thing, but it's his London tree postings that are a revelation. He's discovered perry trees off the Holloway road, a Persian silk tree (see what I mean about names?) in Southwark and Robinias in Bedford row.

This is why London is infinite. The streets and houses run out eventually, but there is no end to the different ways of seeing it. You can name its trees or model its bus routes or remember streets because a friend you lost touch with lived there decades ago or hold an internal map of all the places where you lost umbrellas.


  1. I feel like I'm learning so much about Hornsey Road. I can see this tree from the front windows in my flat and never paid it much attention before now.

  2. Gosh, you are prolific! I had to scroll for ages to find this... Glad you could use the pic. I love your idea of building up a blogscape of this road (that I know so well). One Day is now on my Amazon Wishlist.

  3. I'd never heard the word 'blogscape' before. It's a good description - thank you.